Saturday, October 14, 2006

Logbook: Leaving Atlanta

Leavingatlanta2Over the past few days, I have completed my preparations to leave Atlanta and board a train bound for New Orleans -- and beyond -- in the morning. After almost a month in Atlanta, getting ready to hit the road again has mostly involved replenishing supplies -- such as toiletries, batteries and scotch! -- doing laundry and repacking gear. As part of this process, I have done my first "recycling" of gear by depositing a pair of pants and a pair of shoes in a local clothing bin. The items still have some life in them, but not enough to merit being packed and carried. In the first 66 days of The Voyage, I have allowed myself to add two t-shirts and a pair of tropical pants to my gear by rationalizing that these are legitimate additions as I move toward much warmer climates. It is so easy to accumulate "stuff" that I will have to remain diligent about making "cuts" -- or at least "exchanges" -- along the way! I have also taken time to bid farewell to all the wonderful friends I have been happy to visit while I have been here.

One highlight has been going with my friend Ken to have lunch with his sons at their school. Picture the two of us sitting in an elementary school cafeteria in those tiny chair, at those tiny tables. It was a fun and sweet experience for all of us, and it will surely remain in our hearts and minds forever. As I prepare to leave Atlanta, I am aware that -- so far -- The Voyage of Macgellan has been a wonderful, cross-country visiting of family and friends. Except for some difficulty getting on-line here and there, it has been as easy a voyage as one can hope for. There has been reliable power and plumbing, good housing, easy transportation and fine food everywhere. English has been the universal language and I've enjoyed the comfortable and convenient hospitality of many friends and family. It has been a wonderful voyage so far -- one that I would have done for its own sake -- and it has been an excellent opportunity to test my gear, technology and systems.

Beginning tomorrow morning, The Voyage of Macgellan will take on a new gestalt. I will be moving away from friends and family, across a foreign border and into unfamiliar territory. I will make a change from "connecting the dots" to "creating the dots" and from "testing my stuff" to "testing myself." While I have thoroughly enjoyed -- and benefitted from -- The Voyage so far, I am energized and excited by The Voyage ahead.

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