T-minus 4 days: Background of Trip
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I leave in 4 days.
Two months travelling through South America - half the time I'll be completely alone.
Am I really going? Am I really ready?
Only time will tell.
I've literally been planning (and re-planning) this trip for two years. I earned the time off through our company's Sabbatical Program - after 7 years of service, employees receive a one-time "splash" of 7 extra weeks paid vacation. I earned my Sabbatical in 2007 and had planned to take this trip in the Winter of 2007. Unfortunately, due to circumstances at work, I had to cancel the trip. A year of planning down the tubes. A dream put on hold.
This year, timing is again not ideal from a work standpoint. But as they say, it never will be the ideal time to go from a work standpoint. So I've decided to go. The weather is good this time of year. I turn 40 in 2009 and it will be great to have this trip under my belt and out of my system. I will finally be able to get that dog I've been wanting...
I'm thankful to everyone who has had a part in making this trip possible -- family, friends, co-workers, and even the faceless names on the internet who have helped advise me. Now, if only the economy were cooperating a bit more...
Despite all my planning, the perfectionist in me wishes I had more time to prepare - to practice my Spanish, to get in better "backpacking" shape, to fine-tune my itinerary and logistics, to coordinate with people traveling similar routes, etc.
Regardless, the countdown starts... I'm going.