When my three months off work started, I told myself that I wasn’t going to rush. I was just going to take things as they came, that I wouldn’t hurry, I wouldn’t get stressed out, and I wouldn’t worry about accomplishing anything.
I took a bus to see a friend about 100 miles south of Portland. I played with his toddlers, I picked fruit in his garden, and felt content pulling weeds under the broiling sun. Forty eight hours later, I couldn’t suppress the burning thought that I should be getting ready for my Big Voyage instead of trying to be relaxed someplace else.
Zen moment temporarily done, I turned my mind and body home. I hadn’t ever been on a trip so long, and once I left port I estimated that I wouldn’t find anything to buy or any means to resupply for three weeks, so those last few days at home felt more and more critical.
It became a sort of packing frenzy, stuffing things in bags, pulling them out. Scaling down, and then at the last minute, adding seeming luxuries, like an extra pair of shoes.
Finally, after a sleepless night, I loaded the boat one final time, loaded the family into the car and drove north to Tim’s house on an island near Seattle.