Three Days Left, Four To Go: Time to Stop and Write

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There’s a time when I know I just need to stop and write. It’s when I’ve updated Instagram and Twitter and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and…

Yeah, okay, there’s a blog post there, lady, sit your butt on down and do that thing.

I am literally sitting here taking deep breaths with a tear-streaked face because I can’t get over the awesomeness that is 2.5 years of relentless pursuit of a dream, a job well-done, and a green light for all-systems-go.

Sunday, I pick up my duffle bag and carry it over a threshold for the first time. Soon, it’s thresholds in England and Croatia and Slovenia and Italy and Spain and Portugal and Bulgaria and Romania, and… Five years of travelling the world. FIVE YEARS. Yep. That’s me. Ticket to ride.

Soon I’ll be on BC’s Mainland. My homeland. I get a makeover, celebrate my 42nd birthday, say my farewells, and then it’s off to Europe and awesomeness. Hopefully there, too, I’ll “stop and write.”

One of my all-time favourite Victoria, BC, photos. Beacon Hill Park cherry blossoms, on a rare day when walking a whole lot didn't bother me. Gosh, my new shoes are comfy. Bring on more walking photos! HUZZAH!

One of my all-time favourite Victoria, BC, photos. Beacon Hill Park cherry blossoms, on a rare day when walking a whole lot didn’t bother me. Gosh, my new shoes are comfy. Bring on more walking photos! HUZZAH!

Right now, I’m a teary, yawny mess with wet-rimmed eyes yet still offering a blissfully giddy countenance.

I’m so shocked to learn that I‘m not at all sad that I’ve given away or sold most of what I own. A part of me is all “Yo! That’s the ticket to ride. PAY THE MAN.”

Oh, I can’t have stuff? I can’t have a place I signed the line for?

What do I get, then?

The world? New cultures all the time? Never seeing the sunset in the same place twice? Wines I’ve never heard of? Weird new foods? People who see me as a curiosity and want to get to know me? Beautiful vistas? Towns 20 times older than the part of the world I’m from? History that seeps out of the street? Architecture that boggles the mind? Old-world agriculture? Slow food? Slow life? Cheaper cost of living?*

Dude.

Okay. TAKE IT ALL. LEAVE ME NOTHING. LET ME GO. It’s okay! I don’t need no stinking stuff, man! LEMME OUTTA HERE.

I cannot even begin to tell you how freeing it is to just let it all go and stop caring about things.

We’ve been lied to, man. It’s not about the stuff.

The “stuff” is the punishment. The more you own, the less freedom you have. You don’t need it all. Choose better. Choose less. You’ll enjoy it more.

For two years I’ve been telling myself this fight was worth it. Get up tomorrow, do the same thing you did today. Don’t give up. You’re not there. You’re not even CLOSE to being there.

Fight. Fight. Fight. Stay consistent. You did it yesterday, what’s the problem with doing it again tomorrow? Don’t stop now. Wait’ll you get to the end.

I’m about 90 hours from the end of the struggle. After more than 21,900 hours of staying the course, I finally get to start enjoying the ride.

NINETY HOURS.

I’m about to go to sleep, then BOOM, down to 80 or so.

Come Monday, I get to go to the very Vancouver  neighbourhood Yaletown that made me feel like a broke-ass loser every day for a decade and get a complete makeover. New haircut, full highlights at a swanky salon. The next day I get a mani-pedi-facial-spa thing. Total makeover the week that I leave to see the world. A before-the-world makeover. Yay! Redemption. I may not look the coolest in the salon or spa, but I will be the coolest. I’m the girl with a bag who gets to travel the world. Keep your 9 to 5, baby.

Completely opposite of when I ran FROM Vancouver at the mercy of a bank loan 3.5 years ago, when I couldn’t handle the big city anymore and needed to flee so I could handle my debt. I did that and some!

I think I took this photo on my first full day in Victoria. I had such a great feeling about this place, man... and I wasn't wrong.

I think I took this photo on my first full day in Victoria. I had such a great feeling about this place, man… and I wasn’t wrong.

I remember when I thought about moving to Victoria and I couldn’t explain to people why I felt so strongly it was so important. I don’t even remember the night it happened, but I remember the moment, when it occurred to me “Why don’t I move to Victoria?” I had been thinking Quebec City, Halifax, Ottawa… but once a West Coast Girl, that’s a hard (cold) sell.

But Victoria! I looked up rents and for some reason it was deceptively enticing. It wasn’t that cheap when I showed up to rent places, but I bit the line and took a place anyhow.

I’m so glad I did. Something about this place broke my funk. It ended my rut. I was reborn here. I found new dreams here. I learned how to believe in myself again. Creatively, I slowly exploded — I’ve just worked too much to materialize it.

Still, I can’t wait to enjoy the rewards of all this sacrifice. I’ve never been happier to take a step into the unknown than I am now.

The Yukon? Paid off. Victoria? Paid off.

Maybe, just maybe, I overstayed my welcome in both. Maybe that’s the ticket. More places, shorter stays.

Well then. I know just what’s on order. Stay tuned. Days in the making, friends. This is getting realer by the moment.

*A year later, all that is true. Except the cheaper cost of living. That’s not always the case. But the rest, yeah.

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