“So. Two years?”

“Yup.”

“Wow, like two years??”

“Heh, yeah.”

The funny thing about this conversation (which I’ve had a few times with a few of you) is that I don’t think I’ve accurately conceptualized traveling for two years. It’s like distances in space: we can talk about them in numbers, without actually having any clue how far Mars really is from Earth.

Now, that’s not saying two years is all that epic. I can remember two years ago, and it’s not even hard. Seriously.  I was away for two years last time. But the difference, I think, is that I won’t have a home or a job or a steady circle of friends for the entire period. I will, in essence, be nomadic. Weird.

I have, in honour of this thought, produced a little list of cons and pros to this lifestyle I’ve chosen. I like to call it:

Two years of:

  • drinking and brushing teeth with only bottled water
  • incredibly wrinkled clothing – every day
  • saying permanent goodbyes to friends less than a month after meeting them
  • arriving into town after town without knowing a soul
  • frustrating non-conversations thanks to language barriers
  • living out of a backpack
  • learning new languages then promptly forgetting them after moving on to a different region/country
  • eating questionable food from questionable sources
  • missing you

But, of course, the trip also means I get…

Two years of:

  • meeting adventurous people from all over the world
  • becoming really close with whatever is in my backpack
  • dreaming about quality tap water
  • eating some of the best food the world has to offer, at prices that will make you laugh
  • learning about the world I pretend to understand, but really don’t (yet)
  • having hilarious conversations with locals in broken English
  • trying to convince you to come out and meet me somewhere
  • glory. pure, pure glory.

Not an exhaustive list, by any means. I’m sure I’ll add to it later. But for now, it’s a good pre-emptive account of life on the road.