During the course of the last few weeks, we have been getting a better understanding why so few people embark on a long trip like the one we are planning. What is required to prepare for such a trip is difficult to describe without a lot of superlatives: daunting, challenging, heart-wrenching, tiring, enormous, expensive, back-breaking, difficult, nightmares, stressful, emotional, gigantic, expensive, etc. As an entrepreneur with several ventures under my belt, I already knew about extreme challenges. But, this one has been surprisingly even more difficult.
If you’ve sold a house and moved, you know that is hard. But, preparing to sell a house and moving into a much smaller home (in our case a boat), is much more difficult than the typical move. You have to downsize so much and force yourself to keep only the essentials. Store only the most valued possessions, and say goodbye to everything else. I was really surprised how much more difficult getting our house ready turned out to be. Thankfully, that one is virtually complete (we still have half a garage of stuff to dispose of).
Preparing the boat is more familiar ground – we did this with another boat several years ago. Although, this time the trip is for 5 years, and the boat is larger. So, again the scale is larger and the work even more difficult.
Another unexpected aspect is the emotional one. Its normally difficult for parents when their kids move away from home. But, our departure on this trip is a different dynamic than most kids and parents experience. It’s been hard on all of us I think to deal with. There have been many issues we’ve had to work out that have been hard on the family. But, I hope we will all end up even closer as a result. And, its not just the immediate family, but all our family and close friends who we will see more rarely than usual. Fortunately everyone knows we’ve been planning this for years, but we are now getting close to leaving and the reality is again setting in. And, we really hope many of them will take us up on the offer to join us at some point along the way.
This weekend my family has organized an early bon voyage party for us. It will be a real thrill to see everyone together one last time before we depart. To make it really special, my mom decided to use the occasion to get re-married.
The entire project has been a huge amount of work, and there’s a lot left to be done at the boatyard. We’re about half-way through the allocated time for the boatyard projects, and I think we’re pretty near to half way. Suddenly it feels to me like I’ve reached a turning point in all our preparations. We’ve reached the peak of preparation, and now we’re on the downhill side of the work. I just hope we don’t speed downhill out of control and instead experience a nice, cool, easier, but more tired, walk down to the finish line. I think I’m even starting to get excited about the trip now!