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Well, that day has finally arrived and I’ll be heading off to the Far East tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. PST. I’m both excited and a little apprehensive about my journey. All the reading I’ve done and conversations I’ve had, worries me just a little. If I think too much about the tropical diseases (and me the mosquito magnet), political unrest in Indonesia, terrorist attacks along the Nepali border, and whether I’m bringing too much stuff, I get a little nervous about leaving the comforts of home. But these risks are just part of the adventure, and part of the journey.

Many people have asked me, why? Why am I taking this time off? Why am I willing to take these risks? Maybe because I have reached a comfortable place in my life, need to examine my past and contemplate my future. (Read: Mid-life crisis) Maybe after 22 years of struggling with unfulfilling work, I’m just a little tired of the rat race and need more than two weeks vacation to revitalize my life or improve my attitude. But to be honest, I don’t really know the purpose of my trip, but all the circumstances came together to make this possible. I think it would be imprudent not to take advantage of this opportunity.

I don’t expect that three months lying on Balinese beaches and climbing the Himalayas will change my outlook or make my life complete, but maybe it will. At least it will be a different experience. I do know that I will miss my friends and neighbors and wish that all of you could come along with me on this once in a lifetime trip. Instead, you can live vicariously through me as I recount my experiences to you and I in turn will take with me the memories of all of you.

I will have limited access to my email while I am traveling, especially in Nepal (no, I’m not bringing my laptop.) Feel free to write, but know that it may take some time for me to respond. If I have your mailing address, I’ll try to send a postcard, but there are no guarantees. Mail from some third-world countries is sketchy at best. And all my best intentions may fall by the wayside if I’m just having too much fun.

Thanks to all of you who have helped to make this journey possible. See you next year (or sooner).

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