In most of my worldly pursuits throughout my life, from the first day at school to the first day at work, from the driver's license test to coping with my first hangover... all of these things bear a common trait. In approaching all of these activities and an endless array of others, I've found a modicum of comfort in taking time to talk to someone else who has had that experience before. Nothing makes you feel better about going into a potentially stressful situation than discussing the best way to approach it, so as to minimize those pesky nerves. Here's hats off to my sister, Lela, who has taken this role of "wise elder" for me on many past occasions.
This is different. The plan that we're about to execute is a pretty original work of art, which unfortunately means that while we've accumulated a plethora of advice with regard to visits in specific cities or regions, there's really nobody to talk to who has done exactly what we're about to do. Scores of spectacular travel stories exist on the pages of books and the internet - but there's no precise precedent for our trip.
There's a lot that comes with packing up and leaving - and even more that comes with packing up and, essentially, spending the summer as a homeless man. And we've done just about everything in our power to maximize the quality and enjoyability of our coming venture.
But man, am I nervous.
It's the anticipation to dwell among some of the world's most breathtaking scenes, that makes the anxiety diminish somewhat. It's the excitement before exploring vast, unfamiliar city streets and their every unique corner. It's those deep, dark feelings that flash across my mind, longing for a beautiful experience from the past that I can't seem to recreate, or even clearly recall. This trip will open up a flood of new ideas and memories that will change the way I look at the world, and move my life in a way that I cannot begin to imagine today.
And together with Joey and Sarah, the three of us will keep each other in line and on track for a flawless road trip on each and every level. If I didn't trust in that, I wouldn't be going with them.
We leave tomorrow. I hope you'll check in frequently over the next 100 days; it's going to be amazing.