I'm about to do it again. A crazy, 4-month journey to connect with the friends I've known online. It begins tomorrow (see itinerary here).
For the last few weeks I've been expecting home to take on that strange feeling it used to when I left. But it hasn't. Home is the same as ever, and if it didn't change in 7 years away before, then it'll be just the same again when the southern summer rolls around.
I've walked my roads in recent days, pondered at how my city feels different to others I've been in. Bought one last steak and cheese pie (they're hard to find beyond our shores) and sat on a park bench overlooking the valley where I grew up. I can even see the house. The pale sun shines through thick winter cloud, and rainstorms move across the islands in the distance. It will all be waiting for me when I return.
Maybe that's the difference - 11 years ago when I left for Germany, I had no intention of returning anytime soon. It was very final. This time, I know I'll come back, and it won't take too long at all in the grand scheme of things.
There's a good amount of nerves - I haven't done this for a while. With 20 stops and about that many transportation connections to make, something is bound to go wrong somewhere or other. It did last time. I survived.
Am I ready? Not really. But I'm taking on the world anyway, and in doing so, I'll become as ready as I need to be. Inside, I'm giddy at the thought of meeting everyone along the way. I can't wait!
By the time this posts, I'll be somewhere in British Columbia :)