The month of September has been chaotic to say the least, last weeks of work, couch surfing due to ended leases, saying goodbye to scattered friends and family, planning and buying gear for a year-long trip. When I think back, in a way it was preparing me for this upcoming year.
I worked until September 16th leaving me a week and a half of “downtime” which I assumed would be relaxing, but relaxing wouldn’t be the right description for those 12 days. It’s likely that I wasn’t in the same area for more than 24 hours, bouncing between both my parents homes as well as the Doyle household, which is practically a 3rd home. I ended up in Boston for our going away party (which I wish was longer) and in Fitchburg where we played paintball and celebrated Tim’s birthday. All this while going to stores and doing hours of research online. It was a jam-packed 12 days that I wish had been more like 20, since I wanted longer goodbyes with some and there we plenty of people I didn’t get to say goodbye to.
Saying goodbyes were not easy, everyone was extremely encouraging and offered advice or a possible contact in one of the locations I’d be. You can’t imagine how many times I heard “you’re going to have the time of your life, I’m so jealous”. As much as I appreciated that, I had to think about all the times I heard of friends and family traveling and all the times I was jealous. The idea that I’ll be gone for a year still really hasn’t hit me even as I’m on the plane to Peru, so saying goodbyes felt strange to say the least. Luckily technology will keep me updated with friends and family as I’ll only be as far away as the wi-fi.
The process of researching and packing for a year was much more difficult than I imagined. I have a 65 liter hiking backpack and I needed to be able to fit everything into it. I set a budget of what I thought all my gear would cost and definitely went over it. Certain things I splurged on, certain things I realized I would need in the last days before I left. I feel confident I have almost everything but I already know there are things I’m forgetting (won’t be the first, won’t be the last). Over the past 3-4 months I’ve researched what gear I’d need, I read top lists of gear (tents, sleeping bag, clothes, boots) and read hundreds of reviews. Some of my gear ended up being gifts, I got an awesome drawstring bag from Puli (my college friend Chris Puliafico if you haven’t heard stories) that has a Sasquatch and the quote “not all who wander are lost”. My coworker Phyllis gave me a leather journal (that looks like it’s from the lord of the rings) and a fountain pen. William Taylor the King of Essex gave me a travel belt that I’m sure will be utilized.
The past couple days before my flight it was difficult to distinguish my emotions, anxious, excited, scared, stressed, relieved to name some of the major ones. A month-long basic itinerary followed by 11 months of “places we want to go”. I have been daydreaming about a world adventure pretty much since I graduated, although the itinerary has changed exponentially over the 2-3 years, I’m ready for the dream to become a reality. Thank you to Allison, Bill, Maureen, Evy, and Katherine, my loving family who have encouraged me every step of this pre-journey and I’m sure will follow every step of the actual journey until I am home. Thank you to grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. I miss you all already and wish you all good luck in the next year.
-William Tyler “TDubb” “Sasquatch” Weihs
P.S. Yes the title of this post is a Green Day song, I’m toying with the idea of my blog titles being song names. “my signature” to differentiate my blogs