The Final Countdown

30 Sep

There’s an 80s song stuck in my head today. And I know exactly why (for a change!).

It’s The Final Countdown by Europe.

Shannon, who is asleep in my guest room as I type this, having completely checked out of her apartment, leaves for Europe tomorrow.

She has a countdown timer on her blog, which has been slowly but surely ticking off the days as she made all kinds of preparations to get ready for the trip.

It was really weird to see it at ZERO days! When I did a screen shot so I could show the timer, there were just over 17 hours left. Now it’s down to 16:47:03.

It really is the final countdown. She flies off to Barcelona, Spain tomorrow morning. That is in Europe, by the way. So, see? My song of the day really does fit!

We’re really going to miss her, but are very excited that she gets to do what many, many people only ever dream about. I’ve already told her that if she meets up with someone and tries to stay that we are going to hunt her down and drag her back.

I got to test-fit her backpack last night. It contains all the stuff she’ll need (hopefully) to get through the next year. She’s been very thorough in her preparations. She’s been fully immunized. She’s hooked herself up with a huge network of folks at Couchsurfing.com, which is basically people from around the world who have agreed to let complete strangers sleep on their sofa, in a spare room, on the floor, whatever, at there place for a night or two. She’s equipped herself with a satellite tracking device so that if she can’t get to a phone or computer, we’ll still be able to tell where she is.

In other words, she’s really ready. As ready as she’ll ever be, anyway.

Jack Kerouac would say “crash at their pad” or some such dated expression. Who’s he? He wrote On the Road, which is touted as one of the most important novels of the century. Though I’d been wanting to read it for a while, when I finally tried, I couldn’t get into it because of words like “threads” and “pad” and other hooey from the Beat generation.

I bring that up only because I really am a nomad at heart. And as much as I’ll miss Shannon, I look forward to following along on her voyage of discovery. Her crazy, solo, backpacking trip around the world.

I’ll be taking her to the airport before the crack of dawn tomorrow.

Wow. This is really happening.

As a friend of hers said, “How exciting. How exhilarating. How enviable. How BOLD.”

This friend of hers has always had a way with words. So I’ll quote him again in closing, because he really did have the best parting words for her…

“Godspeed as you traverse the map, safe travels as you find new adventures, and warmth as you find yourself; the self we know and love.”

One thought on “The Final Countdown

  1. But apparently I'm not prepared enough. I didn't pack socks because I'm only taking flip flops and hiking sandals, but Laura informed me yesterday that I MUST have socks in case my feet get cold while I'm sleeping. So. . .can I borrow a pair of socks? You know, for like a year? 🙂

    He'd probably like to hear that you say he has a way with words, but you left out the best part of his quote, lol.

    Btw, I think I've been saying "wow, this is really happening" to myself over and over again for the last couple days now. I wonder when the feeling of surreal-ness will turn into real-ness. . .

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