How to Dismantle Your Life

 Tickets have been booked, bags have been packed,

goodbyes have been said, and jobs have been quit. 

Leaving is the hardest part of travel.  You have to say goodbye to everything that has become familiar and comfortable to you, and you have to dive head first into the unknown. But it is that foray into the unknown that makes travel so exciting.  And you have to remember that no matter how difficult it may feel, leaving everything behind is in reality, fundamentally, very simple.

How to dismantle your life in 3 easy steps:

  1. Quit your job.
  2. Sell everything that doesn’t fit into your backpack.
  3. Say goodbye and leave without looking back.

Its that easy, and at the same time, its that goddamned difficult.

I don’t leave Raglan for another week, but one by one the pieces are falling into place… or maybe all the pieces are being systematically dismantled.  Yes, I think that is a better metaphor.

I’ve been living in Raglan for something like six months, and in that time I’ve set myself up with a temporary life.  I have my job, my local café, my friends, my drinking buddies, my house.  And now that I’m finally leaving, I have to figure out how to disconnect again, to let go and let myself get swept up by that itinerant  wave, propelled by the freedom and adventure of travel – and already I can feel it in my veins.

But the initial disconnect, as always, is difficult.  First you have to make the decision, it’s a mental step, but in many ways it’s the hardest.  Once you’ve actually decided to leave, then the catalyst has been set into motion and everything else just happens – as I said, the pieces are systematically dismantled.

You quit your job, you start to cleanly sever your social ties, you say premature goodbyes and exchange Facebook emails and photographs, and you start to pack your life away again.  I’ve been sessile for a while now, and as always I’ve collected to much touristic shrapnel for it all to fit neatly into my backpack.  So now I’m faced with the cathartic process of deciding what stays, and what goes — what to trash, what to donate, and what to send home to mom.  This keeps life simple and I like it that way.  Even though it’s a difficult process, it’s a necessary part of this nomadic life.

So, it’s all winding down and wrapping up now.  It’s like last call at a crowded bar – the lights are on and no more booze is being served, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s time to go home, and it never really does.

Not that I’m really going home yet anyway.  I’ve booked myself a one-way ticket to Sydney, where I’ll bum around for a while and catch up with some old Aussie friends, making my way up the Gold Coast to Byron Bay where I hope to catch up with Lou, Robin, and even Courtney.  The plan (albeit brash and misguided) is to find some under-the-table cash work in Byron, cleaning toilets or washing dishes, whatever comes my way – I’ve been considering busking (that’s street performing for those who don’t know) for a bit of travel cash – I really should put my juggling skills to good use.  I’ve just got to earn enough money to fund a month in South East Asia and a plane ticket back to Los Angeles in June.

Anyway, it’s all happening now.  The New Zealand government is lacing up its boots, ready to give my American ass a swift kick out the immigration floodgates, but the road is calling my name and the next chapter is already being written.

Time to move.

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