19 days and counting. The whiteboard is perched on my desk, less than two feet from my nose. It’s eyeballing me. Somehow. Emblazoned across the top, in angry red scrawl, it screams in my face “TO DO (BEFORE MARCH 1ST)” and nothing more, much as it has since last Monday when I announced this trip without a second thought. Or a first, for that matter.
Attempting to juggle my day job (writer, editor and partner in a new media company) with this project is already causing a strain. I’ve lost one regular writing job and I dare say it won’t be the last. And then there’s the wife. Today is my two-week anniversary, and running away to New Zealand at this point in the marriage is seemingly considered “a bad sign”.
Those number crunchers amongst you will have figured out that less than a week after becoming a husband, I announced I was leaving home for a month. In my mind, I’d talked all of this through thoroughly with Jane and she was very happy to support me. In her mind and, most likely, in reality I’d supplied the headline and skipped over the small print, such as going travelling by myself less than five weeks after getting hitched.
Fortunately, Jane has the patience of a saint having his chest waxed. We have a complicated past that’s seen plenty of heartache and time apart, but in recent months we’ve come to appreciate what each of us brings to the other. She recognises that excitable schoolboy within me who’ll occasionally drag his daydreams into the real world, and she’ll support them without question.
Nethertheless, this latest flight of fancy is unsurprisingly creating friction between us, not unlike rubbing two lions together. The honeymoon is well and truly over.
It may put her mind at rest if there was a checklist on that whiteboard, and to be fair, I’d probably be a whole lot happier about it too. I can think of some very minor, trivial points to add; I need to back up my MacBook in case it’s lost or eaten, and I still need to figure out what combination of video, camera and mobile equipment I’m going to use to record my travels.
So this is where you come in. I’m away from home for a month. I could end up in any town or city on Earth. My new wife needs a sign that I’m not hopelessly inadequate, beyond the substantial character flaws she’s already aware of. What needs to go on that checklist? What do I need to arrange in the next 19 days? Is there anything I should have that may take time to procure?
Let me know in the comments what you think needs to go on that list, and we’ll sort through it together tomorrow.
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