Now I'm into the teens and I've reached that magical part of trip anticipation which my friend Bev has so aptly pointed out is where it hurries up and I need it to slow down. Right now I feel like I have a nice big luscious chocolate truffle in my hand, I want to eat it in maybe two bites, it's starting to melt in my hand a bit, but I want to stop and savor it, and I have to eat my vegetables first. Yes, I want to go quickly, yes I am feeling ready but I just really want to stop and savor it rather than lose these last days to the chaos of getting out the door.
I'm at the point now where I'm starting to think in terms of "one more": one more paycheck, one more haircut, one more run to the pet store, one more "regular" trip to the grocery store. I can also count out other significant milestones: two more full weeks of work, two more weekends at home, three more trips to PT...it's coming.
Wednesday I received the final departure packet from the tour operator. It had finalized hotel and flight details, some restaurant names and the roster of all the travelers on the trip (9 of us). And it occurred to me that these 8 other names were the names belonging to people I'd be spending 12 days with. Some of them may be taking my picture at the Great Wall or Tienanmen Square or holding a panda. We'll be schlepping on and off buses, planes and having meals together. If any of you are reading this after the fact, know that I was excited to meet you. Nine strangers coming together to experience the trip of a lifetime.
My packing pile is growing. As magazines are delivered, I save them. As the cosmetics, prescriptions, new clothes arrive, they just hit the pile. In two more weekends they'll all be landing in the Samsonite. Hurry up...slow down!