I'm sitting at SFO waiting to board my oversold China Airlines flight to Taipei. It's been a hectic day of final preparations, packing and cleaning my flat. Over the past few years I've developed a ritual of doing a really thorough cleaning before departing for a trip so that I've got a nice clean place to return to. This time though, it's essentially a move-out cleanse, as my subleaser takes occupancy tomorrow for eight months. He will have a spotless, sparkling flat to enjoy in the morning. With my place comes Velcro, my beloved 15 year old cat, whom I've raised since he was a tiny kitten. Saying goodbye to him was so hard tonight- we have a strong bond, as his name implies. This week has been all about goodbyes- I gorged myself on my favorite San Francisco food, toured Golden Gate Park, saw my godchildren and my best friends. I surfed crappy Ocean Beach one more time, visited the yoga studio, I spent time with my dad and I chilled with Velcro…a lot.
I've packed minimally- a carry-on sized backpack and a 'man purse'. I've got all I need and probablytoo many clothes and first aid supplies, but I feel prepared. Well, I feel prepared from a gear perspective and a bit unprepared for the uncertainty that comes with traveling. I think cleaning my place today helped me to clear some room mentally and emotionally for what's to come. Until April, goodbye San Francisco…you'll always be my home.