Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sabbatical begins!

In less than 3 hours our trip commences. I've spent the past 2 days stocking up on cool new camping gear including stoves that can accept any form of fuel (alcohol, methane, kerosene, etc.), liners for sleeping bags, new ultra light and tiny Thermarests. Decided to stick with the classic tent (11 lbs…ugh!). Also got a pair of 12-mile Motorola two way radios in the event we misplace each other.

It was weird, looking back at the buildings on my way out of work. I just kinda stood by the car for awhile and looked out across JF. I remember when I started: there were 3 buildings, the 4th was under construction. Now there are 6 including the new IT building. I found it far more emotional than I expected. So much of who I am, and what I define myself as being, has been created within those buildings, meeting rooms, hallways. Work is not what I imagined it would be, something adults do drudgingly. Instead, the people I work with, they are my friends. My closest teammates, we have been together locked in a decade long dance in and out of each others groups, teams, and projects. We work together, we play together, (and sometimes, even create a kick butt dodgeball team, booyah!). You look so forward to going away for awhile you forget that you are actually going to MISS people. Fortunately, I’ve gotten to spend the past couple days with friends around town and say good-byes before the trip.

They say sabbatical changes you. Everyone comes back different, take radical turns in their careers. And some don’t come back at all.

Next update will be sometime after our 26 hour flight to Auckland. But first, an overnight stop off to see one of my closest lifelong friends and his family in LA. A perfect way to get this adventure started!

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