A Night Before Departure

So finally it’s here. I’m done all the prep work and I’m only one night away from departing on my dream trip. As little kid would say – only one more sleep before vacation. I felt really excited. I’ve been waiting for this moment and now it’s here. I called Lisa to make sure I could still catch a ride with her to the airport. In order to have plan B in case Lisa doesn’t work out, I’ve looked up the schedule of Sky Shuttle service to Edmonton International Airport. The closest stop one of the shuttles has to my place was at Ramada Hotel on Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton. It’s the beginning of their University Route – one of three different routes Sky Shuttle covers in Edmonton. The cost was only $20 and they run once every 45 minutes starting in very early hours (only once per hour on Saturdays). This was a solid back up as taking a taxi cab from where I live in NW Edmonton all the way down to YEG (Edmonton International Airport) would be way too costly. It’s about an hour long drive.

After a few phone calls (Lisa is ridiculously difficult to get a hold of – she doesn’t have a cell phone, just a home line), Lisa picked up and assured me she’d be at my place at 7.30am (I beat her to ensuring she’s here). It was her day off so it worked out perfect. She also said on the phone that a friend of her would come along, but her friend was 17!

I went for a walk to Westmount Mall to get myself a couple of organic peaches (I only buy organic) and a chocolate bar as that would be the last food I’d eat in Edmonton. I got back and went on a computer to do one of the most important pre-departure steps – send email to my supervisor at work. Despite countless connection problems with my wireless internet, I got that email sent eventually and made an attempt to sleep. It was already after midnight but my body felt wide awake.

I lay in bed for about an hour and seeing that sleep is nowhere near, I turned the laptop back on. After spending another hour messing around on the internet, I made one more desperate attempt at sleeping which failed again so I got back on the computer for the third time. It was already after 4am when I eventually felt a bit of tiredness and crashed.

I don’t think it was the excitement of upcoming travel that kept me awake. I don’t know what exactly it was. I have never been big sleeper and I think it was the fear of not getting enough sleep prior to departure that made my mind believe it was going to happen so it did happen.

When my phone rang at 7am, I could not get myself to get up. I assumed that Lisa would not show up exactly at 7.30 anyway, so I spent another 15 minutes in bed trying to struggle through my losing battle of getting up. I eventually did, but was too slow getting going and then bang – Lisa knocked on my window. She in fact did make it to my place precisely at 7.30. Damn.

My Friend Lisa

I’ve had this weird relationship with Lisa for years. It’s hard to call it a relationship as we have never really been a couple but we’ve always been reasonably close. I met her in a club shortly after I’ve realized the toll corporate lifestyle has taken on me and decided to change my life and make it exciting once again. I was glad to see her as it was a while since she came out last and I wanted to tell her all about how I realized how worthless a life I was living and what I was going to do in order to change it around. But when I suggested going for a walk so I can explain myself, she turned me down thinking I had some side intentions. It was funny cause I really wanted to tell her everything that kept me excited and sharing this excitement would make it double.

She eventually agreed to go for a brief walk around the building with me so I got a chance to at least suggest that I’m looking to take a whole different approach to my life. As the time went by and I got much closer to polishing up the strategy of my new start, I called her to see if she’d be up for supper so I can sit down with her and follow up on previous brief introduction to my lifestyle change. I believed it needed more explanation as by briefly explaining that I’m gonna leave work to travel may have left wrong impression that I have gone mental. Unfortunately, I was not having any luck getting a hold of her on her phone for weeks.

It wasn’t until one week before my planned departure that I called her number and she answered. I didn’t even know what to say I was so surprised she picked it up. There’s been nothing but answering machine lately and I don’t talk to the answering machines. I briefly stated over the phone that I was leaving in a week and that there was no knowing when or whether I will be coming back. I thought it would be a good reason to go out one more time to enjoy the meal together.

She responded by reminding me of a terrible meal experience she had when I went to dine with her last time. It was the day before leaving for the Dominican Republic. I thought she over reacted as it really wasn’t that bad, but I get it that she didn’t like the food. However I did not even remember that anymore and she kept it in her mind and based her unwillingness to go for supper with me again on that. Duh!

I promised her we’d go to some nice place, such as Padmaradi – a vegetarian restaurant in China Town in Edmonton which is really awesome. And so we did. It was mostly a monologue on my part and I wasn’t even sure if I was making any sense to her. I had a lot to talk about. I actually realized how this reasoning behind leaving the corporate lifestyle and how it turns life into a miserable grumpiness and switching it for the lifestyle that brings daily adventure and excitement was difficult to explain. I saw it clearly in my mind, but putting it in words was failing and seemed like it didn’t have the beginning and the end and the stuff between was all over the place.

I find the same difficulty trying to explain my reasoning in words here. It is as clear as the sky in my mind, but often I fear that I don’t have the right ability to put my thoughts on paper without making myself sound like I went mental.

As I sat with Lisa over a bowl of nice coconut rice with fake curry chicken and fake beef, I spoke and spoke, presented one argument after another and despite being unsure if I made any sense, Lisa ensured me that I was making perfect sense. I already had most of my stuff stored with Dave and only had a few left over to take care of and Lisa in all her awesomeness offered assistance in that regard. I was also offered help taking care of checks that would be sent to my mailbox from my on line ventures. We made arrangements that I would give Lisa the key from my mail box, she’d get the mail and if there are any checks, she’d deposit them for me. I already knew from my bank that during my physical absence, other people can deposit checks that are made payable to me into my account provided they have my account number which needs to be written on the back of the check. So I would just need someone reliable back home to have this taken care of. Lisa offered to be the one.

Lisa has also offered to store the rest of my items I needed to keep and as form of payback for her services, I ended up giving her a lot of my possessions she really wanted. It worked out perfect. I wanted to unload myself so I can travel, she needed some items cause her job doesn’t pay that well and she can’t afford them. So I gave her whole pile of stuff and she’s gonna look after mine while I’m gone traveling.

Further to that, Lisa offered to give me a lift to the airport on my day of departure. That basically took care of most of the issues that needed to be taken care of and I got whole couple steps closer to leaving. Lisa kicks butt.