“Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea:
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar,
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.”

– the Hobbit walking song.

Today I put foot to a new road; beginning a quest largely into the unkown. Today I set off in a direction not found on any compass or map, as this journey is not a journey that is about the place I set my pack as much as it is about the experience of leaving my “feather-bed of civilization”, my comfort zone that has been safely padded by the things of which I’m familiar. It is about venturing into a world where my success or failure will largely be dictated by the circumstance I find myself in, and my ability to adjust and adapt to it.

Some have suggested I will go only to find a world similar to the one I know. Geographically, and perhaps to some extent culturally, this may be true; I come from one of the most diverse nations on the planet. But the exploration of myself and my abilities that I will tap to survive cannot be learned here. And it is with that in mind that I begin.

“A tree as great as a man’s embrace springs from a small shoot; a terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth; a journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.” – Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching.

I’m up early and hoping the few hours I have before Dana, Vanessa and I head to the Buffalo airport is enough to put the remainder of my things in order. I will have Internet access for at least the first week or two of my journey, and as such, will update as much as possible.

With all the well wishes that I’ve been given, the one that I will have the hardest time with, but will also try hardest to live is a piece of wisdom that CJ has tried hard to carve into me. Life, or at least my life, always seems to revolve around obtaining a goal or reaching the next marker in my quest for happiness. In my rush to get to where I’m going, I worry I’ll miss the journey itself, and experiences aren’t made by goals, they are made in the search for goals. It is with that in mind that I go forth and find out what my world is made of. Don’t wish me luck, or good fortune, for I do not need either of those things – only hope that one day you can join me, for it is not this place, a lack of money or absence courage, but the people that I love that will again bring me home.

See you all in a few months.

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