The expiration of the 2014-2015 school year occurred two days ago, and I await my departure – only ten days from today. This means that this neurotic has just spent several Saturday hours building a day-by-day itinerary. It alleviates some of my nervousness. I’m not anxious about the newness or foreignness – at least, mostly not of that. I experience actual angst, however, that I’ll fail in my mission. I want to write. A lot. It’s kind of the whole point of the trip, as everything that I’ll do in those 42 days will contribute to that end. I worry that I cannot recreate the inspiration and dedication I found last year in Berlin. I fear running out of willingness or of ideas. I am not lacking in either today. But who knows how I’ll feel on, say, July 3rd? Making the itinerary takes much of the uncertainty out of an inherently uncertain set of circumstances. Moreover, the procedural aspects of it take my mind off of my fear of failure.
Here is what I have created to assuage my fears: page one is a list comprising every date, identified by numbered day of the trip, and a note in brief (e.g. “Day 1: June 23rd – SLC > PGH”). Each of the five following pages includes only action days. Under each bolded and underlined date and day number (to be easily associated with the list-in-brief at the top), I’ve got detailed notes including addresses of hostels, train numbers with schedules, walking directions from train stations to places to sleep, booking confirmation numbers, and other essentials. When I print it out and bind it, I’ll have a handy notebook to which I can refer along the way, and I’ll always know to where I’m headed (whether or not I have access to the internet).
Next up: Packing. Four days worth of clothing, a rain jacket, a few cords and plug converters, and a toothbrush.