the Long's Strange Trip

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Questing into the unknown...
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The days are flying by, and our departure looms large on the horizon.  It's been an eventful two weeks, including a bon voyage bash and the contracting, then uncontracting, then the possible contracting again of our house.

First, the important stuff.  The Bon Voyage party was attended by many friends as well as family. 

My friends from my hometown of Columbia, Tennessee, Gayle and Mike Parrott, and Tom and Anita Dubois made the trip down for the party.  Wiley's parents also came. 

The invitation instructed everyone to dress like someone from one of the countries where we are going.  Our friend Bob Lutz won the prize for Most Authentic Costume with his Moroccan-inspired gown and fez, and Steve Bennett took home the prize for Strangest Costume with his mummy garb (see previous photo).  Then the interpretation of the invitation REALLY got "out there" when our friends Dan and Therese Clark showed up dressed as aliens.  I think their message was that they wouldn't be surprised if we somehow made it out to outer space on this trip.  Harry and Cristin Zegers showed up dressed and Wiley and Christie Long, respectively, and spent the evening imitating us.  Very strange...  The evening really got going with the whole world drum circle that lasted well into the wee hours and probably kept some of the neighbors up past their bedtimes.  It was a great party, and the only long-term damage sustained to the house appeared to be a particularly stubborn jello shooter spill.  Click here for more pictures and comments from the evening.

The going away party was strange in one respect, in that most people didn't really say "goodbye".  I guess I just didn't get the closure I was looking for, and actually, I HAVE seen most of the people since the party.   Maybe I was expecting something like those people who left on The Love Boat each week experienced.  Whatever - it was a great opportunity to have one last party with our great friends.

We are now inside two weeks to go until we leave on this adventure.  I cannot believe all that we have accomplished this month, and all that we have left to do!  Here's a partial list of the things we've taken care of:

Signed our wills
Signed over power of attorney to Wiley's dad
Transferred all of our retirement accounts and stocks to American Express Online Brokerage
Gotten renter's insurance (for our stuff while it's in storage)
Gotten global traveler's health insurance
Taken the tax stuff to the accountant
Shut down bank accounts
Packed our backpacks
Started packing up the house (YIKES!)
Listed our web site with several search engines
Signed up with a new ISP (
Ditched AOL, AT&T Worldnet, and Mindspring
Put together a photo album of pictures to share with people we meet on the trip
Arranged for an Amazon rain forest expedition, a Turkish cultural exchange program, and a Himalayan trek
Finished up our immunizations

It's funny, I thought that packing my backpack would make me stressed out, unsure what to bring, constricted by the thought of spending a whole year with just a few pieces of clothes.  But it was oddly freeing.  Somehow it felt really good to realize that I was going to be "out there" for a year with just the stuff in that pack.  I will be sure and update you on how I feel after wearing the same black skirt 4 times in one week.

One other thing I should probably bring you up to speed on is that the girl who I referred to in my last entry as the buyer of our home didn't qualify for financing.  So after that episode, the house was BACK on the market.   I really wasn't prepared for how emotional this house sale was going to be for me.   I must remember to detach myself more the next time we do it.  Anyways, as of today we are back under contract with a new buyer.  The closing won't take place until after we leave, but we had already prepared for that possibility by giving Wiley's dad power of attorney, so he'll be taking care of that for us. 

Until next time,



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