I arrived yesterday in San Francisco !
The whole trip was a blur, to be honest. I was pretty tired after the last day in the apartment, making the final boxes and closing down everything. With the excitment I barely slept before going to the airport… at about 5 am the next day.
There it was a rush to register, find a bike box, fit the bike inside and register it, and then waiting for the plane. It was a connection through Amsterdam : 3 more hours total, but 500 euros less, with the direct flight ticket going up 200 euros a day (thanks, air france). The final flight itself was long but uneventful, which is how I like them. I might have slept one hour somewhere over Canada. I also got to watch “the wolf of Wall Street” on a screen smaller than an ipad.
Retrieving the bags was easier than I thought, although moving everything at the same time (with the bike box at about 2x1m) was complex. Going through the customs was also pretty easy, I simply explained I was going to travel the US, and I got a six months stay ! Finally it was just a matter of finding a taxi that would be large enough for the folded bike – the box had to be discarded at this stage.
And here I was, a couple hours after the landing, in downtown San Francisco, with about 3 hours of sleep over the last two days. I was in a motel room, and my whole life was fitting in two bags, one box, plus a bike.
This is when it started to dawn on me : I was going to be away from home, away from any friend, jumping from one unknown place to another, for the next 5 or 6 months. On top of that, I had no more family to speak of, or home, or job, to go back to.
At this moment, I felt very, very alone. It wasn’t to the point of panicking and booking a flight back – I was way too tired for that. But this is when the “jumping off a cliff” part really started to feel real. There was no more ground under my feet, and the air was accelerating pretty fast.
It also didn’t help that the last I’ve been in SF, which was probably 13 or 14 years ago, I remember feeling very alone, for completely different reasons.
But between these two dates, something unbelievable happened : the internet exploded 😉 Now I can connect with people through a smartphone with the mail, facebook, skype… That helped a lot. It was a good idea not to start in the middle of Kansas.
And today, I’ve put my bike back up and started biking around, but that will be another story 😉 …