Gift from my team

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It’s been a crazy week. On monday we signed the divorce papers at the notary office with my ex-wife. On tuesday I got to the US embassy to request a visa (I forgot to setup the alarm and woke up only 40 mns before the entry time, but still managed to reach the other side of Paris in time !). On wednesday I signed the departure deal from my work, and sent a goodbye mail to about a hundred people in the company. On thursday we signed the divorce papers at the lawyer’s office. And on friday I had a farewell at the local pub with my former team. Today I also went to the bank to announce all the changes and plan ahead. I plan to rest tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ (actually no, I’ll start posting the ad for selling the flat)

Parting with a job you’ve had for ten years is quite something, and when I sent the goodbye mail I felt the pressure mounting : that was it, I was gone. The kind answers I received, mostly from old-times colleagues, were heartwarming, and it softened the moment. I’ll probably come back to that along the journey.

So, on friday evening I had a gift card for a sportsware shop from my former team, that was a great gift ! I had already started buying some stuff on my packing list, and I’ve been browsing most if not all bike shops from eastern Paris for a couple of weeks now. So I knew very well what I would buy.

So people, your gift card transformed into a lot of useful stuff : 4 tshirts, a rain pants, a bike cleaning kit, a bike repair kit, pant clips, and mostly a bike computer that will certainly help me ride faster ๐Ÿ™‚ That covers almost all of the “asap” buys that I wanted to do. The rest of the packing list will be bought with two other deadlines : the “go” code, in about a month, when I’ll be sure that I can physically do the ride (I’ll mostly buy a new bike then), and the “camping” code, when I’l start testing camping outside (and of course I’ll be buying all the stuff linked to that + panniers or trailer, still undecided there).

The thanks here go to Julien 1, Julien 2, Marie-Cerise, Boris, Adrien, Salomรฉ, Manou and Fabien ! ๐Ÿ™‚

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What am I gonna miss ?

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This week I am starting to prepare moving out of my flat. I will put it on the market in a few days. Hopefully I’ll find a buyer before I leave for the USA, otherwise my ex-wife will continue the process. In any case I have to weed out most of the stuff, as I dont want to rent a big self storage room. Ideally, I’ll put a few boxes here and there in friends’ basement ๐Ÿ˜‰ The rest, I will give or sell.

Most of the furniture I’ll offer along with the flat. And so the first thing I’m going to miss is certainly the couch pictured here ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a great, comfortable couch, very large, especially for only one person ! I followed a strict diet a few years ago, focused on proteins, and strangely I dearly missed crunchy stuff. I was only eating meat and soft food, no biscuit of any kind. After a few weeks I was feeling like a crack addict in prison. I can sense, writing in said couch, that during the outdoor camping nights I will miss not having a firm and comfortable seat.

Second thing I’ll certainly miss is the very large shower. You can get lost in it ๐Ÿ™‚ Staying a long time in a hot shower rain is a luxury that I enjoy as much as possible. I often feel like the whole civilization process has lead us to this point, and we must benefit from it as long as it exists. I’ll miss it as I probably wont have a shower everyday ๐Ÿ™‚ That will be a big part of the adventure. In the same area, toilets will also be missed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Having a double bed, being indoors, sheltered, in a quiet place (at least as long as the upstairs neighbours are not waking up…), I’ll probably miss, but I’m pretty sure I will be so tired every evening that I will be sound asleep quickly whatever the situation ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sure I won’t miss the television much, on the other hand. I had a few periods where I didn’t have one, and you can get used to that in a couple of weeks. Internet, not so much… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll get my hands on a e-reader soon to see if it replaces books well enough.

One thing I will NOT miss is the one hour of ironing every week end ๐Ÿ™‚ Which turns into two hours as I forget to do it regularly. Frumpy lifestyle, here I come !

 

This was the material list of what I will miss and not miss. Of course, I’ll miss not getting to see friends now and then. If I keep the planning of about 5 months of riding, this’ll be the longest stretch of time being away yet. I spent a year on an exchange program in Leeds, UK, and as I didn’t know anyone, the first three months have been quite difficult. But here I’ll be in holidays, moving from place to place, meeting new people if only to ask for directions or a place to sleep. And as much as I like the UK, the weather shouldn’t be the same ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

The biggest change though will probably NOT being on a regular schedule anymore, not having to wake up, go to work and come back, having free time to watch a movie or a series, etc. I’ll be completely free to press forward or stay in the same place, and decide where to go next. I’ve read on other blogs that the total liberty and flexibility provided by a bike ride is exhilarating. I have never experienced that before, and I’m looking forward to it ๐Ÿ™‚