"Going, going, GONE!"
It was two years ago—August 25, 2009, to be exact—when I left my home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And when I say home, I mean both hometown and house. My house. The first place I had bought, on my own, and lived in for 10 years, making bi-weekly payments on the mortgage and monthly payments on just about everything else that went with the joys and pains of being a homeowner. Curse you, oh flooded basement.
Yet even though the house had provided a tremendous sense of being grounded, despite its incessant water issues, it was time for me to go, to leave on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. I felt like I had been through every job (and man) my heart desired, or at least wanted at the time. If I didn't leave Halifax now, I'd forever be stuck in a world of woulda, coulda, shouldas which, to me, was unacceptable.
So I sold the house lock, stock and two non-smokin' sofas, packed a couple of suitcases and headed out on the road to pursue my ultimate dream. The dream? To finally finish writing the book which had been in the back of my mind and on the tips of my fingers for over a decade. Or was it two decades? At this point, did it really matter? I just needed to stick to the plan I had envisioned.
The plan itself was to fly to Italy, write an international best seller, meet a nice Italian boy, and live happily ever after, clichés be damned. Except at the second-to-last minute, I decided to get there by going west. Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, because even a 4th grader knows that it's quicker to get from the east coast of Canada to anywhere in Italy by crossing the Atlantic Ocean versus the Pacific route. In fact, it's shorter by about 27,000 kilometers, give or take a few clicks. Obviously my procrastination knew no bounds. Or time zones.
Eventually, I arrived in Italy via planes, trains and automobiles—and helicopters, buses, ferries, subways, hydrofoils, trams and camel. At a good guesstimate, it only took about 51,000 kilometers and 14 months, with stops in 127 cities across four continents, with some adventures-never-to-be-written-if-I-want-to-run-for-politics occurring along the way. But hey, as both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Steven Tyler so aptly said, "Life's a journey, not a destination." So let the journey recap begin...and screw political office.
Starting today, and every Thursday hereafter, I'll be posting a very short story for your (hopefully) reading pleasure. Each story will correspond with what was happening to me exactly two years ago to the week. For example, next week you'll get to read about one of my adventures in Edmonton—be it having a Big & Rich time with the scribes of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," getting caught in an appropriately epic thunder and lightning storm at an AC/DC concert, or appearing on the jumbotron in front of 31,000 fans at an Edmonton Eskimos game. Any preference, people?
Then seven days later, I'll be posting something about my arrival in not-so-sunny Seattle. Possibilities range from collaborating with Hector the one-armed Mexican gardener, tailgating at a Seahawks game or my first foray into the excruciating world of online dating.
For those of you who have been asking, constantly, if the book is finished, please don't consider this is another attempt in procrastination. The book's a comin'. Think of it as a companion piece—an amuse-bouche, if you will—since both the book and website share the same name.
I give you, Life From A Broad.