Well Ive finally left the six one tray. (613 for the non-gangsters). The first step in this very long journey. It was a sunny Sunday morning. I had a good sleep and I awoke buzzing with excitement. I threw on a few pump-up jams to get the blood flowing, although it was already coursing. Where the streets have no name by U2 allowed my mind to race, and I envisioned all the things I would be doing, or hoping to do. After finishing my final packing, last shower, peanut buttered toast and writing my goodbyes, I set out, leaving the knee-deep snowbanks, frigid people(not from the cold) and mundane Ottawa scenery. It felt right. I had a few final errands; I stopped by the construction job I had and quit to fund this big ol' trip, collected my pay and say 'smell ya later'. It was a good gig, the guys were cool and the bosses cooler. (We were rennovating the Elephant and Castle in the Rideau Centre.) I got to work with a good buddy of mine, and it paid well enough to get my last things, plus the first bit of my half-decade of travels. The camera shop I wanted to grab the lens I had on hold was closed, so I took that time to wander Bank St one last time, absorbing all that I could, as I knew when(if) Id see it again, it wouldn't look the same. I had a Nalgene bottle in a pocket on my pack filled with my hygiene kit. It must have popped out along the way, because I noticed it wasn't with me waiting for the bus. I was more bummed than Tiger Woods' wife upon discovering this... Not a publicly failed marriage, but still a big bummer.
I experienced an emotional rollercoaster on the way out. It was ups and downs, highs and lows. I couldn't be more excited at the thought that I was finally doing this; an immersed world tour, travelling the globe on a shoestring with a camera. Everyones dream, right? The documentaries planned are going to rock the world to it's core, and it also gave me chills. I would get jolts of excitement thinking of all the people I will meet along the way, things Ill do and see. But on the flipside, I was leaving my best mates, the closest thing I have to family aside from my sister. They have been there for me thick and thin, and supported me and my crazy ways. I always knew before this trip in the back of mind, that it could very well be the last time I ever see them, as the nature of this expedition will throw me into uncontrollable situations, and that thought alone provoked emotions of 'miss' and 'homesickness'. I don't normally get all mushy gushy,(at least Id like to think so) but Id be lying to say I didn't have a feeling in my stomach and heart that fought the good vibes. To be blunt, I was going to miss the boys and of course Major Dazer. To me, home is where you make it, and they were home for me. I actually had to keep the 'peace out letters' short, for fearing of a watery substance from my eye corners.
I rode the 97 Bayshore out of the city, and I stared back at the skyline while the warm sun heated my face. It was bittersweet. The last time I would see Ottawa, (my home for the last 4 years), for a very long time, but it did feel right. When I could no longer see the government offices jutting the sky, I turned and opened my book Ross Kemp on Gangs, and let my music overcome my thoughts.
When the bus pulled into the last stop, I grabbed my heavy pack and started hiking to the highway. Then a wave of completely different emotion rushed through my veins as what I was doing finally hit me.
It was chilly, but I was breaking sweat. Thoughts of intimidation, nervousness and fear mixed but I was ready for it, and I walked down the 416 shoulder, to pick my initial hitching post with a jubilant gait, if I may say so myself.. I found a lovely bit of indistinguishably indifferent pavement, and heaved my pack down. I pulled out a camera, snapped a quick shot of my shit-eating grin, and stuck out the thumb.
The emotion I was feeling was indescribable. Euphoric would be the closest. Here I was, finally starting my much talked about trip(not really though, as I was heading to Toronto for 2 days to visit my AK) nonetheless, it was starting.
The people passing me matched the Ottawa demographic to a T. Some curious, some offended. Some shocked, some intrigued. Noone cared, noone stopped. I was dancing, singing at the top of my lungs, waving and acting like a kid on Christmas. I chose not to have a sign, as it was only to Toronto, and I had all day to hitch.
It also proved I didn't need one, as not 20 minutes passed until a white Ford Explorer pulled over, reversing to my spot.
"Hi, thanks for stopping, where you heading?"
Perfect, 20 minutes waiting, and Ill get there in one shot, before dinner time.
I climbed into his warm SUV, introduced myself, and told him he was the first on my trip. I summed my trip into a nutshell, and it raised his brow. He then told me he was a film producer/director, and owner of a youth-targeted television channel. (!!!!)-I don't make this stuff up, I swear!- We talked nonstop for the entire trip, and long story short, hes going to help me out along this trip!
Everything DOES happen for a reason. There could not have been a better candidate to pick me up unless it was the inventor of teleporting.
I'm not going to go into detail of the trip, as I am meeting with him this week to discuss potential opportunities. I will let you know how it goes.
Anyways, there's the brief update; I'm downtown Toronto for at least 2 days, where Ill be fine tuning my boat travels and media sponsors. Oh and getting rest and AK inspired shoulder rubs, as my pack is well over 70kg. Ill be shedding weight shortly I'm sure....
I have a few things to post, they'll go up tonight.
Ill also sum up the plans, as they might not still be crystal to you guys yet.
Peace out girl scouts.