So, she's given her notice at work and Sunday is her last day. Looks like she's really going to do it now. For several years Ameranth has planned to walk across America with her dog. The plan has had numerous revisions spanning the far-fetched idea of gathering like-minded folks (there are more like her?) to join her walk (ala Forrest Gump, I asked?) to the more realistic (?) idea that her soulmate will find her on the trek(because that kind of guy would think like me, Mom).
And for several years, I repeat her plans to people and see them react one of two ways. Typically any parents or other grown-up type people are horrified and concerned. Younger people or single males think it's great, although they caution her to bring a gun, which horrifies her.
But I could always laugh it off, knowing it would happen in the far off future, if ever. Now, she has money saved, she has her starting date and her dog, which she chose 2 1/2 years ago expressly for this trip. Anna has her pack and both have been in training, taking walks with practice loads. Today, Ameranth told me she not only ordered new glasses, but a year's supply of contacts as well. People, she's serious now. I can no longer pretend it will never happen.
Ms. M is not happy with her, Shoeshine is jealous, and I believe that while Sectaurs does not think it is a rational plan, he is also ready for her and her dog to move on, and his ladyfriend and her cats to move in.
As the Plan gets closer to implementation, I find I have conflicting emotions. Naturally, I think she should keep her job and not traipse across the country, practically inviting weirdos and kooks to track her down and attack her. On the other hand, she's a grownup and doesn't need my permission to do anything. She's intelligent; has ADD and social anxiety and 3/4 of a college degree; takes good care of her dog; is a vegetarian; attractive; funny; and adventurous. As silly as this sounds, considering what I've written here, she is sensible and down-to earth, well, about most things she is.
Ideally, she would like to have people follow her blog about her trip, get hooked on her and buy the book she wants to write afterwards. She has a netbook or whatever those little laptops are called and plans to email a friend of hers, who will update her blog. She is also planning to email the friend, and me with her whereabouts each day, "so you'll know where to start the police looking if I disappear, Mom" Hardy har har.
I do understand how she feels. Like her life is kind of stagnant and she should do something soon, before she turns 30 and "has to settle down and be normal". As if.
In my early 20's, before I met J and knew he was the one for me, it seemed as if everyone else in the world knew what they were doing, where they were going, and has someone to go there with them. #2 had his girlfriend, # 4 had a steady boyfriend, and #3 had gotten married as soon as she turned 18. I was alone and lonely. I had dropped out of college after 2 years and at a loss for direction. I looked into the Peace Corps, but I knew the same social anxiety that made me leave college would never get me on a plane to Africa.
Ms. M did go into the Peace Corps, after she graduated from college, and spent 2+ years in Moldova. I didn't like having her half a world away, but we all lived through it. Shoeshine joined the Army, and the 82nd Airborne and went to Kosovo. I really didn't like that! Both of them made those decisions on their own, and I don't remember either asking 'permission'.
I applaud Ameranth for her courage in taking this step, even as I wish she wouldn't. Well, I don't really wish she wouldn't- I wish that she has a good time and meets only friendly, helpful, non-freaky people. I want one of those umbrellas that insurance company uses in their ads, to hover over her the whole way and keep her safe.
There are still a couple of weeks left before she leaves, so who knows what will happen. I was happier several weeks ago when she said a dog-walking acquaintance had offered to drive her to Albany, since she was having trouble finding walking trails across MA. Her first destination is western NY, where her writing friend and blog updater/ is graduating from college in May. That means she can follow the Erie Canal walking paths and it's only 300 freaking miles. Now, that dog person moved sooner than expected, and is no longer in the area. We'll see what happens, I told her I could always drive her across the Hudson to her starting point.I was hoping that walking that far would be enough, but she is still planning to continue. Curses!
Oh and by the way, not that I think any of my readers are wacky killers, but just in case, don't even think about trying anything! You'll never track her down.And she will be armed with pepper spray and a very ferocious dog!
I, however, am considering implanting a homing device when she is here before she leaves. Do you think that could be done in her sleep without her knowing? That and a portable web cam, though I guess it would be hard to count on WiFi along the trails.