One vivid aspect of travel is departing.  This may entail tearful farewells — not applicable to my rather self-sufficient life — but it always involves cleaning up loose ends and putting things on hold.  This latter factor depends a lot on the length of the trip.  Not much needs to happen for a one-week trip, but a lot of things have to be arranged when you’re planning to be away for two months (the longest time I have spent outside of Greater Boston in my life).

Disentangling is further complicated in this case by the fact that my roommate’s parents will be staying with him in our apartment while I’m away.  So in addition to emptying the refrigerator and the trash I’ve been emptying drawers and putting clothes etc. into storage.  That in turn has had a disagreeable resonance with the similar tasks I had to do in January after my father died.

Yet for all its annoying aspects, departing also has an aspect of freedom.  I feel a bit like a reptile who is shedding his old skin and emerging renewed to enter into another phase of life.  I don’t really know what pleasures, pains and challenges this next chapter will bring.  But it’s enlivening to leave my familiar and a-bit-too-comfortable Cambridge apartment and see what it will be like to make my way for a while in a foreign land.