Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Journey begins...

Rumor has it that one’s trip really doesn't happen unless you write a blog about it (what happened to the days of intruding your friends, families and distant friends e-mail account with a lovely impersonal mass e-mail?) and after planning this son of a bitch for what felt like 20 years, but was actually only 2, I figured your god damn right I’m gonna write a blog, bad back and all:) So here we are in blogville, which I've creatively named after my arrival and destination cities, crafty eh?

(WARNING - For those of you who are just looking for cool/fun/interesting information regarding my trip – please respectfully skip this section and for those of you who have some time to kill, get the tissues ready :)

Speaking of that 2 years of mayhem that led up to this trip I’d like to throw out a few (OK ...a lot) shout outs to those who have honestly made this endeavor possible for me (I feel like I’m accepting an Oscar for Christ sake).
- My parents, although they have questioned my sanity on several occasions (and their own sanity for paying for my college education) have been very supportive in my extended sabbatical from “the real world”.
- The same goes for my brother, sister and sister in-law, who have allowed me to lean on them on several occasions especially when it came to family gift exchanges such as (don’t read this Mom) Mother’s Day, the (don’t read this Dad) upcoming Father’s Day etc. And have been very giving hosts when I’ve been passing through the windy city.
- The 30 or so Doc’s who have prodded (not the prostate exam sort of prod you sicko’s) at, inspected and attempted to (and in a few occasions actually did) help my ailing back. The most important (and of the few successful) of those being Jordan (paid sponsor - Proformance Rehab in Eastlake (206) 322-2842...j/k) who honestly didn’t give up on me regardless how shitty my attitude became (i.e. “What the hell do you mean I’ve ‘re-herniated’ my back, you’ve got to be F-ing kidding me!”)
- Torrie (K.U.–wana). It was my honor to serve for over 1 ½ years as her “Manny” (definition: part man, part nanny) for her little rug rats - Tilda-girl, Kramer - the 20lb thoroughbred of a feline and to the silent meow master, Tigger, may he/she (the gender thing is a long story) rest in peace.
- The spark plug who sorted through the chaos that my trip planning had become and helped finalized this adventure for me, major props to Ms. Natalie Collins. When I say finalize I guess that could also mean f-ing endless calls to the airlines with ridiculous hold times, non-stop support, and that trip to Maui 2 weeks before I left, wasn’t so bad either :) (see the above mentioned K.U.- wana for the other half of that going away present)
- Jimbob (yes, that’s his real name), the resident master of the shire (definition: his basement with 5ft 9inch ceilings) for which I lived for 6 months. JB helped see me through my financial woes (i.e. free rent) after I retired (without a true financial retirement) from corporate America.
- And to all of you who listened to me bitch, complain, whine and cry about my god-for-saken back for the past couple years this includes, but isn't limited to “everyone’s bud” Dustin Vanlue, the fuseloge of the landhawks-Jonathan Fussell, Kyle Ozzzzwald-who was instrumental in preventing me from sitting at home feeling sorry for myself on the w/e's , the chairmen of my “don’t pack so much shit” campaign & "don't just sit on your ass all the time" influence - Aaron Wiehe, humanity’s women of the year 5 years running – Ms. Amy Conner, the folks at Plymouth Poultry who were unbelievably supportive of my adventure to Africa (regardless of the number of complete meltdowns I had while working with them:), my good buddy Brian Marks, my boy Curtis who was there with numerous motivational speeches for me, my soon-to-be fellow Pac NW buddy - PJ, the Laoation lover – Pie, my hommies back in J-burg and last, but certainly not least my good friend and traveling buddy who continues to inspire me with his "I'm going to kick my brain tumor's ass" mentality as he battles on with his fight against the 3cm diameter tumor in his head - my thoughts are with you Dugan!
As you can see (for those of you that have made it thus far) I’ve had an endless, and life altering amount of assistance in my struggle (i.e scratching and f-ing clawing type of struggle) to get over my back injury and make this trip happen! There is no way I could possibly think about mentioning my trip without touching on the impact these people have had not only on this adventure, but also my life! Many, many, many thanks and now it's onto exploring Cairo!

17 Comments:

Blogger BTS said...

Donger,

I have a lot of respect for what you are doing. Even though I gave you a lot of hell about it while you were here. I hope all goes well and you have safe travels. Frank from Fou Lee called and wanted to say he misses you. I have adopted him in his time of need. I told him you will get back in touch with him when you get back.

P.S. - Make sure to keep your minister lisence (or whatever you call that) up to date. I will be needing your services when you return.

Buy Low Sell High,
Scott (AKA B.T.S.)

May 17, 2007 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger Trent said...

Nice - I'm in... How frequent are these updates coming in? Are you wireless capable, or at the mercy of internet connections as you find them?

Some of the peeps already may know this, but since I haven't caught up w/ ya for awhile, how about laying out the "projected itinerary" for the whole trip - it'll be interesting to see how close you stay to it!

Good luck, and safe travels.

T

May 17, 2007 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger Kim Hunter said...

Brandong,

Thanks for sharing. I am so happy to hear the flight went well and your journey is off to a good start. We miss you around the office though. Have fun and be safe!

Love,
Kim

May 17, 2007 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Baldy said...

Dude, congrats on escaping to explore new worlds. Hopefully the back will cooperate. As somebody who has also "shirked the heavy mantle of comfort" and left it all behind to travel for a bit, I applaud your decision. We will go on with our mundane existences here in the states while you become richer in ways we cannot pay for with money. Godspeed my friend and "watch your six." (which means cover your ass in military speak; I got it from my brother)

Baldy

May 17, 2007 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger dugan said...

"Ohh Brahndone! You so adventurous." This will really be the trip of a lifetime. Im infinitely jealous that you are kicking my ass from a travelling perspective. Kudos to you your taking off on this adventure with your flimsy back - it may be exactly wht you need to recooperate for awhile. If not, at least it will lay the foundation ofa a good medical emergency story. I hope you send along lots of photos of wild animals and inappropriate tribal boob shots. I will be waiting anxiously living vicariously through your adventures. Stay moderately safe and meet lots of cool kids!

Dugan

May 17, 2007 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Robyn G. said...

Hey Bran,

Glad to hear your back survived the adventurous flight! We can't wait to hear the stories. It was a blast having you in town for a few days. Have fun!

Robyn

May 17, 2007 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Ozzzwald said...

Goughice,
Glad to see the flights were to your liking. Congrats on the start of your adventure. In addition to all the other qualities I admire in you, this ability, to see life from perspectives which few ever see, is amazing. I wish I had the stones to do it too. Instead, I'll do my part to save the world, one prescription at a time. Stay safe and report back often.

P.S. Where did you want me to send Gigi? I heard your nights might be lonely!

Kyle

May 17, 2007 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger cassie said...

Donger, (AKA, Brandon)
Glad to hear you made it safe and you haven’t forgot us yet! Keep us posted on your travels, if not at least let us read your daily “or hourly” journal once you return. We miss seeing your smiling face everyday at PP.
Take care, Cassie

Ps, have you shaved your head yet?

May 19, 2007 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Hi Brandon!

So it's a small world - I ran into Brian Marks at Home Depot a few weeks ago and he told me about your travel plans! This is amazing -- I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear about your journeys along the way!

As with Trent, I'd also love to see a "projected itineray" so I can track you on my Africa map (seriously, I have one hanging in my office).

I will be in Africa a few times this summer for work (likely Uganda, maybe Kenya, Tanzania, and definitely Nigeria (although that's a bit off your path). I'll let you know when I go - it's pretty doubtful we'd be in the same place, but very cool if it worked out that way!

Well, be careful and enjoy your travels! Blog frequently!

Kristin

May 21, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Rory said...

Gougher,

The Gaunt family is all jacked up about your trip. We will use your blog to teach Anita about the African Continent... She mentioned the other day, "I haven't seen $hit so far, daddy." I told her to stay tuned.

You have some great inner - MOTO flow'n right now. Can't wait to hear about the journey.

Ror

May 21, 2007 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I am glad to see you have a plan, but don't focus too much on it. As American author Greg Anderson once said “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
Also, no picture will truely capture the experience you will retain for the rest of your life. So don't worry about getting the 'perfect picture'.
Have a good time,
Jeff

May 22, 2007 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Curtis said...

Gough,
Dude, rock on in Africa. (I've always wanted to say something like that)

Enjoy the summer of a life time. The States will always be here so take your time and live it up.

I'll look forward to checking in, in between dirty diapers and baby burps..

Take loads of pics and I can't wait to hear your tails from the homeland.

Later,

Dirtis

May 28, 2007 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger RZ said...

Brandon, finally took some time to read all this...WOW pretty impressive. Did you know you can buy throw away cotton underware? Travel safe.
Rand

June 6, 2007 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Dennis said...

Hey Bam Bam,
Loved the report, keep them coming. Am sending this to Zach and Andy. We are leaving CO for J-burg in a couple of weeks to see R&L, then on to Nashville. I prefer your humor to the sappy stuff (OK I teared up at the end). Take care, Den

June 8, 2007 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

I did it, Den! Here I am!

Glad to hear it's going well, Brando.

June 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger tito the grand master debater said...

Hey brandon I hope your miserable out there i know i would be..I recently purchased you an economy pack of goldbond I hear the shafing out there is crazy because it's hotter than satan's bungalow. I hear the mosquito's go straight for the nutsack plant a straw and suck them dry like a dirty hooker taking chrome of a trailer hitch...everyone's rubbing your spincter telling you it's a good eye popping heart warming adventure...there just lying.. there secretly laughing at you all the way the way to the bank..I mean if you were smart you coulda just turned the tv on discovery channel and paid ten american dollars to the good ol boys at the ballard zoo and came away with more info and knowledge than a 2 day plain ride to the beautiful barren desert..and besides you cant grab a coke while starring at the stupid tall horses with long necks they call girraffe's over there..It's ok though I bought you a jockstrap so your prepared when I give you a swift kick to your nutts next time you are in the proper hemisphere..And to all you lurkers out there invading on my poetry..don't be jealous because your mom didnt bless you with incredible ass writing skills with the grammar of 3yr old retard with a bib or droul pad to the late person...im not done with you brandon dont get me started i've only begun to unleash my verbal beat down..check ya later loser!!!!

June 16, 2007 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Lamar said...

Richie,

Holy shit...what have you got yourself into .

Looks like a fun trip full of luxury.... I wanna make sure you know what the fuck you are doing out there. Did you take your survival kit and used all bullshit training from your days as a boy scout?

June 30, 2007 at 12:40 PM  

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