Last Week in the States

Firstly, we hope all of you reading had a Happy Thanksgiving. We are very thankful and grateful for all our friends, family, good people we've met along the way, and all of you reading this blog. Holidays aside, we should always take time to reflect, have gratitude, and share the love. The world can be a wild and sometimes scary place, but it's all easier to manage when we are in it together. On Wednesday, November 22nd, the world lost another great person. Will Gordon, grandfather to Hannah and Abbie Gordon and father to Mark Gordon, passed away at the age of 89. He was a Professor of Business at Bluefield College in West Virginia from 1962 - 2002. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2011 from BC. Will was a family man and a devoted Christian. When it comes down to it, him and his late wife, Betty Gordon, are exactly what the world needs more of. He will be missed sincerely by us, his family and friends, and everyone who had crossed paths with him throughout life.

T-minus 5 days until departure. It's all happening now! It's officially crunch time and time to wrap things up here in the States. Perhaps in the spirit of giving thanks and extending gratitude, we're going to start off with shouting out some of the things we will miss the most. Let's begin with the City of San Francisco and our neighborhood that we've grown to love, the Inner Richmond. We've been spoiled and very fortunate to establish ourselves in a social, economic, and political bubble that is San Francisco. Specifically, we will miss the close sense of community that we've grown into with the Inner Richmond. Whether it's Canard at Health Spirits, Betty at 936 Hair Design, the daily rotating beer selection at the Richmond Republic Draught House, taking out the best Burmese food at Burma Superstar, or the tastiest apple fritters at All-star Donuts, we are going to miss knowing and being known by our neighbors and over indulging in the finest things in life. We will miss the music scene in the Bay Area and being spoiled with awesome venues and shows happening every week. Most importantly, we're going to miss our friends and family. This will be the biggest difference in both Hannah and I's life. I remember moving to San Francisco in 2013 and I remember how bittersweet it was leaving our WVU college friends and saying goodbye. I remember moving to SF and not knowing anyone. Now we have a large and close group of friends here with us in SF, along with friends and family scattered all across the United States. It's definitely a similar bittersweet feeling. However, this is in no way good-bye, just see-ya soon(ish). We hope to keep in good touch with everyone and hope that some of you even make it halfway across the world to visit us.

Okay, enough with the sentimental words. Let's talk about the trip. We thought it would be interesting to share our inventory list. Now if you read about gap year travel tips, one of the most common tips is to take everything you've packed initially and reduce it by half. I didn't follow this tip because I'm stubborn. I need to experience it for myself. Hannah did pretty good at this. I suspect I'll probably end up ditching some stuff along the way or shipping a box of stuff home after traveling for the first couple months. My big backpack weighs about 60 lbs. Hannah's weighs less than 50 lbs. This is what we will live with for the next 330 days.

So, what's next? The apartment is now clean and completely empty except for our travel bags you see above. Tonight is the last night at 320 11th ave. We hand in the keys tomorrow and will officially be taking on nomad status. On Friday, I have my last day of work at Off the Grid. After work Friday, I'll have the Mountaineer packed with my most prized belongings (snowboard, bike, guitars) and I'll be driving to Denver to put the vehicle and the prized possessions into secured storage. This will be the last American road trip for 2017. I'll be truckin' to Salt Lake City, which is about an 11 hour drive, and I'll be crashing with my buddy, Matt. Saturday I'll head to the Colorado Rockies and the goal is to post up in Vail and find a mountain with some snow to ride Sunday before heading to Denver. Otherwise, I'll be meeting up with some good friends in Denver by Sunday. Hannah will be in Bluefield, WV with her family for her grandfather's funeral on Saturday. On Sunday, Hannah will fly back to San Francisco. I'll return back to SF the next morning. Monday will be spent doing last minute tasks followed by one last dinner night with all our best friends. Early Tuesday morning we catch a flight to Auckland, NZ where we'll begin the adventure!

Check in next week before our departure where we'll share our New Zealand itinerary and fill everyone in on how to best stay in contact with us while we're traveling.


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