Basically three days until we leave and i am JUST starting to feel like I am ready to go. The last few days I have spent gathering all my stuff in a somewhat organized pile and have attempted to pack and repack a few times. I am not so concerned that I will not have enough stuff while we are gone, but more so that I will over pack and end up lugging around unnecessary pounds of gear. I am trying to be very picky in regards to what I put in the backpack that is to become my home for the next 10 months. It is considerably difficult to know what is necessary or not to bring however, seeing as I have never in my life experienced anything like what I am about to embark on. In regards to all the other essential things I need to get done before we leave, such as; making copies of important documents, acquiring visas and insurance, and many other affairs, I am for the most part ready to go. I hope.
For the past week I have spent more time with friends than I had in my entire summer combined. I cannot lie, I have enjoyed the amount of attention showered upon Thordie and I leading up to our departure, however nothing makes me want to get away from this lovely city more. As the days progress I am becoming less and less nervous and more and more excited to go. Having wasted away much of my last days here packing, visiting with people and anxiously looking up too many possible hostels, courses and other adventures for us to do once we leave, I can finally say that I am ready to head off.
I have ferociously been reading a book given to me by my dad as to make a last lump of money while still in Saskatoon. I have spent more hours consistently reading this book (A Short History of Nearly Everything) than I believe I ever have reading any other. It does help that it is exceptionally interesting and engaging, and I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be making money this way. Thordie has also been working very hard the last couple of weeks, although he is actually doing 'work', while what I am doing may not actually be allowed to be called that.
In the last days, I have spent time with many people that I had not seen for many months. I had the pleasure of having coffee with some girlfriends originally from good ol' elementary school days. I got to meet more of Thordie's family at our going away lunch out at his grandparents farm. And I must say, they are an incredible bunch of people, very welcoming and astonishingly easy to get along with, no matter what kind of person you may be. That was a lot of fun for me and I feel privileged to be able to have gone. When it was time to depart, it was clear that as happy of an occasion it is, it was also very sad and most likely difficult for Thordie's family, especially his grandparents, to say adieu. I know exactly the feeling however, as I happen to go through this same thing every year when we leave Greece. Ever since I was brought into this world some 18 years ago, my family and I have spent about a month each summer in Greece. As much as I have a life here in Saskatoon, I also do there. I have probably more family and friends there than I do here. Each and every year it gets more difficult to say goodbye to those people after just a taste of life there for the month. As the years progress it is harder for me to say goodbye, especially to my grandparents as they grow older. Every summer I spend in Greece my Greek gets better and I get more comfortable conversing with all my loved ones, once again making the departure even more difficult, as I am able to get even closer to them. In closure, I know exactly how Thordie's family must have felt saying those goodbye's, and it was scarily similar of a situation that I am used to going through once a year. It is simply a part of life though, and this all must happen as we grow older. Like birds leaving a nest, everyone leaves home to carry on their own lives (although we will be coming back home, don't fret!) and while this is sad in some aspects, it is also very exciting.
On another note, I got to enjoy one last row today, on what was one of the real glorious days of this summer. I spent some time with my dad this morning, and as always he gave me many good ideas for things to do while I am away. Later on I went to rowing for one last time (hopefully just until I return), and I got to row a double with Larissa. It was easily one of the best rows I have had all year. (In exception to the race at Western's when I though my heart was going to fall out of my chest.) John let me pick the workout and declared it my farewell row. Clearly I had not taken into consideration the humidity, and of course I ended up picking a workout that proved to be quite difficult. Typical Dimitra. Although it was quite strenuous, it was truly fun, and how could it not be with my amazing teammate Larissa in the boat with me! Today was a day I will remember when I daydream about home as Thordie and I are sitting in some hostel somewhere halfway across the globe. To top it all off, I got to enjoy one of the nicest sunsets with my parents. As usual my dad took hundreds of photo's.
Monday will be mine and Thordie's last day in Saskatoon until next year. Tomorrow I am going for breakfast with some friends at the farmers market, then spending the day at the 'beach' with some other friends, and in the evening Thordie is having a big going away party at their acreage. Sunday I hope to spend time with my cousins (my brothers), and my parents. The final countdown has come, and I think I can speak for both Thordie and I when I say that we are both as ready as we are ever going to be to leave.