After a marathon 26 hours on Monday, this phase of the project is finally over. It resumes in 6 weeks. The evaluation period will take 8 weeks and at this stage, it’s looking like as much work if not more. It depends of course on how many respondents we get but the RFT over all of its components consists of approximately 1000 questions. I’m estimating around 2500 answers in total over the 14 packages every one of which I and the rest of the team will have to evaluate. And some of those answers are going to be very detailed and quite long. I’m not anticipating many weekends free when I get back.
Anyway, as expected, I’m feeling a little flat. I’m writing this from my white airconditioned room in Darwin, about to leave for the airport in 15 minutes. I’m leaving my laptop here and possibly my phone in Melbourne. I’m planning on taking a break from the ‘net and tech in general. I’ll be taking my sketchpad and notebook and some pens when I leave Melbourne on Sunday.
To tell the truth, I’m not much looking forward to leaving. It’s not a nice feeling and reminds me too much of when I left a year and a half ago for the last long trip. Except this time, as well as the fatigue from work, I’ve also got more of an inclination of what awaits me overseas. The rigours of travel in a developing country has never been less appealing to me.
I cant remember the last time I’ve looked forward to travel. There was a time when I felt that a well-travelled person was someone I’d like to be, something to have in my resume so that I could tick it off as something I’ve accomplished, something I could boast a little about amongst my friends, something I could not regret about when I got older.
But it seems terribly empty and meaningless now. Not because it is a terrible or meaningless activity in itself but because I believe now that I’m not the kind of person who can open himself up to new experiences in a way that makes travel rewarding. There are open hearted travelers who connect with locals, who take risks, whose eyes are receptive to the new.
I am not one of those.
I do not trust people enough and the thing is, I do not wish to change, not really. But I’m nonetheless going. The tickets have been bought, the visa safely pasted in my passport. At least it will only be for 6 weeks.