The Independent newsroom, Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 18.44pm
It’s my last week in the office on a sticky but grey London day and I’m waiting for the final four stories to be filed by reporters before we can put the first edition of the paper to bed. Strange to think this time next week I’ll no longer be a national newspaper journalist; I’ll be a sea gypsy living on a boat somewhere off Borneo.
On Sunday I fly out to Malaysia to join Steve (and his cat) after answering a “crew wanted” advert on crewseekers.net. We haven’t actually met yet as Steve lives on his boat in SE Asia. There’s not much of a plan beyond that – I’ve handed in my notice, rented out my flat, packed up my belongings and am camping out at Lou and Dan’s house (thanks, guys!) while I spend a final week saying goodbye to everyone I know in London. It still doesn’t feel real, though.
Not sure how I am going to fit everything into my bag to take with me – in addition to clothes, sunscreen, books, laptop, etc, I also have a lifejacket (but minus the crucial gas canister as Air Asia won’t let me fly with it), cat flap, 40-pint beer-making kit and two sporks with me. All of this is essential kit for living a life as a bum hitchhiking my way around the oceans, apparently.
Steve called me this morning to ask me to book a flight to Kuching instead of Miri from Kuala Lumpur, so we can take in the beautiful national parks before we start our rally in Miri on July 24. I don’t really know where I am going or what I am doing but I’m going to have a ball finding out.