Back from Boston/NYC/Glenview/Lafayette/Berea/and onwards. Visiting engineering colleges with Melanie, including the long conversations about everything that come on long drives; swinging through my parents' house and my apartment and Matt's place down in Kentucky once again, and then off she goes to Seattle, and off I fly to Manchester tonight, and a flurry of getting-ready because Sumana and I will be hiking across England for approximately the next two weeks and then I'll be in Germany until immediately before school begins...

...all of which goes to say I've accepted that my online life is probably going to be radio silence for a while, and I give myself permission to accept that and be free of it. It's okay if I don't write everything down; I always can, but I don't have to.

I'm checking to see if I can get away with bringing no electronic devices other than my hearing aids. My mom says I should bring my dad's old iPhone to use as a wifi-enabled device that also happens to play music and have a compass; we'll see. I was hoping to do the no-bag hike-across-Europe (with one of those jackets with bajillions of pockets) but a non-broken jacket of the proper size/style did not arrive in time, and my old jacket doesn't have enough pockets, so I'm toting my tiniest backpack, which allows me to bring a 2L camelbak.

But do I get a bandanna and/or flashlight to put in it, now that I've got slightly more room? Also under debate: haircut before I leave? But really, there are bigger fish to fry, more important things to do before I leave, and that's what I should spend the next few hours on -- getting my affairs in order so that when I travel, I feel truly free and unobligated.

I'm off, then.