I just finished listening to the audio book The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with HarperLee by Marja Mills. In it, Harper Lee, famous for writing one bestselling novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, explains to Marja Mills that “journey proud” is the feeling you get before you take a trip, the sleepless nights, the planning, excitement, anxiety all wrapped up into one Southern term.
“Journey proud” I am. “Journey proud” I’ve been for over a month. It’s currently 4:30 am, 3 days before my return flight to Malaysia, and I’m awake. Before I left Malaysia, I was “journey proud” for both my return to the United States and our upcoming retirement ride. After I arrived in the US I blamed my sleepless nights on jet lag and I’m sure that was the case for a few days. But it wasn’t until I heard the term “journey proud” while driving 80 mph on I-80 across brown, dry, barren Nevada, that I had a name for my ailment. In my journey proud sleeps, I’m packing my panniers, planning trips to REI, wondering what I’ve forgotten, and frustrated that I haven’t been able to improve the appearance of our website.
So, here I sit, propped up in bed, in a hotel room, somewhere in Oregon, heading back to Washington, where I’ll leave my truck and dump my excess baggage. I’m mentally organizing the next few days, trying to empty my mind, knowing I need some sleep. I’m “journey proud.”