- Packed? Check. (for a year!)
- Passport? Check.
- Gadgets? Check. (wow, I really didn't realize how many of those I have; iPod, Kindle, laptop, phone, Fitbit...)
- Handed off to my replacement? Check.
- Said Goodbye? Che.....
I approached this move in as Agile a fashion as I could. I like to practice what I preach, so I had a planning session with myself once a week (and sometimes included my husband though he thought we were just chatting) to ensure I wasn't missing anything; wrote my stories and moved them across the task board--To Do, In Progress, Done.
It worked pretty well and I felt far less stressed and worried than I could have, given the enormity of the task (moving to the Philippines for a year?!). I knew I had things covered and was delivering as consistently as possible, even giving myself leeway to regroup if I discovered something wouldn't complete within the timeline. And so I arrive at the point of departure.
I leave the country on May 17 and though it is coming closer and closer, it still seems a little unreal. I have traveled out of the country before--for several weeks to Europe--but that was 20+ years ago. The world has changed a lot in that time.
Due diligence? Check. As a traveler, leaving my country of origin for an extended period of time, I want to learn about the country I'll be living in, so that I have some idea what to expect. Acceptance Criteria: Watch YouTube videos, join ex-pat forums and search the internets for all the information I can find.
I know what I should and should not do. I know what type of living arrangements are available. I know what transportation is best, and where I will most likely find the things an ex-pat might want or need. Do I know everything? No, but that's part of the adventure.
My brother-in-law Rod used to say 'the adventure doesn't begin until something goes wrong' and 'the journey is the reward, not the destination.' I'm taking that to heart as I head out because I don't know everything and will definitely have to wing some things. But that is part of the Agile practice; begin with what you know now and evolve as you move through the process, gaining feedback and learning more as you go.
My excitement is not dimmed, my expectation that this will rank as one of the best decisions I made in my life continues, and my certainty that I can spread the Agile love is unabated.
I will miss my family and friends enormously but look forward to the new friends I will meet on this journey; as well as the stories to tell, photos to share and memories to relive.
So this is not goodbye, but Hanggang sa muli!