…were usually Greg’s first words when he called me during the intensive phase of our search for my 170 after a hiatus of a couple of days.
Well, the search has been over for a perceived eternity, so that now – what with all that “stuff” happening since – it might be you, the reader, friend, follower, to ask that question.
And every once in a while I ask myself..
A couple of days after my return to Patagonia withdrawal symptoms aggravated the travel-induced climate change from late summer to late winter.
No more flying…
That is: no more looking down at possible off-airport landing sites, no more looking up at threatening, or inviting, clouds, no more looking around for a well hidden fuel pump, no more looking outside for a first glance of weather before making coffee, no more looking inside to confirm my level of bliss with the course of events before going to sleep.
An obvious, albeit temporary cure for C170 deprivation could be to look back and write a trip report. That helped only for a couple of days. Once I had submitted a short piece including several photos to my favorite forum a longing frustration came back.
There is only one more remedy I can think of which is to start planning the next trip.
Now it wasn’t at all clear to me when I started this project that there could be more than one journey. Where should the money come from, I thought, once more falling victim to my old fixation on scarcity…
But two things happened during those five weeks of preparing and executing my first voyage:
#1: although the Cessna was essentially ready to go there were a number of things to replace, add-on and complete to make my expedition more enjoyable or easier and perhaps a little “safer”, and all of them needed more dinero than I thought I’d use. Ditto for my camping gear…
So I got used to pulling out the credit card – and “delaying” worries about its frequent use…
#2: after returning to home base I was so enchanted with my experiences that I considered every penny – ahem, every hundred dollar bill! – spent an expense with incredible return on investment and decided to (try, at least) not worry so much about the shrinking balance in my bank account.
Ok, so where should I go next, and when?
Once the gates were open, so to speak, to imagine one more tour, why not two more? There is so much to see, so many beautiful places to visit and many more friends anxious to see me with my bird that I can’t do it all in one big circle.
That, however, brings up the issue of maximum stay in the US on a tourist visa. It’s the canonical consecutive 3 months, ok, but how many of those 90 day visits per year? And for how long does one have to leave the country to “reset the counter”?
When I accidentally hit this topic with a friendly immigration officer last year he recommended to apply for an extended visitor visa. So I’m looking into that now.
The routing of my next adventures?
Well, I have some ideas – stay tuned!