Sleepless in Jordan

January 18, 2011 10 Comments »


Mongolians on a bus, sleeping like babies...

What are the odds…I am in a remote eco lodge in the middle of the dessert in Jordan; surrounded by goats and Bedouins that I run into someone who knows about and is planning on doing the Mongol Rally? Seriously.

You might think this chance meeting is a good thing….unfortunately it wasn’t. Don’t get the wrong idea though…the people were absolutely lovely and very cool and adventurous. It wasn’t them, it was me.

Let me back up two days. I read Deb’s latest post on our lack of time to prepare for the Mongol Rally. She started her post by saying that we only had 199 days until the rally. Once I read that the stress started to build. Shit…only 199 days and we’ve done practically nothing to prepare. Calm down, calm down…at least that’s what I tried to tell myself. Then I lay in bed that night trying to fall asleep; but lay hopelessly awake thinking of all of the things we haven’t done yet and don’t have answers to. It built into a giant ball of sleeplessness and stress.

The next day I woke up and contacted Dave, Deb, and Rick and tried to set up a time to meet. This isn’t an easy process…we are now located in Thailand, Jordan, and Atlanta; this isn’t unusual at all, it’s normal for us. I figured out a time we could skype, sent a them note, and started working my ass off on trying to get some more sponsor letters out and thoughts down about fundraising. Here’s a little secret about me (though not a secret if you have actually worked with me before) – I love lists…but I suck at getting the things on the list done. Regardless…I had a good day of crossing things off my Mongol Rally list. However, I still wasn’t tackling the big stuff like:

  • Raise a minimum of $10,000 in charity donations (yes…you read that number right…)
  • Figure out how to get/buy a car
  • Figure out where to store the car in Europe
  • Figure out how to modify the car so that it has a hope of making it to the end
  • Figure out what paperwork we need for the car (insurance, title, etc)
  • Figure out how many visas we need based on our route and how to get them
  • Figure out what gear we need and how we will get it to the UK
  • Figure out our detailed route and research the border crossings
  • And on, and on, and on…

(if anyone has any suggestions, friends who live in London & are car experts, or if you are/or know an advertiser that is looking for a cool sponsorship that will reach millions – PLEASE share with us!)

Later that afternoon we all met on skype in our various time zones trying to get a bit more organized in the 30 minutes we all had available. I left the conversation feeling a bit better…but knowing that the road ahead of us was long…and yes, we were behind.

The worst thing that can happen when you have project management in your genes is to be behind. It haunts you. I fell asleep again that night thinking about the rally and how in the world it would all come together amidst a busy travel and work schedule in 2011. 2011 may just be my demise…at least that was my last thought before I fell asleep that night.

feynan candles

Relaxing candlelight at Feynan

Then I arrived at Feynan Eco Lodge in Jordan’s Dana Reserve; an idyllic lodge in the middle of nowhere without electricity. It was the perfect place where I desperately needed to stop thinking about all of this. I was looking forward to simply having a clear mind and being unplugged. I started talking to the other 4 guests who were staying at the lodge that night.

We talked about travel and eventually the Mongol Rally came up. One of the other couples immediately knew what it was and said they were planning on doing it in 2012 – they already had a team in the works. They proceeded to tell me they had access to an ambulance, had checked what it would cost for overseas shipping and had planned a tentative route. Did you catch the part that this was for 2012????

My head was spinning…shit….what are the rally gods trying to tell me. We are doing this in 2011 and they already have more figured out than we do for 2012…shit, shit, shit.

Now here I am again…up….thinking about it. The only silver lining is that at least I’m thinking about it by candle light, in a gorgeous lodge in the middle of Jordan.

If you haven’t seen our new Mongol Rally Team website – check it out here!

Or if you’d like to help us put a dent in that $10,000 number, please consider donating to this great cause at Donations for the Social Media Syndicate Mongol Rally team.

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