It's funny, I keep going from incredibly excited to incredibly pessimistic about this trip. Went through a terrible pessimistic streak the last day or two, wondering why I want to do this again, why I'm throwing all this money and career advancement out the window just for the sake of going back to a continent that I've already explored the bejesus out of. Especially when reading what's going on, not only in Tibet proper, but also in a large part of Central China, which could force me to take a massive detour. (see this article on the BBC and this Lonely Planet Thorn Tree posting). Not that I mind taking detours, but that takes me out of the highlands, which was a completely new culture and landscape that was fresh and exciting to me, and into the polluted dregs of mainstream central China, which, while they'll all be new cities, I feel like the Chinese city tour is something of which I've already had my fill. Add just the standard pre-trip "do I have everything I need" anxiety (not to mention finishing my taxes and finding I owe well into five figures) and I was pretty in the dumps.
Hmm, I was going to say I rode my bike around a bit this morning and got all excited again. But now after writing this ... hmm.