Like most things in cycling, bicycle touring can seem overwhelmingly complicated or difficult to the novice. There seems to be an underlying fear among newbies and confirmed gear-geeks alike that some part of the trip will go NOT according to plan, particularly if every aspect of the bicycle and bicycle accessory package is not "dialed in" to perfection. And if the trip doesn't go according to plan, well, it would be really, really bad! Or worse! Right? We seem to forget that, at its core, bicycle touring is just riding a bike. Sure you're carrying the stuff that you'll need for a few days, but otherwise, it's still just bike-riding.
There is a lot of focus on gear. The internet forums are full of arguments about which bikes, which tires, which racks, which panniers are best. Analysis paralysis sets in, and then you spend so much time agonizing over which panniers to buy, and then worrying that some other part of the ensemble is sub-optimal, that you never quite get around to actually doing the bike trip that inspired all this angst in the first place.
Last year we had this windblown character come in on a really beat-up 1970s French bike (more racing bike than touring bike), loaded far in excess of what the bike was designed to handle. A quick glance at his bike revealed numerous areas of concern to bike mechanics. More glaringly bad, even, than all the worn/corroded/gunked-up parts, his tires were shredded, and he had numerous worn-out "spare" tires coiled up and strapped onto the heap of gear that was bungee-corded onto his rear rack. When I pointed out some of my concerns about his machine, he casually let me know that he had crossed the continent on his rig more than a few times, and was in the process of doing it again. I'm sure he had mechanical problems and other equipment difficulties from time to time, but he seemed to prefer to deal with those issues as needed, rather than worry about problems in advance. Clearly, this fellow is sort of the opposite of the guy who spends countless hours poring over internet forums analyzing and comparing specs of one high-zoot rack vs a similar high-zoot rack.
Then there's Nick Lubecki. You should click the link and read the 2005-ish article about him in the Dirt Rag archives. A lot of people can't get past the fact that Nick sometimes liberates his dinner from dumpsters behind pizza parlors. But beyond that cultural quirk, he's a guy who is having amazing and wonderful adventures on his bicycle without losing a lot of sleep over what people on the internet will think of his equipment.
This is the year to do it. You aren't getting any younger.