So, why are we doing this?
The mission statement may not be fully worked out and articulated. And it may change (midtrip, post facto, if we have kids). But, for now, here’s what we’re thinking.
To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.
~Charles Horton Cooley
It’s not meant to be a thrill a minute trip. We’re already pretty good at being busy. 2010 started for us in Morocco. Since then we’ve hit DC, New York, northern California, Philadelphia (twice), and Chapel Hill. We’re excited to slow down, even if that seems an odd thing to do a world away. We’ve got plans. To not do much. To spend a day reading. To take long walks. We both intend to work. We both are looking forward to reconnecting with things we like to do: play instruments, draw, cook. We hope to do day trips on weekends and explorations on foot during lunch or on an evening walk. But much of our time will be normal time. And it will be a simplified time: a smaller living space, less gadgetry and clutter, no mail, fewer clothes.
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you
like people or hate them than to travel with them.
Early on, being able to travel successfully was a barometer for a potential life together. Being able to comfortably travel far and wide gave great confidence in what we were building. So, according to Mr. Twain’s duality, we liked each other. We talked about the potential of living abroad very early in our relationship…in a hypothetical world what would be possible? With planning and vision, it should be possible. And that’s where it likely would have stayed. A hypothetical to do when we weren’t planning a wedding, or moving, or busy, or had kids. Then, steps were taken and momentum built. We are not insanely wealthy nor do we believe in ultimate sacrifice. Instead, it was about decisions that we had control over to make this possible. Last August Brett started freelancing. Brett beginning to work from home and my teaching calendar opened up the world of extended travel.
The goal, then, is to do this yearly. To try someplace new for a month or more and again create a temporary home. As Tom Robbins wrote in Jitterbug Perfume, to realize there’s a There out there. We’re excited to explore a city or a countryside and to have a favorite coffee shop or running route. We figure we’ll learn about a new place, about ourselves as individuals and as a family, about our place in the world, about community and home.
And then to come home to our lovely new house full of stories and food and vim. To enjoy gadgetry and clutter till the next year rolls around.