Wow, we are almost there: the house is packed; our bags are packed; and we leave for the airport in a few hours.
It has been an crazy few months preparing for this day. Way too many things to do and way too many loose ends to tie up before leaving the country for year.
On the plus side, through the process of leaving jobs, packing up the house and saying goodbye to so many amazing friends, I am reminded of the great life we have been so lucky to have here. I too often get lost in the busy routine of daily life and fail to really enjoy myself. I suppose that is the first big hope for this trip: to break routines and habits which support, but also tend to limit our lives here, and allow us to come back home refreshed, able to more fully appreciate what is now so familiar, and possibly even to try something new.
I do expect that we will come back to San Francisco and resume similar paths here. But I am also hopeful that the trip will have opened enough space for us to at least be able to consider something radically different…I don’t know, maybe we buy a farm somewhere and grow beets and run a bed-and-breakfast in the farm house.
Traveling will certainly be hard at times. We will get home sick, we will get on each others nerves; 13 months of just me and her will really put the marriage to the test. But I am confident in us. And I look forward to the extended time together focused on the same things: moving slowly, seeing places, meeting people, eating and drinking, studying Chinese, caring for each other through the inevitable bouts of food poisoning, and adapting to life with only those possessions that we can carry on our backs.
And, of course, after 15 years of work without a vacation longer than 10 days and several weeks of intense planning, preparing and packing while managing a series of home repair/improvement projects…I am ready for a break and ready to just have fun for a while. I look forward to our first month on the road where the big decisions of the day will be: on which gorgeous beach should we park the camper van tonight? And: which tasty cut of lamb shall we BBQ for dinner?