Finally. Finally this blog is back up. Finally we’re leaving for our trip. Finally you can see more than the back of J’s head. Finally.
So before I catch you up, let’s rewind to the last time I posted. I recall it was a hazy day in March. The weather was unseasonably warm. Or maybe it was cold. Anyway, I remember having a sudden realization that our trip was only four months away. I had been bragging about how smoothly our trip planning was going. I was getting extremely excited about our impending departure. We were right on schedule.
Then came the news that J’s project deadline had been pushed back by two months. We couldn’t leave until “late summer, early fall,” he said. He couldn’t provide a concrete date. Suddenly the trip seemed like it was light years away. I started to question whether it would ever happen. I wanted to be flexible but I hated explaining the delay to friends. I felt like that person who was all talk and no action. Another setback in the long journey toward making this trip happen.
So with nothing else to do for our trip for a while, I reintegrated back into “normal” life. I got a contract position in an office. I made plans in New York City. We went on a cruise to play hokey games and ate all that we could eat. I completely abandoned my spreadsheets, this blog, and the online community as a whole. Our original departure date came and went and I still didn’t know when we would be able to leave.
Then finally- finally- J was able to identify a date to leave his company. And I realized we had just a couple of months to get everything in order. And we were off in a flurry of “last-minute” preparations that included not only everything we knew we had to do but also the inevitable unexpecteds. Such as: finding a home for our baby girl while we’re away, fighting with our building’s company to process the paperwork for our new tenant, reconciling all of our finances, putting together wills and getting our families together to sign everything, etc. Etc.
It hasn’t been easy. It’s been stressful and I’ve been surprised to experience a series of “small deaths” along the way. I grew up in a world of constant change and learned to crave it. I went to six elementary schools. I couldn’t wait to leave high school and then I couldn’t wait to leave college. Fresh starts were always my MO. So it’s been surprising to feel such a sense of loss when disassembling the apartment I worked so hard to decorate, when saying good-bye to people, when dropping Sasha off with our friends, when driving away from NYC. It’s strange feeling so sad when I’m finally making this dream come true. But it’s not lost on me that this is a good problem to have.
So that brings us to today. Today we begin our round-the-world trip.
Since we’re leaving two months later than expected, we were faced with the challenge of revising our itinerary so that we were still traveling only to places during warmer months. So while it’s not pretty, here it is nonetheless, in the roughest of drafts.
- Hong Kong
- Elsewhere in South America
- Back home for a couple of weeks to see our families
- Somewhere in Eastern Europe
- Everywhere in the USA
This itinerary raises a few questions such as:
I thought you budgeted for 8 months but you’re going for 10. How does that work? We don’t know.
What countries are you going to in South America and Eastern Europe? We don’t know.
When exactly will you be- Let me stop you. We don’t know.
So while everything else has been organized within an inch of its life- and the infrastructure for our trip is solidly built- our itinerary remains up in the air. We are vaccinated against half of the world’s diseases. We have a full-fledged mobile office. Our families have every bit of legal and financial information they will ever need from us. But we don’t know where we are going and when. And that’s just the way we like it.
So in a few hours, we will be boarding the first of series of flights that will put us in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia approximately 30 hours later. After all of this planning, I’m most looking forward to curling up on the plane and indulging in far too many movies on demand. But after that- let the games begin!