Cheers to the Next Chapter!

Two days ago was the six year anniversary of our family of four arriving overseas with nothing more than a handful of suitcases and stomachs full of butterflies. The past six years have been a double edged sword of emotion and experiences. We’ve had some incredible highs, and experienced things we never would have dreamed of. We never expected to do reconstruction after a major typhoon, work comfortably in impoverished neighborhoods, form lifelong friendships, teach at an international school, run an international company, work in a hospital, or become a paid freelance photographer and writer. On the flip side, it’s been six of the toughest years of our lives. Our family unity has been tested, we’ve missed out on major life events of those very dear to us, lost parents, struggled with burnout and cultural fatigue. Nothing is ever normal, nothing is consistent, and sometimes, a lot of the time, nothing makes sense.

We’ve been a party of two for six months now, and we’re still waiting for life to settle. Truth is, it’s not going to. Ever. And, that’s probably a good thing. As odd as it sounds, we’ve become comfortable with being in unfamiliar situations. The past few trips we’ve taken to new places has offered a confusing feeling. Here we are, in cities we’ve never been to, hearing languages we don’t understand, reading signs we don’t understand. But, there’s an odd familiarity, and odd comfort about it. The unfamiliar has become the new familiar. Who knows, maybe stress is our sadistic security blanket, but stepping out has gained security. Maybe it proves to ourselves that we can be challenged and succeed? I don’t know. But we like it.

When our 20 year old selves envisioned our 40-something year old selves traveling, we imagined two confident, successful people globetrotting, waltzing from location to location. Well, 20 years ago, we had all the time in the world, plenty of time to make all the goals happen. Newsflash guys, 20 years goes fast. We’re still planning to travel, but it looks different. No, we’re not selling everything we own to take off to parts unknown, we did that six years ago. Selling everything now might get us to the edge of town.

Our plan is to keep doing life as is, but every few months, we’ll check out a new location. We don’t have an itinerary or bucket list, except…wherever is cheap at the time! No, we’re not into dirtbag travelling, we’re into deals, but we believe you don’t have to suffer to travel on a budget. Nor will you catch us posting bikini shots. You’re welcome. Disclaimer: We’re not opposed to either of those, it’s just not our style! Second disclaimer: You will probably see us testing new gear and bag designs in the process. OK, shameless plug over. We’re just average joes, traveling how most average people do. We’ll keep track of the costs, hunt for unique spots within each location, and share about it. We don’t have any huge goals, except to have fun, get some cool pictures for the sake of getting cool pictures, taking turns writing for the blog for the sake of writing, and rediscover doing stuff together, something that’s become lost over the past several years. Doing life separately is just so easy to do it today’s society, and we’ve found ourselves heading down that path. Or rather, paths. Our marriage is solid, but this is something we are excited to do together, from the planning, to the traveling, to the recaps. Here’s to the next chapter!

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