We’ve revealed to our friends and family our plans of travels over the next year or so and we hear words of excitement, fear, wonder, and… oh my jesus these people have lost their minds! Some say we are “lucky” or “brave” but really we are planners. Though there is some crazy luck and an ounce of bravery, this has been a very deliberate decision. This choice seems sudden to many as if this was a whim of spontaneity and a quick decision but I am here to assure you we have been planning this for quite some time.
1) Brent and I met in April 2006. Soon after we began dating he invited me to live abroad in Roatan, Honduras. I quickly gave an emphatic “NO.” After all, I barely knew him.
2) The invitation prompted travel discussions. Dreams of living overseas developed and by the end of 2006 we were talking about this regularly. We knew we weren’t planning to have children and in a sense this became our child. We nurtured this dream and fluctuated between both excitement and fear for how it would develop.
3) Talk eventually became action and in late 2010 we moved to Dallas to be closer to our families and reveal our intentions to live overseas. We wanted to spend more time with them before we departed the U.S. (I think they heard us with hesitant ears… hearing but not believing it would happen.)
4) January 2013 I began an MPH program. My dream was also to become an epidemiologist and working overseas in any official capacity would be helped with a master’s degree. I don’t particularly care to work as an illegal when I move abroad. If you know me, you know I’m a true rule follower.
5) In December of 2014 we thought we were going to begin our world move BUT Brent’s job offered him a position in Austin. We couldn’t resist going back for one last stint living in a place we consider home. I obtained a fantastic job as an epidemiologist working in the Tuberculosis and Refugee Services Branch of DSHS as an epidemiologist. Austin was luring us back in with the comforts of familiarity and good fortune. Rent was high so we began looking for a condo.
6) We found a home, put down a contract, and regularly discussed what this meant for our world plans. It would lock us down for a while for sure but we kept telling ourselves was, “it’s a good investment.” We both knew though that this might keep us in Austin indefinitely and I think we both saw the dreams of living abroad fading away. (For any of you who have read the Alchemist I read this during this time and became aware I was being lured off course by Austin, my beautiful lady. I was fearful I was going to lose my personal legend. OUR personal legend).
7) Life intervened. Rumors began at Brent’s company that it was going to split. It eventually became clear he was going to lose his job. He did and we were able to get out of the contract for the condo. On top of it, the universe was sending us out on our journey with a little bonus check, which means we don’t have to just throw darts at a globe and blindly move, as originally planned. We can travel and explore and have our own adventure!
8) April 28th 2015, days before the anniversary of the date we met, we are departing on our world journey. What a gift to be able to travel, vacation, explore and determine where our feet will land. We will get to see so many places I’ve only dreamed of and taste food, smell smells, and smile at the world first hand.
Our relationship began in an unexpected way. Our journey has been uniquely ours and we own our decisions and chances. I really believe that God or the universe or whatever you want to call it, is sending us on the journey we have been asking for for so long. Our intentions are paying off in an amazing way.
With that in mind I’ve already learned so much and we haven’t even left the US. I learned that you can never anticipate what will make you sad to give up (for me the robot shirt nearly put me out). You really can’t foresee which people will make you the saddest to speak goodbyes. Laughter and tears have already smattered this journey and I know there is more to come.
Selling life belongings and beginning this journey is scary and wonderful. It has challenged communication with Brent and strengthened it as well. This will continue and this is the part of the journey I am most excited about. Getting to know my love in a way that is deeper than making life’s daily ritual seem sufficient. I recognize this isn’t for everyone and I am in no way saying this is what everyone should do. But, this is definitely what WE should do and I’m so glad that our hard work, luck, and life have brought us here.
I expect my views to change as I see the good and bad in the world. Here you will be able to follow that with me.