For months now, Brian and I keep referring to our trip as "The Trip." Almost every other sentence starts with, "When we are on The Trip..." I'll be honest, I think both of us have a similar underlying fear of "what are we going to talk about when the The Trip is over?" It has been such a big part of our lives that its hard to think about life after the The Trip - and thats why we have started calling it our "Midlife Leap."
So often, you hear people refer to a Midlife Crisis (yeah - we know we aren't "midlife" but it sounded a lot better than "Quarterlife Conundrum"). A crisis! Yikes - what a strong word! Being in our early 30s, we definitely didn't want to have a crisis to look forward to in our later years. Little did we know what 2014 and 2015 had planned for us. We experienced a heart breaking emotional roller coaster neither of us could have expected. The silver-lining in it all was it opened a space to reflect. We decided to make a change (cue Michael Jackson). Why don't we try replacing "crisis" with the word "leap" and start referring to The Trip as our Midlife Leap. What are we leaping towards? As corny as it may sound...really the answer is Life - and truly living it. It's pretty remarkable how changing one word can make such a difference. So there you have it - this is our Midlife Leap.
Ideally, we wanted to keep our itinerary as open as possible. Without the constraints of a schedule, we would be able to hop on a bus/train/plane to visit a city we hadn't yet considered. The reality of our entire trip being so open; however, was proving difficult. We quickly realized that for certain countries, the timing of our trip and the activities on our list required advanced planning - and a lot of it! Thats not to say that a good portion of our trip isn't flexible- it definitely is - and we welcome both the structure and flexibility of our itinerary.
With that said, here is the proposed plan. It will be interesting to look back and see how closely we followed our outline a year and a half from now!
June 15th - Peace out SF! Hoping in the ol' Nissan Altima (Asland for those who have met him) for our cross country road trip - saying farewell to family and friends along the way. First stop is LA and the best part - our best friends, Curtis & Julie, from SF are meeting us there for a weekend in Disneyland! Seriously, could we BE anymore American?
Following LA we will continue on our way to Austin, TX. Brian went to college in Austin (Hook'em!) and we are looking forward to spending a couple days (in the heat of Texas summer) with all of our wonderful friends down there - hopefully our wallets and livers survive.
From Austin we will head to Brian's hometown of Sulphur, LA for a Darrell's Special (or 7) and then up to Charlotte, NC (my hometown) for some Arooji's Wine Room dinners a la Chef Cruissant (my dad). We are hoping to squeeze in a trip to Florida to visit some friends in the Sunshine State but we will have to play that one by ear.
So here we are - August 1, 2016. As of now, the itinerary looks something like this:
- August: Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia
- September: South Africa
- October & November: India
- December: Back to the US (my cousin is getting married!)
- January: Thailand
- February, March & April: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, & Indonesia
- May: Back to the US (we need to apply for our French Visa)
- May - October: France
So thats that! Our Midlife Leap in all its glory! We will dive deeper into each country next!