If you met me today, you might take me for a typical minivan-driving Berkeley mom. And I am. But I’m also full of stories. And dreams. Let me start with one of each from ten years ago.
The first date with my future-husband, Alec, was a long one. Four hours in, we were exchanging personal travel stories like trading cards over milkshakes. Alec had been to Kenya and me to Turkey; he had been to Honduras and me to Thailand; he had been to Australia and me to the Czech Republic. We both had been to parts of Western Europe. We unknowingly laid the foundation for our own big journey together.
A year after our first date, I bought a big map. Alec and I circled places on it that we wanted to go. That same map hangs above my oldest son’s homework desk and some of the markings are still visible. Once the circles started to obscure the countries with too many highlights to visit in a year, I made a plan. I took charge and whittled our dream trip down to a manageable six-month round-the-world plane ticket with eight major stopovers plus trains, buses, boats, and cars to get us the rest of the way.
In hindsight, I can’t imagine it any other way, but the trip planning preceded any mention of a wedding. And then we got engaged, so decided to turn the adventure-trip into a honeymoon, making a handshake agreement to also leave the country every year of our marriage. (more…)