It’s wheels-up day.
We’ve been yacking about this trip for almost a year, and today’s the day that we lift off for real.
We’ve done a silly amount of planning and testing. We’ve experimented with different kinds of luggage, quick-dry underwear, and various technical paraphernalia. We’ve sold clothes, furniture, a couple of cars, and a house. We’ve quit our jobs and moved to the city, and then promptly moved out. We begged and cajoled our friends and loved ones to take our pets for almost a year. We found highly upstanding people to live in our new place while we’re gone. We even found someone to lease our car from us. I started a consulting business, did a number of projects, and then put the whole operation on ice. We’ve reduced our household size by 33 percent (well, that was unavoidable). We’ve consulted with tax planners, financial advisors, family members, and the crazy tarot lady down the street (okay, not her). I even managed to find a company that would scan my mail and email it to me.
We used Los Angeles, the Lower East Side, Brooklyn, the Finger Lakes, Philadelphia, and DC as a halfway house for the past 53 days, testing the proposition of homeless wandering. I must say, for those of you with a prurient interest in the marital discord promised in the title of this blog, I’m sorry to disappoint you. We’ve been having fun.
We’ve been planning this trip in our heads for much longer than the past year – maybe for as long as we’ve been together. From our early days together we’ve been adventurous. One day almost a quarter century ago we packed up our stuff and quit Los Angeles, moving to Monterey, California with no money, no jobs, no education, and we started over. (At this point, my mother would remind me to mention that Janine and I did go on to college. Now she’s happy.) When we graduated from college, we sold Janine’s car to spend a month in Europe before we moved to Japan, where we had a baby. In fact, many of our decisions were what happens when you put equal parts pragmatism and insanity in an atom smasher and press the red button. We had our daughter when we did because it was the first time in our lives that we had paid vacation or maternity leave. It seemed like the thing to do at the time.
It still does.
And thus we find ourselves on our way to Sicily today. (Don’t worry – if in fact you were worrying – I promise to go back and write about the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney, James Earl Jones in You Can’t Take it With You, the matzo ball wrapped in bacon at Gorbal’s in Williamsburg, and other feats of culinary and cultural derring-do and -don’t).
Going on this trip just seems like the thing to do. You may ask where we’re planning to go over the next seven months. Well, we’re going to do a little like Mary Poppins and go where the wind take us, but we have no shortage of places on the list, so I hope it’s pretty breezy. I really want to see Istanbul, go on a safari in Africa, and play St. Andrews. Janine wants to see Buenos Aires and Budapest. Other candidates include, in no particular order, Burma, New Zealand, Japan, and China. We’ll see.
And thus I shall turn it to you, my eleven dear readers. Where should we go? What shouldn’t we miss? What’s the best place you’ve ever been? Best meal? Best travel story? We’re all ears.
See you in Sicily!