(The photo above was taken wandering around the streets of Hanoi. It just seemed so perfect for us.)
I have been brushing my teeth with bottled water for 54 days. This may seem funny to everyone. But it’s just another step in brushing my teeth. Fill the cup, wet the brush, brush, spit, rinse the brush with the bottled water, rinse mouth with bottled water, spit. It’s just one of the things living in the U.S. that you never think about, let alone worry about. It’s just one of the experiences that puts you out of your comfort zone once again.
Jen and I have agreed to write a post each reflecting on our 50 days on the road. Also, we agreed not to let the other read the post, until posting. Currently we have been traveling for 54 days. Looking at that number, it seems huge. But thinking about it and it feels as if we just left last week. As I type this, we are waiting in the Ho Chi Minh City airport for a flight to Phu Quoc. To date, this is our 10th flight in this journey. Again, that seems like a lot, but it doesn’t feel that way.
I suppose with a lot of traveling, new experiences and living life in a completely different way than you normally would, you start to think more about your own life, the life you want to lead, and the future you want for yourself. As it happens, Jen and I currently don’t lead “normal” lives as most Americans do. We move every few months. Pack and repack. This city to that city with hundreds of miles in between.
We’ve been discussing what we want to do next. Do we want to settle down? Do we want to live abroad? Does Jen want to go back to school? Do I want to take a full time job for someone else? Don’t hold your breath everyone, we haven’t come to any conclusions. Lots of options, lots to think about, and we’ve spent lots of time discussing life. I’ve often been told, “Jump and the net will appear.” There just seems to be too many options. I know, I know. #firstworldproblems
The feeling that is constantly weighing on me is that I should be utilizing this time. Doing more, whether it is traveling/experiencing or being creative and working on all of ideas and projects that have been building a quiet list in my mind and sketchbook. This blog was a good start. Finally doing it, pushing publish. Not just sitting around and tweaking and tweaking. I think I need to do more of that. More quick publish on projects. More just getting it out there door. I have been working while we’ve been traveling. But I think I need to start getting more into my own work.
To completely switch gears in this post. I’m going to talk about a pair of flip flops that I’ve had since 2004. I purchased my first pair of Havianas while in the final weeks of my Rome Study Abroad. My leather sandals had literally fallen apart while walking all over Rome, lucky enough for me there was a shop slinging some Havianas right there. This morning I put that same pair of Havis in the garbage. They were cracked, had no grip and were completely worn down, water would come through from underneath. I was thinking about the 9 years of use I had gotten out of that pair of flops.
At that point of purchase, Jen and I had just broken up a few months prior, I was on my study abroad missing her very much, wishing that she was there next to me, experiencing every piece of pizza, cobblestoned street and ancient ruin. The many footsteps between that purchase and the garbage bin this morning have been pretty amazing. Some without Jen, many with her. But I can easily say that I couldn’t be happier to have her by my side. For years we had discussed traveling abroad extensively, but there was always something. Usually we were being responsible adults, saving for rings (because when there are two women you need two engagement rings), saving for the wedding (two dresses!), and saving for the honeymoon (finally). I’m overjoyed we are doing this. And cannot wait for more adventures.
(Yes we tried a fish spa in Chiang Mai, Thailand – shameless.)
At the time of the posting, we have been traveling for 56 days.