End of 2018 Reflections
The year 2018 is just about over, but we are only beginning. We are working on a post to fill you in on some of our adventures in Paris, don't worry, but we also wanted to take this time to reflect on the past twelve months, knowing that the next twelve have an awful lot in store for us.
I think, in summation, 2018 was a Year of Action for the Blobs. Enormous ventures (such as dropping everything after somehow scraping together enough money to survive abroad for a full year) can seem so insurmountable, it's hard to actually get it together and DO it, but this past year we did. Of course we doubted ourselves the whole way, as anyone would, but each time it seemed impossible, we shrugged and said, "Let's just try and see what happens anyway." We stopped talking about things as if they would eventually happen and began to proceed as though success was inevitable. The result? Success.
We always knew that in order to get a trip like this done, a lot of things needed to happen. I think what we both really embraced this year is that waiting for our circumstances to line up perfectly wasn't working...they were never going to do that. So we made our decision and stuck with it: to change our priorities, think of those circumstances differently, and make from them what we needed. A massive trip like this, as exciting and wonderful as it is, was not harmonious with our other long term goals--meaningful careers, saving up to buy property, Master's degrees--and determining that our top priority for the immediate future would be travel meant putting on hold our more "traditional" tracks. The extra few years it may take for us to catch up with those things, we feel, will ultimately be worth it for this experience.
Once you decide to do something, the other steps and hurdles present themselves, and you tackle them one at a time. You pick up the extra hours. You book the damn flight. You actually get yourself to the home improvement store and you buy the supplies to build a micro-camper even though you have NO CLUE what you're doing. At the last minute, you finally get the guts to ask the people around you for help (and a place to stay) because you kinda have to. I don't own any Nike gear, but their advertising slogan has got one thing right. And let me just tell you, I'm as shocked and confused as anyone that we're actually pulling it off!
January of last year we purchased a Honda Element--our very first tangible step towards this trip that we are now, unbelievably, living out. We were also working 3 jobs with more than 100 hours a week between the two of us, while planning a wedding. We absolutely could not have done this without the amazing and inspiring support from our community and network around us, but with all of you cheering us on, we pulled off a fabulous wedding, made it across the country living in our car for two months, and are spending Christmas and New Year's in Paris, France.
Normally, the holiday season is a time to gather with all your loved ones and celebrate community and togetherness. It is definitely a strange thing that this year, we are about 5,000 miles away from our people, though the Internet closes that gap some. Just the two of us, wandering the streets of a different country that speaks a different language, we are celebrating all the crazy shit we've accomplished in 2018, and the glorious experience of living our lives how we want to simply because we feel like it. We'll make difficult decisions about our future soon enough, but for now we will stroll hand-in-hand through the chilly Parisian streets, sipping hot mulled wine from the market vendors, and soaking in the joy of the season with strangers halfway across the world from where we're from.
- J & A (a very collaborative post today)
Some necessary modifications to our car for camping purposes.
Shoutout to Nick Shriner for the very sweet, very beautiful card.
Top of Yosemite Falls.
The Grand Canyon!
Exploring the Carlsbad Caverns.
Holidays in Paris <3