What the f*ck are we doing?!?! Or, how this all began.
Ruben and I started dating in March, 2013. It was to be a short-lived fling: Ruben was leaving the Boston area. He was downsizing, selling his house, moving to Wyoming to be close to his brother Jack and live in a yurt. Everyone that knows Ruben knew the plan. I am all for not having a lot of “stuff,” but I do like walls and indoor plumbing. No yurt for me, thanks. So we’d have fun until he left…until we started to fall in love. And things got complicated. We broke up and made up and broke up and made up again more times than I can count. We cooked; traveled; cycled, ran and skied; made new friends at our favorite bars; watched the Red Sox and Pats. The narrative started to change: Ruben stopped talking about moving to Wyoming and living in the yurt. He wanted to travel the world to see friends scattered across the globe – Australia, New Zealand – and go skiing in Japan. I added my bucket list trip - Macchu Pichu – to the conversation. The list kept growing: Easter Island, the Galapagos, trekking in Nepal, maybe the Olympics in Brazil if we got our act together (we – or at least I – didn’t. I delayed the trip from June, 2016 to January, 2017) and suddenly the plan was to take a year off to travel. A year to do all of the things we wanted while we had our youth, our health, our ambition. Ruben was going. I was welcome to join if I wanted, but he was going no matter what. I did want to join. I took a gap year before gap years were fashionable and traveled Israel and Europe for 6 months when I was 19. I have always wanted to pack my bag again and go, but adults with good jobs and mortgages are supposed to work in their good jobs, pay their mortgages and save for retirement. We talked and planned and set a date and changed the date. Ruben almost left without me. I almost let him. But instead, it’s January 25, 2017 and we are on the plane, flying direct from Boston to Tokyo. Ruben closed his practice. I quit my job. We sold our homes, sold most of our “stuff,” packed everything remaining in a 6’X10’ storage unit. Do we have a plan? Only the outline: we bought one-way tickets to Tokyo. After Japan, we will head to Southeast Asia and possibly Nepal. We will fly back to Boston in mid-May for Ruben’s son’s college graduation and head out again in June. You’ll need to check back to see where the wind blows us next!