"The question should be, is it worth trying to do,
not, can it be done?"-A. Lowenstein
we are all dressed for the AMS party in January 2000. That is where we both
work! I do not foresee getting to wear a dress like that or Keith wearing
a tux on the trip so I thought I should get a picture on here to show what we
look like all "cleaned up." Anyway, this page is about us and
why we are going on this trip. First off, we each will let you know why we
are doing something crazy like this:
When Keith looked in my eyes, on our 2nd anniversary,
and said "I've had an epiphany, I think we should take off for 6 months or
so and backpack around the world, what do you think?" I immediately said
"yes!" Taking a year off from my career and selling our house was not
in my original plans, but in a second I changed these plans. One of the
most important lessons I have learned is to be willing to change plans in order
to fully experience life. I learned this lesson when I was 17.
Mr. Kasper, my high school senior English teacher told me I
wasn't a risk taker. I remember he had asked me if I would go sledding
with Zooey (from J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zoey) in the middle of the
night. I said yes. He did not believe me, he said I would not take risks like
that. And looking back, I think he was right. It was not so
much that I was not willing to take risks, but the risks had to be in my plans.
At 17, I planned everything. I knew (or thought I did) what I wanted to do at college, what I
would do after college and how I was going to achieve all of
this. Combine that with the fact I was voted "Most
Practical" by my high school class (how depressing), I was not exactly an
adventurous spirit. But I wanted to be. I listened to stories of people
traveling to exotic places, learning about new cultures and I realized
I wanted to be one of those people. To do so I had to change.
I decided that I would deliberately deviate from "my
plans" and embark on more adventures. If I had not decided to do
this, I would have missed out on a world of fun, adventure and
learning. I have flown in a jet and dove on a submarine, served in the Navy, backpacked through
Europe, snorkeled in the Caribbean, questioned my spiritual beliefs and ideas
about life, and met interesting people! Though I continue to make goals
and plans to achieve them, I allow life to lead me into new paths and am willing
to change my plans. Keith and I
wrote down our dreams when we first married. The dream of embarking on a world wide
trip was high on the list, but we initially envisioned fulfilling that dream when we retired. But this past
year, we realized that we make the rules. If we want to fulfill a dream now, and
have the means to do so, why wait? So we are not waiting. We have changed our
plans in order to achieve one of our dreams. Life is a journey and sometimes you
have to be willing to follow a new path, which may be scary, but worth
I firmly believed that to grow as a person, you've got to
push your comfort zone and to step outside of what is expected; so, why not
travel around the world for a year? This is certainly the way each of us has
lead our lives so far.
I remember when Lea and I first met, we talked a lot about our
trips to Europe and across the U.S.; as Lea mentioned, at one point we decided
to write down all of the dreams and things we wanted to do in our lives.
Not surprisingly the list included lots of exotic places that we wanted to visit
in our lives . . . this turned out to be quite an undertaking to
accomplish! Upon further reflection, it seemed impractical to continue the
traditional model of taking one two week vacation per year; at that rate we
would never achieve our dreams!
Anyway, I've had a longing to see different places and
cultures since my high school days. I intended to do one of my
undergraduate college years abroad, but ended up going into a program that
didn't lend itself to foreign study. Since then I have seized every travel
opportunity possible. I think that this trip is a natural progression in
my life learning experience; I've spent a lot of time and effort learning for my
career and want to complement that with some cultural experiences.
Its easy to get bogged down in the day to day necessities
and loss track of the big picture. When Lea and I made that list, it was
The Big Picture. I think that this trip is acting upon our big picture and
will hopefully be another great highlight in a thus fore great life.