As we get closer and closer to our leave date, it's super easy to talk about our worries and fears for the next year (running out of money, getting injured, constantly having to apologize for America's current political state, running out of money, getting our bags swiped, fighting, have I mentioned running out of money?); but something else that I'd rather focus on is our hopes and goals for the trip.
There's the obvious stuff like experiencing other cultures, seeing all these amazing places throughout the world, and generally having fun, and there's some more human things like gaining an understanding of not-us as well as perspective of us.
There's also personal things. Josh has been really focused on the role water plays on our planet and how we can contribute in small ways for access to this resource to so many who don't have it. Hopefully, we're able to keep giving to Charity:Water in different ways throughout our travels.
We both want to step away from our need for things and focus less on wants and possessions and more on experiences and life. As we're essentially living out of backpacks for the next year, we're pretty much jumping into this one whole-hog.
This also leads into something I struggle with a lot - living in the moment and being a little less goal-oriented. (The irony of the name of this post is not lost on me.) I'm not so bad at embracing that mentality on a weekend or two, but I like to be productive, plan for the future, accomplish things, live intentionally. A typical conversation between me and Josh might go: J: "Hey Shari, want to watch this movie tonight?" S: "Yes! But first I want to finish up this research real quick, clean up the living room, and then can we plan that weekend trip, and read that article I was telling you about?" J: "Chill the F out." S: "I was also hoping to go over our budget... No? Tomorrow then?"
As you can maybe tell, Josh and I often have very different styles of almost everything, and we also have very different skill sets. I'm pretty much tethered to a computer or book 90% of my life, and, if he had his way, he'd be digging in the yard, camping and fishing for our dinner, or working on a car/motorcycle/deck/jet engine all day err day. Let's just say that if there was a zombie apocalypse, Josh would be like, "Hell yes, let's do this" and activate survival mode extreme, having a safe society set up within 48 hours with enough food to survive for 8 years and threateningly bordered by zombie heads mounted on sticks. I'd cry a lot and then offer to make some direction signage so people knew how to get to the medical area or mess hall. That's literally the extent of my life-skills category of abilities. So I'm super hoping to become more self-sufficient over the next year, which could include an education in any of the following: cooking, farming, canning, first aid, basic carpentry, navigation.
And the last (but of course, not least!) thing we're both hoping to focus on throughout the trip - our marriage, and becoming the best spouses we can be to each other. We met in portfolio school (basically grad school for creatives), and have been laser-focused on our careers throughout the entire time we've known each other. As a photographer, Josh will still be very much in work mode as we travel, but this trip is a huge opportunity to put our relationship first, not take it for granted, and really apply a lot of effort toward loving, supporting, and making each other happy.