One Year Later

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Curacao, General Travel, Running | One Comment

It’s been over a year since Pierre and I returned from our Big Adventure. The only thing more mind-boggling to me than how quickly the time has flown by is how retrenched we’ve become in a stationary lifestyle. When we were traveling, I couldn’t fathom not being on the road. Now, like the rest of the non-traveling world, we get up and go to work every day, do laundry and cook meals, spend time with friends and family, and collect Christmas cards on the bookshelf in December.

Life in 2013 is really very different from life in 2012. A little over a year ago, we were trudging barefoot up to the top of a hill to view a famous temple in Burma, our lives neatly contained in a couple of backpacks. Today, we are preoccupied with bills and work and our adorable Bruno, and find it hard to imagine wearing something more than twice without washing it. We are cleaner, but less interesting.

And a much, much bigger change is on the horizon: We’re expecting our first child in August. It still feels so strange to talk about “our baby,” but it seems that’s what we’ll have in just a few months. We’d always sort of assumed that a baby would naturally follow after concluding a trip like ours, but thinking endlessly about being pregnant makes it no less strange when it actually happens – especially when it happens far more quickly than expected.

So quickly, in fact, that it turns out I ran a marathon in December without realizing I was pregnant at the time. It doesn’t seem to have affected me; I PRd by almost 9 minutes in horrific conditions that included stiff headwinds, an endless downpour, and flooded streets. A few weeks after the race, though, I knew something was different. I slept in fits at night, was exhausted each morning, and found myself doing stupid, spacey things I could only chalk up to pregnancy brain (which, I’ve learned, is a real thing – women’s brains actually shrink a bit when they’re pregnant!).

Junior completes his first marathon in just under 3 hours, 26 minutes.

Junior completes his first marathon in just under 3 hours, 26 minutes. Mama is happy.

So what does this mean for our traveling future? I’ve always envisioned having a traveling kid, who gets a passport essentially at birth and can handle trans-Atlantic flights without so much as a whimper. I know, I’m ridiculous. But honestly, I do think travel is one of the most precious gifts a parent can give to a child. Exposure and sensitivity to new places, new people, new points of view – what could be more valuable?

Before my home pregnancy test came back positive, Pierre and I had been talking about visiting Sri Lanka this spring. We’ve put that on hold for now, but that doesn’t mean we opted out of hitting the road. We decided instead to visit another of our bucket-list destinations that’s a bit closer to home, and spent about 10 days on the Caribbean island of Curaçao (more to come about that in a future post) – one last hurrah together as a couple before our lives change forever in some pretty amazing ways.

Willemstad: Like Amsterdam in Caribbean colors

Willemstad: Like Amsterdam in Caribbean colors

Me, the baby bump, and our shitty rental car in Curacao.

Me, the baby bump, and our shitty rental car in Curacao.

Speaking of amazing, I recently recalled our visit to the temple in Rishikesh, where we each made secret wishes to the goddess in the corner. My wish, which I feel is now safe to reveal, was a baby. And here we are. We were told that, when the wish came true, we had to return to thank the goddess. Maybe we can swing by and show our appreciation on our way to Sri Lanka – this time, with our son in tow. I can’t wait.

1 Comment

  1. Kitchenshrink
    September 13, 2013

    Discovering your web site has been a delight! I look forward to reading it over the winter and sharing it with my travel buds.
    I too am becoming “retrenched” treating my home base with the same enthusiasm I felt when traveling – seeing each day as an opportunity to discover something (or someone) new.


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