Prequel

 

Life as an eternal vacation is starting to seem like a lot of work. I had this romantic idea that we'd just quit our jobs, throw our shit in a bag, and hop straight onto the first plane out of the country. But we've already put in so much planning, and we're still months away from leaving.

Packing is an endless jigsaw; you evaluate your belongings harshly when you have to carry everything you own on your back. Sifting through clothes, pictures, little hand-made gifts we've made for each other over the years - it's hard to be sentimental when every item equates to room in your pack and weight on your back. With exactly fifty-five liters of space to call our own, everything we carry has to serve a purpose, and nostalgia's not going to cut it.

We're fully aware that living on the run might get old, I've never been on a vacation longer than ten days, who knows if I'll be able to stand hopping from country to country much longer than that? So we came up with a plan for when we want to "settle down" somewhere - teach English abroad. To get certified, I thought I'd mainly just have to show up and be a native speaker. But there's lesson planning, language analysis, written assignments, hours of actual teaching, all on top of a regular 9-to-5.

 
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We met with a nurse to go over vaccinations before we leave. In additional to all standard vaccines, Peter and I are now immune to typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, and Japanese encephalitis. We got a non-FDA approved shot for Yellow Fever, and a prescription for exactly 538 malaria pills between us, breakfast of champions. I was starting to get freaked out by all the dangers of travel the nurse was talking about, it didn't help when she showed us a video about the various diseases before we could consent to their vaccinations. We learned about all the wild things that could happen to us abroad, infections we could contract, a thousand ways to die. I am Jack's cold sweat. The video ended with a travel montage, though - a beautiful, expansive Japanese countryside, villages in Kenya, a rural street in Oaxaca. Places we've been dying to visit our whole lives, and are just now finding the courage to try. Fuck encephalitis, I'll risk it. 

We're still a long way from leaving, but I'm starting to see the pieces fall together. Countdown: 79 days. Can't wait.

 
United StatesFiona Jay