“the road is life”

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

I’m sitting at my desk surrounded by travel guides, books, journal articles and to-do lists.

For the first time in a long time I feel that I have a purpose.

I’ve spent the past few months dwelling on the impending challenge of having to be separated from the one I love for half a year. Don & I have been so fortunate to spend two, mostly uninterrupted years together as newlyweds. We’ve experienced living in a small Texas town, and we’ve enjoyed the adventures of moving to Hawaii.

The time would come where we’d face the inevitable. Six months is a long time. I look at my life nearly six months ago and it seems so far away. I can remember driving down Nimitz Highway with Don in October, just days after I’d turned 27, discussing how this date was so far away – this date that we knew was coming. And now, so far away again I am looking forward, trying to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Yet I look at the circumstances, and I cannot help but feel thankful.

If our lives require extended periods of separation, at least I know that in the midst of being apart we have each others love and support. We face a future that will be filled with adventure. Some adventures will be taken separately, some taken together, but we will always have one thing to look forward to, and that is having one another to come home to.

I’ve dreaded the thought of the time apart, but I knew we’d make it work.

So here we are.

And I’ve decided to do something a little different.

I’m going to Cambodia.

For three months I am going to live and work amongst a culture that has captivated me since I first began to study it’s complex history.

I am nervous and excited.

It’s a big step outside of the norm for me to embark on a solo international trip…especially for three months.

Although, I stand behind the idea that I have always felt compelled to seek out opportunities that are not so comfortable – and to be willing to adapt to circumstances that might just feel out of the ordinary.

I am certain the three months I spend in Cambodia are going to teach me more than I can fathom. The time I spend there is going to give me the opportunity to contribute (I am going to be working with local NGO’s on community rights initiatives) and it is also going to give me the chance to learn a lot about myself. For that matter I’ve already experienced a lesson in patience while trying to book my plane ticket. After 11 failed attempts and 3+ hours on the phone with customer service, I finally took Don’s advice and just went to see a travel agent. This turned out to be a heck of a lot easier and less expensive than the various online booking sites I first attempted to purchase my ticket with.

In the few years that I’ve maintained a blog I’ve gone from fitness and marathon training, to the everyday gripes of a grad student, to sharing photos of beautiful Hawaii and generally having an outlet for expression. Now as I embark on this new adventure, I’m sure by blog will take a more travel-centered approach. I know that this is going to be an amazing experience and I look forward to sharing it with you all.

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