Off we go
I guess it’s in my blood - the constant desire to pack a bag and jump to a new country. Most people call that traveling, something distinct and apart from real life, I always try to make it a core part of my life. When I say it’s in my blood, I’m not joking. When I was growing up, my mom wrote professionally about her travels around the world, which naturally led to collective months abroad for the whole family. (side note - I always keep track of how many weeks, months, and now years that I’ve spent in foreign lands when added up). After a family trip driving around England, we decided our next family voyage (I was 11, my brother 7) should be a nearly 4 week adventure to Japan, with only one small backpack allotted per kid. That was 15 years ago, and now I’m back trying the same thing - although I have a few more items in my backpack than before, and most importantly, I’m exploring with the love of my life, my fiancé Cathy.
Ever since Cathy and I met, around 3 and half years ago, our conversations always ended up on a common theme - how are we going to take that trip of a lifetime, and can we make it happen sooner? Cathy and I both went to NYU Gallatin, the school where you design your own major, and are naturally inclined towards breaking out of the mold. We spent the first year of our relationship in San Francisco, as I learned how to trade and market commodity products at a major bank. However, I was promptly moved back to New York to stay with my division, and Cathy wrangled an opportunity at her fashion employer to move to NY as well. As soon as we got to NYC together, and made it through the winter, our minds were percolating with ideas about how to take that famed “career break” / “sabbatical” - whatever you want to call it. It was Memorial Day 2015, a weekend on the beach in Fire Island (where we eventually got engaged a year later), when we really started to say - "how can we do this" … and the planning began.
Fast forward a year, we got engaged on Fire Island, resigned from our corporate jobs, and with the emotional support of our friends, colleagues, and family, packed up our worldly possessions and stored them in our ever so generous parental garages.
I write this post from Taipei City, having flown EVA Air's flight direct from SFO. I mean this when I say it, our 13 hour flight to Taiwan was as smooth as can be, and a lot easier than the frequent California to New York flights I take. A great way to start!
As we begin this wild adventure that will take us from Japan all the way down to the South Island of New Zealand, hitting most of the coast in between, I could not be more psyched for all I will see, learn, eat and be challenged by. My hope is this blog acts as both a written and visual record of our journey for ourselves, as well as to inspire others to tackle the world and its unknowns.
Until next time ... Zaijian