While this is mostly a post intended to have something more than nothing up here before the trip actually begins, I might as well take this moment to introduce myself, my plan, my fellow adventurers, and my unfortunate run-on sentence style of writing before getting down to the actual “blogging”, as the kids call it these days.
We have decided that January 2nd is the day that the big adventure is to begin, being people who like an adventure. I’m in my fourth year in Madison, Andrew his 2nd (or 6th if you count those four years as an undergraduate) and it’s time. This is only enabled by the fact that my PhD coursework is finished and so the next set of graduate school hoops to jump through can be done remotely (well technically I will be back in Madison for the events themselves, but preparing for them at great length from a great distance).
As excited as I am about this next phase (and goddamn am I excited) it is the leaving of Madison that is making me appreciate it in something close to the way I did in 2009 when I arrived here. I live in a gorgeous apartment with an incredibly badass and often inspiring yogi from Philly named Susan. I have 2-minute walk access to more local organic vegetarian food than is probably offered in the whole of Vietnam. There are no cockroaches. Ethel has a few dozen “friends” to bark at as they deign to walk by her house. You can get a bagel that isn’t half bad, and enough delicious ice cream to make a girl from Vermont cede the “best ice cream” title to WI. None of these things that have become my normal, my everyday, will be a part of it in 38 short days.
In 38 days Ethel (with her new international microchip and USDA health stamp) will be unceremoniously thrown into her crate, we’ll all get on a plane, and 25 hours (and more than one in-flight cocktail to settle my “oh my god my dog is in the hold all alone” anxieties) later? Boom. Our new home.