After nearly 2 years of planning, it is August 2, 2016, and our family is setting out on what promises to be an incredible journey. We have left our jobs, rented our home, and sold our belongings to spend a year living abroad in Granada, Spain.
In many ways, it feels as if we have already completed a journey. The process for moving abroad is complex, and we will share some stories about obtaining our visa and preparing for this adventure in future blog posts for those who may be interested. Let me say simply that it has been a whirlwind, but also that the efforts seem to have made it that much more rewarding as we get set to depart. One of my favorite professors in college, Jim Crenner, used to tell us that sometimes you have to write 40 lines before you get to what will ultimately be the first line of the poem. That’s similar to how this feels, and it’s an incredible sensation to have arrived at the new beginning.
So rather than focus on the details, this first blog post will focus on the exhilaration, the feeling you get coursing through your veins as you get set to do something you’ve never done before. The feeling of being scared and excited all at once, of being ready to hurl yourself toward the unknown without the knowledge of what lies ahead. Despite all the due diligence and planning, the four of us will be experiencing something completely new. There will surely be challenges that were predictable and others that were unforeseen. And there will undoubtedly be a lot of learning ahead, but that comes with its own anticipation, wonder, and thirst. Just the opportunity to undertake this as a family is something to celebrate, and we are grateful above all for the chance to experience this together.
So here we are, after all this time, at the opening line of the poem. Our bags are packed, and there is nothing left to do but get on the plane. We have said our goodbyes, packed up our things, and hit our favorite restaurant one last time. Although the journey ahead of us looms large, we are traveling extraordinarily light. It is as if we have already shed a hundred tons of baggage, and I am struck by the sense of just how liberating is to prepare to go so far with so little.