Another Year Over

A year ago today, on August 15th, Kenny and I landed in Incheon airport and began the long process of settling down. A few weeks later, we were moved into this apartment in Wonju. This little place has become a precious home. It's the first place we've lived together, considering the first 6 months of our honeymoon were spent alternating between mountain shacks, jungle huts, sweltering hostels, 5-star hotels, and one of the guest rooms in my parents' house. We have snuggled down into a routine here. We know the back roads; we know where to get good coffee; we know where to find smiling, kind faces.

And most of all, Wonju has been comfortable. This year of our lives has been so domestic, so tranquil, and perfectly lovely. So, obviously, the things to do now is shake things up. So, in February, when my contract with my current employer is up, we're packing up all our stuff, storing it at the parents-in-law's place, and heading out for our next big adventure.

On February 21, 2011, we will celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary. One week later, I will work my last day at Yonsei ELP. And one week after that will find us with backpacks strapped on headed for our second honeymoon. We are hiking El Camino de Santiago. Yup. That's what's next on the big trip agenda. We'll start from the south of France at St. Jean-Pied-de-Port and make our way through Spain to Santiago de Compostela. It's the most traditional route, and also the most well-known. We're looking to make our journey in 35 days, but we all know how slow I am. Unlike our Annapurna trek, I won't be able to have a wonderful porter carry my bag. I'll be doing it myself.

Yes, I am scared. Yes, I am excited. Yes, I am so ready to challenge myself. We may begin our traveling by hitting a few spots in Europe first (Prague, I'm looking at you) and finishing up with a week or two in Barcelona.

And after that? Your guess is as good as mine! NOW is the time to start your life over every other year. NOW is the time to travel to places and do things that once we're tied to a house payment, or children, we won't be able to do. NOW is the time to risk spending most of our money (besides our savings) on seeing the world, doing something magnificent and difficult and of worth, and come back to nothing. NOW is the time to start over as many times as we feel like it. NOW is the time to not know what to do with my life or where it's going. NOW is the time to celebrate our marriage and rejoice in the fact that without each other, neither of us would be going on these adventures. NOW is the time to refine ourselves through sweat and heavy luggage, and hard-earned sleep.

So, I have 6 months to read, plan, read, hike, read, get stronger, read, plan, and leave. Woot.

(photo by cornyvall)
P.S. I'd like to say for the record that we still have not purchased toilet paper. ONE YEAR and we have not had to buy toilet paper or laundry detergent. And this isn't the end. It's not like we're about to run out. We still have tons of it stacked in the storage closet and on the veranda behind a screen. I remember thinking it was so silly to give toilet paper as a gift. Now, I completely understand. And you know, it's just a funny housewarming gift. Talk about community! What a beautiful year of our lives has just been lived.
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