"Two months traveling? How are you pulling THAT off?!"
Jared and I have heard those words countless times over the past couple of months, mostly uttered with a combination of wonder, bemusement, and barely-concealed jealousy. But for the few of you who haven't heard the background to our upcoming travels in person, I will put it down in print.
Jared and I were the beneficiaries of extremely well-timed career changes. In February, I flew to London for the final round of the WPP Fellowship Interviews, a program comprised of three year-long rotations through three WPP companies in three locations around the world. Although I was having an excellent experience at Lubin Lawrence, the opportunity to experiment with different jobs while living abroad was too much to pass up, and after two intense days of interviews, I was sent on my way with my fingers and toes crossed. Straight from the interviews, I met up with my mother's Smith College roommate and current Medieval Literature rock star, Linne, and took the train up to her lovely home in York. The next evening, after enjoying a bowl of praline Haagen Daaz, I recieved the congratulatory email I'd been hoping for (they chose 8 out of 1900 applicants this year).
Shortly after running downstairs to tell Linne and her husband John the good news, I began planning this trip, for when else would I be able to take months off and still have a job to come back to? Lucky for me, when I told Jared the good news, he then proceeded to tell me HIS good news - that he'd been accepted to Columbia Business School! His immediate impulse was also to leave his job early and travel, and there began the lengthy planning process for this trip. While I had originally considered Greece and Croatia, Jared had bigger aspirations, correctly arguing that we might as well take months off, not weeks, and with that kind of time, we should travel to areas that are well beyond the distance of a worthwhile week long vacation. Thus the decision to head to Austrolasia. Now all we had to do was plan.