This is a post by Jenny.
After a very busy, overwhelming 3 months back in Boston, we head out of the country again today. This time, we head to our ancestral roots – to Portugal, Italy, and Spain (neither of us have Spanish roots, but I speak Spanish, so that has to count for something!). We fly back into the U.S on September 6.
A lot of people have said “have a nice vacation” or “wow, that’s a long vacation!”. I might be arguing about semantics here, but I really don’t think of this trip, nor our trip to Asia, as a vacation. Granted, we are traveling and not working, which might be the definition of vacation, but it’s also about a mindset. If we were to spend these two months like a vacation (overindulging, splurging, being lazy), we’d come home fat and broke – which I guess might happen anyways! We more think of our trip as moving temporarily, or a leave of absence from our regular lives. When we discussed what our goals were for this trip, or why we were going, the top two that came from both of us was to meet local people and experience the local way of life, and eat a lot of good food. The second goal will be easy but the first will involve a lot more effort, since neither of us are particularly extroverted. We’re hoping to meet a lot of people through hostelling and CouchSurfing – either by staying with them, or just connecting through message boards and going out together. We’re not sure how, but we want to make this trip less about where we go and what we see, but about that we experience.
This trip will be a lot different than our Asia trip in that it’s not quite as exotic, and significantly more expensive. This trip also starts off with a week with my parents, my sister and her husband visiting extended family that we’ve never met. This should be exciting, but also adds another layer of anxiety and pressure (will they like me? will I have time to do what I want? will people judge me for wearing the same clothes all the time?). I’m hopeful to make some lifelong connections with extended relatives that allow many more follow up visits!
Thank you for your support, and look forward to more frequent, interesting updates. If you have any requests for posts you’d like to see, let us know. We enjoy hearing form readers. Lastly, if you have any connections to the areas we are in, please let us know – we love to meet up with people we “know”.