My favorite travel companion is in the air over Amsterdam and should be arriving at Ben Gurion around 2 AM and in Jerusalem a few hours after that. And then the adventure can really begin!
Travel has always brought us together. I first met Terence at the cocktail party welcoming me to my St. Andrew’s teaching interview. He fell asleep in the middle of a conversation and I thought he was incredibly lame, a judgment subsequently softened when I discovered he had arrived home from Bhutan just hours earlier. Terence and his family have been everywhere. He and I have also traveled every chance we get. We went to Paris together 6 weeks or so after we started dating.
Ten years later, we’re starting off on our longest and most challenging trip of all. I simply can’t wait for him to get here so we can start having this experience together. These first few days have been wonderful, exciting, and necessary, but also lonely.Even with amazing logistical, childcare and emotional support from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, something is missing. It’s not as fun without Terence.
After so many years of raising kids, putting down roots, creating structures in our life together, Terence and I loved boxing it all up this year to prepare for adventure. Whoever finds packing and moving romantic? And yet we did.
As we promised each other in a reading so beautifully read by Launa at our wedding:
“whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude
and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. …
Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling
we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must
not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted
to receive it but a little while…
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?”
from “Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman