Exactly four years ago on Valentine’s day we were about to start our huge adventure. We were on a plane to Nepal, the first stop on our 6 month long trip. We were planning to go to far away places, to see and hike and to get to know everything.
When I met my husband I knew one thing and the thing was not the one that he is going to be my future husband and a father to our amazing son, no the one thing I knew was that I want to travel, often and far away. Luckily my husband was the exact person for this idea. That was actually one of the thing that we loved about each other. At the time we met he actually already proofed that he is ready for some adventure since he was willing to leave his calm Brooklyn life and threw himself head forwards to the wilderness of the Czech Republic.
A year after our introduction, we had been to New Zealand, where we found we could be together 24/7 without driving each other nuts (mostly.) A few years later, after saving some money and working through a series of disgusting immigration formalities (yes, the Bush years were tough for us Commie Czechs) we decided to go for several months to South America. After returning, we found that we still had a passion for travel. We dreamed of annual journeys to all corners of the world. In the meantime, we found jobs, apartments, but the dream never left us.
After 7 years of mostly sticking with our routine, the road in our minds began to form from a dream into reality. My husband quit his job. I tried, but I was then offered a half year off and they would hold my job. It was a tough decision, but we figured if we wanted to, we could start over if we really wanted.
We packed our orange apartment, put out cat in the custody of a friend, threw out our bed, dragged a pile of junk, bags, and an incredible amount of nonsense and finally packed our two packs and left. We did not have to worry about any language barrier, another advantage of life alongside an American.
When we go, we don’t plan well. We just know the country and the rest will fall into place. This is our style of best traveling, not like we plan – plus plans are plans, and reality is always different.
For now, our route would be Nepal for trekking in the Himalayas, Thailand to stay with friends. Myanmar and Cambodia, Indonesia and Uganda. Cambodia and Uganda were important for our our agenda because my husband had been working for NGOs which operated in both countries and we both wanted to experience those countries and see the work first hand.
That’s how it looked two days before departure, at my in-laws home
On Jan. 26 (I remember that, because Facebook kindly reminded me) we boarded a plane to Prague. So no way we would leave without a proper send-off – getting fattened up by my Mom’s kitchen, strengthened by Czech beer.
On Valentine’s Day we were sitting somewhere in the aircraft towards Kathmandu. I remember the shock at the airport in Abu Dhabi, just like the Thousand and One Nights, women in their full attire, guys in theirs, and the two of us – my American wearing his hiking boots, ready for winter and snow. Our first acquaintance with Nepalis was in front of the plane, full of laborers returning from rich countries, going home to Nepal.
A few of us trekking and adventurous Europeans, Americans and others flew with a plane full of mostly exhausted men, returning home with their earnings and gifts. Yes, it was a shock even then in Abu Dhabi, at the airport, I already saw the divide between East and West.
At the airport, just four years ago, we continued our dream of our big trip.