T-Minus 5 days (PLUS special shout outs)

So we are leaving in 5/6 days (since our flight it EARLY in the morning I don’t really count our travel day as a waiting day). We have been celebrating Christmas and packing up our apartment while waiting for the 1st to come. This month has been one of the craziest months we have had in a while, and that is saying something considering we got married 6 short months ago. We graduated, I finished my student teaching, Logan finished up his work at NIST and found out he will be presenting at another conference next summer as well as writing another paper (YAY Logan!!). We are also in the process of becoming homeless/ transient as we pack up all our belongings, not to be seen again until we move next August or September to wherever we are moving. Super exciting! (Super stressful too…)

In the spirit of the holidays, as well as in the spirit of goodbyes, here is a list of special shout outs we have for people/ things in our lives that have helped get us to where we are and prepare us for what comes next.

Family: Our family has been very supportive of this path we have chosen to take. My (Heather’s) grandparents were avid travelers and from them I have learned how travel can truly enrich a persons life. Our parents have all supported us and allowed us to be ourselves throughout our whole lives and helping feed the travel bug has been no different. We are so thankful to have been raised by open minded people who taught us to challenge the conventional and see life as something to be experienced, not simply lived. Thank you Ardis, Andy, Dan, Christy, Gordy and Justin!

Friends: We have so many wonderful friends, both new and old, and we would not be the people we are without you guys!

Chelsea: What is there to say that hasn’t been written in a card, or yearbook or letter over the years? You are my (and kinda our) best friend. We love you and we (literally) could not be going to Central America without you (as you are driving us to the airport on New Years Day at 2 am so that we can catch our 5:30 am flight). We can’t wait to see you when you meet us in San Jose in February!

Wedding gift givers and check writers: We could not have possibly become world travelers this young without the generous gifts we received at our wedding. We have so many cool gadgets we would have not otherwise have (Eno hammocks, travel towels, the COOLEST tent, REI gift cards etc.) and our bank account is not as sad as it would be had it not been for everyone’s kindness. Thank you all!

The guys in Volt group: Logan says, “Thank you for making my time at NIST such a great and enriching experience.” (Short and sweet)

Mrs. Winsberg’s 5th grade class: I had such a wonderful time working with my 5th grade class and learning how to be a teacher. You will always be my first class! I will miss you guys!

I Have a Dream Foundation: Thank you for teaching me how to relate to people so different from myself. I learned so much about teaching, the world, and myself from working with the Dreamer’s of Boulder County. This foundation literally changed my life and the lives of the thousands of students it touches.

My 10 gray hairs: Much to my dismay, I pulled 10 gray hairs out of my head this Christmas (well technically Logan and my mother-in-law pulled them out). While I am NOT happy about this new aspect of my body I have to say it really reminded me of a couple important facts of life. 1) You can’t fight time. This is why we are starting to travel now. We don’t want to look back and think, “Well we always planned on traveling.” 2) You can’t fight genetics. (Not really important… but it proved helpful as I stared at my 10 gray hairs. 3) I am ONLY 23. I feel like I have done so much and seen so much (I mean, we are already married for goodness sake!), but really, I am ONLY 23. As those hairs got yanked out of my head, all I can think was “I’m ONLY 23! Why is this happening?” I have decided to turn that thought around. I AM only 23 and I have so much more to see and do and learn. Luckily, I have an abnormal amount of hair so even when I have to start regularly pulling out gray hairs, which will probably be soon based on my genetics, I will have plenty of brown hair left.

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