114. Making it Halfway

Making It Halfway: We officially passed the six-month mark on July 2. The day before that, Amy was in Galway celebrating the rowdiest Canada Day imaginable with drunken Canadian ex-pats running, stumbling and chanting through Irish streets. A few days after that, I attended the most fantastically bizarre 4th of July BBQ celebration at the American Embassy in Delhi, complete with an Indian Uncle Sam on stilts, US Marines in Dixie flag t-shirts, eight kinds of grilled meat, Bud Light, a pie eating contest and a fireworks display that must have blown the mind of every Indian within ten miles of that embassy. I’ve never felt so far, yet so close to home.

A recent look at our budget and the steadily, sometimes rapidly diminishing balance in our bank account suggests that without some modifications and careful planning, we might not make it through a full twelve months. On the other hand, we’re still fiercely addicted to this adventure and the idea of re-entering conventional life is as upsetting as an overnight Cambodian bus ride without seatbelts or earplugs. If you’ve been following this since day one, you’ll be just as surprised as we are to know that it’s been more than nine months since we left our lives in Portland; seven months since we tentatively left the comforting, vinyl-sided embrace of Long Island (above). It’s fair to say that we did a lot of looking back during that first month abroad, a lot of wondering how the hell we could keep this up for twelve months. I’m pretty sure it was the first week we spent napping on Malaysian beaches put an end to all that.

So we face different challenges now, mostly in making the trip actually last a full year and then eventually, coming to terms with the end of it. Even though it’s still months away, we’ve recently made some decisions about our final months and it feels closer than ever. We’re still headed for China in a few days, where we’re planning to spend two months on an itinerary that may or may not include Tibet. The first month of China we’ll have the much anticipated company of our friend Kirk from Portland, who can not only hold his liquor pretty well but also claims to have some rusty proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Perfect. After China, we’ve decided to bid Asia adios to fly to Mexico, where we’ll attend the Troncones beach wedding of our friends Zach and Elsa before starting a three-month tour of Central America. The warm tropics of the Americas are going to feel wonderful while we contemplate our return and we’re excited about those last few months. So excited that we keep forgetting that China’s coming first and fast, and we don’t even have our visas yet. Uh oh. I hope Kirk knows how to say, “rush processing” in Mandarin.


  1. Anonymous says:

    whoa were halway there…

  2. amyispolish says:

    That has to be the worst picture of me that I have ever seen. My god.

  3. Byron says:

    Didn’t know you were going to Central America – check out Lake Atitlan and the mayan highlands of Guatemala – exquisite countryside, wonderful people, repressive American-backed government.

  4. Danyo says:

    you’re going to troncones for a beach wedding? swimming in the ocean there is awesome! one of my fondest memories of mexico! i’ll meet you guys there! miss you! dan

  5. Zaque says:

    I am terribly excited to see some embarrassing moments of our impending nuptials chronicled and hopefully hilariously analyzed on this very page. Oh, and to see you guys too. I’m pretty excited about that.

    Just pick me up something pretty in China, would you? Like one of those cheap iPhone knockoffs, that would be sweet.