142. Enjoying a Benchmark

Enjoying A Benchmark: It was one year ago yesterday, November 6, 2006, that we loaded our backpacks, our trepidation and our anticipation into a little yellow Volkswagen camper. When we left Portland, when we began this trip, it was an appropriately melancholy day. It rained intermittently. It was cold. The exposed edges of interstate 84 were whipped by fierce winds and I could barely control the sluggish breadbox mass of that bus. We spoke very little that day. When we did speak, even our fiercest reassurances were leaking doubt. The bus, thankfully, did no leaking of its own and when we woke the next day, there was sunshine in Idaho. That last day in Oregon was already a year away from us.

So we celebrated the one-year anniversary of this trip yesterday, in the Mexican Pacific villa of a family friend. We both finished books about the much more difficult lives of other people; mine an autobiography of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and Amy’s an account of a Lakota Sioux woman’s life on and off her South Dakota reservation. We walked to a beach that was deserted, save for the handful of manta rays jumping above the foam and a lone man who was spear fishing them. We had one beer each, because that’s all the budget allows now, and neither of us complained or worried about anything. Later, the housekeeper made us a flan.

We have changed our flight from Mexico to New York to November 30, a month sooner than first planned, for one reason and one reason only. We’re out of money. So the next twenty-three days will be for celebrating everything we have seen, everyone we have met, coming to grips with returning and taking a hell of a lot of mid-afternoon naps. Happy Anniversary.


  1. Kevin says:

    happy anniversary, you two! i’ve been reading the blog all year, and it’s just tremendous. amy, call me when you get to ny, so you can regale me in person. travel safe.

  2. amyispolish says:

    Thanks Kevin. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. We’ve loved making it. I’ll definitely get in touch. Claire and Jed are coming to town in December too. We should all get together. Say hi to the Mrs.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Happy Anniversary! Can’t believe it’s already been a year. Your stories are amazing! Thanks for writing this blog. Safe travels.


  4. hey wait! Kevin and Amy – you can’t hang out with out me. Claire and JEd are staying with me – I’m holding them ransom for some of your time – so there.

  5. oh yeah – and happy anniversary. I once read this quote ” A genius is one who can do anything except make a living” — so obviously you both have been having the most brilliant year of your lives. and I am both sad for you and happy for me that you are outta dough. can’t wait to see you!