Before we left on the trip, I read quite a few blogs of people who went on RTW trips, and I noticed one thing that they all had in common – no matter how diligently they posted during the trip, nobody really posted much after they got back. And I thought to myself, “I won’t do that. I’ll let everyone know what it’s like after we get back! I don’t want them to worry that we’ve become homeless and jobless and are slowly starving to death while dreaming about going to Namibia!”
Um…yeah. That was the plan. But now I get why no one writes after they get back. You see, there’s this thing called REAL LIFE that takes up a lot of time.
Kids, don’t go to grad school. You’re just asking for pain. I thought matrix algebra and I parted ways to our mutual benefit after sophomore year of college. Ditto for partial derivatives. Boy, was I wrong. And being in a relationship with them is even worse and more demanding than I remember. Kids, if you think you like math, get a PhD in economics. If you think you like economics, think harder.
So here’s what else has been going on in our lives since we’ve gotten back. REAL LIFE has taken over. Kevin just had his first day of work last Monday after 14 months off. I’ve been in school for a month and a half. We’ve moved to a new city, furnished and decorated a new apartment and are now contributing, upstanding members of society.
Oh, and we got two kittens.
(That back wall is filled with photos from our trip. There is one large photo missing because we broke the frame. Don’t worry, I would NEVER arrange a wall of photos like that with a huge blank spot.)
So, back to the kittens. Here’s what happened. We had always planned on getting a kitten and a puppy when we got back. I think this was partly so we would have an incentive to come home. The plan was to get a kitten after we got settled in Charlottesville and to then get a puppy in late October/early November – and being the fiscally responsible people that we are, we agreed that we would wait until Kevin had a job before we got any pets at all. Well, I convinced Kevin that it would be ok to get a kitten even if he didn’t have a job, because kitties don’t eat THAT much, hey, you need someone to keep you company while I’m at school all day, let’s just go look at them, we don’t have to get one, and SHE IS SO CUTE! So that’s how we ended up with Sofia, a teeny-tiny, beautiful gray kitty. Unfortunately, it turned out that Sofia was a very sick little kitty who died after just two days with us. I had never had a cat before so I was completely blown away by how much I loved her after just one weekend together. (It probably helps that she was the sweetest kitty ever.) We both had a tough time for a little while after that, but we eventually decided that we needed to get a new kitty. So we went back to the animal shelter to look at kittens. But none of them were right. And so we went back again a few days later. And this time we found the right one – the only problem was, the right one was actually TWO right ones.
Meet Penny and Cairo. I dare you to tell me you would have only taken one home.
If personality is anything to go by, Cairo is definitely the first-born twin who likes to bully/take care of his sister – depending on his mood. Penny is the adoring little sister who always wants to do whatever Cairo’s doing, which annoys him to no end. The kitties are adorable and awesome, and I giggle uncontrollably every time I come home and see one – then two – little heads poke through the curtain and stare at me as I walk up to our apartment. It’s amazing.
So we’re doing really well. We both really like Charlottesville, we’re making friends and settling in, we have the two best kitties in the world (when they’re not busy being the devil), and really, despite this whole grad school thing, I don’t think I have any reason to complain. But still – part of me wishes we were on the road.
One of the reasons we took this trip last year was to “get it out of our systems.” You know, travel a lot now while we’re young with no responsibilities and THEN settle down and be real adults for the next 30 or 40 years until we retire. But that’s not what happened. Instead, our list of places we want to travel to is now longer than it was when we left. There are so many things left to see and do, and I’m determined that we eventually do it all. I’m harassing Kevin to think about getting a PhD and become a professor so we can both have summers off to travel. I wave away his comments of, “But I don’t like teaching” with the response, “You don’t know that! Besides, it’s mostly research!”
I think my campaign is working.
So though this is the last blog post of the trip, it’s definitely not the end of our travels. I’m already planning a trip for next summer.
Thanks again for reading! (Aren’t you glad I wrote this? Aren’t you glad you know we’re not homeless and jobless and slowly starving to death?)