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Breaking with routine(s)

For about thirty/twenty five years (for me/Melissa), with the exception of vacations and holidays, we’ve done the same thing on Mondays. Go to work.

That might have meant going to an airport to fly somewhere for a day or week or going into an office or going upstairs to a home office. But it was going to work. Sometimes it was exciting and invigorating. Sometimes it was mundane and we had to be dragged, but it was a thing we did. It was a purpose.

Tomorrow is different.

For the first time in several decades, Monday is like any other day. No Sunday blues today. Today could be a Monday or a Thursday. They’re all the same.

So how do you create a purpose when every day offers the same potential to be a fantastic day filled with new experiences and opportunities or a mundane, boring day on which you don’t capitalize?

I guess we will see.

For nearly every Sunday on which we have been home over the last several years, we’ve taken a long walk (weather permitting) and had lunch at the same spot. In fact, we go on streaks where we order the same thing every time we go. We mix it up from time to time, but after a mixing of our order, we usually stick with the new order for a while. That may sound dull and boring but we’ve really enjoyed it. We are creatures of routine and this felt familiar. So, today, we follow that routine, but tomorrow is anything but routine and the next several Sundays we bid adieu to this routine because we can’t do it. We won’t be here.

So bring on the Mondays and Sundays and Thursdays. We are ready for something new. Will it become routine?

And We’re Off

This is the first of our planned to be weekly posts that we are calling “Sunday Journal”. This blog is more about our experiences, than about travel tips. So here we go… issue #1.

Well, its here. After years of planning we are heading out to get moved into our place in Portugal!

If you’ve been following us then you know that this day has been in the planning stages for about six years (though we’ve only blogged for three). We’ve spent countless hours researching, Rome2Rioing, and putting pins in maps (in a room in our old house we nicknamed… you guessed it: “the map room”). We’ve actually had three or four versions of our large map and many versions of our spreadsheet where we track all of the places we want to go, the best way to get from here to there and our favorite places to stay. Melissa has spent many more hours digging through Airbnb and Trip Advisor reviews of hotels, things to do, places to see. We’ve been talking about this for so long that most of our family and friends long ago started saying: “would you two just go already?” And so here we are…. going.

We call this trip “Wave 0”. We are excited, apprehensive, nervous and feel free. Its not that we didn’t like our careers. In fact, we loved them. Loved them so much that these last few months have been really hard. I’ve said many times over the past hours, days, weeks and months that its hard to leave something you love to do with people you love to do it, and it is, but its time. And, maybe we’ll be back. We don’t know. The rule we’ve followed has been to break up well, meaning that we are leaving our employers on as good terms as possible so that doors may be open upon our return, if and when we want to return.

If the “Journey Before the Journey” was about testing our models and assumptions about our travels and our upcoming “Wave 1” is about exploring new places, Wave 0 is about getting adjusted to life in a foreign country. Figuring out where to buy stuff (like most everything: furniture, dishware, bedding, cleaning supplies, groceries, etc.), making sure the appliances work and that we can figure out how to operate them (we already know the heater doesn’t. “In Portugal, we don’t do inspections, we just trust”, our realtor told us. Well, trust we did and when it was discovered to be a propane heater with a natural gas hookup, the seller came back with “the listing was as-is”. Perhaps an inspection would make sense, Portugal) and getting settled in. We don’t speak Portuguese (yet, except for a frequent use of Obrigado/a) and need and want to learn and we need to obtain our visa because all of this is for naught and we are subject to Schengen rules if we don’t. All of the paperwork is in, filed and completed and now we wait for our in-person appointment to be scheduled and we hope its soon (aka while we are already planning on being there).

So, after hundreds of hours of planning and dreaming its time to start. Let’s begin.