01 Sep Purple Clover: Our Sabbatical Adventure
Thank you to Purple Clover for publishing my story about Our Sabbatical Adventure.
Five years ago, Apple’s App store opened, Kindle was brand-new, Skype was not yet a verb, and my then-boyfriend/now-husband George and I flew to Tahiti to start a one-year sabbatical adventure.
I chose to leap for love and was unsure how a year on the road would play out. George and I met online and had an instant connection, in no small part due to a mutual passion for exotic travel. George said very early on in an email exchange, “We will at least be friends,” knowing that he had found a kindred spirit of wanderlust.
After several months of dating, we traveled for three weeks to Fiji and Vanuatu during summer holidays. Visiting a local village on Espiritu Santo meant this Princess (yes, I worked for Princess Cruises) had her first bucket bath. I liked it so much, I told George, “I am going to buy a bucket for my shower in Los Angeles. All the soap came right out of my hair.” Later that week, the former Peace Corps worker asked me to join him on this dream to travel for a year in Asia. Thank goodness, I had really liked the bucket!
During the next school year, many of our friends continually asked us, “How can you leave for so long?” Others said, “Just go for the summer and come back to teach in the fall.” They couldn’t imagine being uprooted for a full year. But, I had to ask myself, “If George goes on this year-long adventure without me, how will I feel?” I knew the answer in my heart. I had to go with him.
Under the moonlight in Fiji, when I had first agreed to join George’s dream trip, we had been together for six months. My 40th birthday was fast approaching and I missed the time when I traveled full-time.