We have already been travelling for 6 weeks! After speaking with our loved ones for the first time since week one in Japan, we all agreed that is was hard to believe how quickly time has passed. Nick and I have been reflecting with one another and have been trying diligently to write in our journals. Most of our thoughts have been little notes about each place. It’s difficult to sit and compose thoughts when our journey has seen us jumping from one city or country to the next within a matter of days. As we have started to reflect on the enormity of this world adventure we now understand that perhaps we didn’t allow ourselves enough time between destinations, but through writing our blog and photographing our memories, we hope that our adventures will be captured and relived.
I am so grateful to finally have my best friend with me on my third overseas adventure, because I can finally share these experiences for years to come with someone who was by my side experiencing them as well. Unlike in years past, where I felt as though I was talking at someone when I would recount my travels.
We have encountered quite a few people who have asked us about our travels and Nick has graciously divulged that he hasn’t really traveled outside of North America; people’s common response is generally pure amazement that we have embarked on a three month world journey given that it’s Nick’s first international experience. Living out my personal dreams of international travel once again and being with the man I love – watching him experience the world – is something I have a hard time putting in to words. It’s truly incredible to watch your best friend light up over a soccer match, a historic building or a car for that matter. We are so lucky to have been able to carve out time in our life to be on this travel, and to have established the teamwork, so that renting a car and driving without directions ends up making us laugh and then finally sharing a drink to unwind. We are grateful for the journey which every passing 24 hours brings, whether it’s in the same country or onto our next destination.
One of the best parts of this travel has been thinking about our family and friends throughout our journey and envisioning them sitting next to us enjoying the moment. My Mom was passionate about food and I was passionate about eating her food. As I got older, her knowledge grew and her ability to create different cuisines continued to expand. In traveling through Japan, specifically, I had her in my thoughts constantly. Her and I would enjoy sushi as much as possible, often times when we were in the Seattle area. She even learned how to make sushi at home and bought Nick and I fancy chopsticks and sushi rollers. Now, we haven’t ever used them, but we still have them! Honestly, throughout this whole journey my Mother has been with me – she is with me everyday. Her support of my adventuresome nature and her willingness to live through my independence was always something I loved. I signed Nick and myself up for a pasta making class in Italy with her in mind, after all. Although she did not bake, regardless of the amount of subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) hints my family would give her, I have certainly taken that aspect of the kitchen on myself. For me, it’s my way of recreating her in the kitchen; a place where her and I bonded. So, what better way to learn a new skill than signing us up for a pastry making class in France?! We haven’t gotten there yet, but we hope to soon.
We have also been able to enjoy our love of cheese in Italy. My little sister and my husband will tell you simultaneously that you can never have enough cheese! When we were given plates of meats and cheeses all we could envision was our little sis eating her heart out.
All of the various salamis and delicious aged meats (Antipasto) has left us wanting to teleport Terry, Mr. O’Day himself, to enjoy a few pieces with us. Each time we have a new ham or a new salami all I can say to Nick is, “get your Dad here!”. We have had the pleasure of eating some fabulous cheese and meats in both Italy and Spain. I am in a personal heaven with all the various meats; pour me a glass of vino on the side, and oh my lord – we are in food heaven.
We spent a morning in Madrid at a small restaurant famous for their churros and couldn’t help but remember how Mary O’Day, Nick’s Mom, searched desperately for one of these deep fried treats during a family trip to Riviera Maya in Mexico last December.
Spain’s middle name should be Tapas, and their go to tapas is olives. Some may know of my fondness for these, others may not. However, just as Nick has turned me into a tomato lover, I believe Italy and Spain (and my little nudges) have turned him into an olive lover. As he has stated each time we are served a little dish, “goodness, I just needed to travel around the world to find a good olive!”. This is where his best man and best friend comes into our thoughts. On one of our first trips as a group we found ourselves in little Italy, San Diego; we ordered a dish of several olive varieties and that was the first time Tyler and I bonded over something Nick didn’t enjoy. We politely shared the dish of olives together and we have been olive buddies ever since! I hope you remember that time Tyler, if not…pretend…
Both Nick and I could list off several of our loved ones who enjoy their glass of vino or two! For those of you, please come to Italy! Please enjoy, in my opinion, the best wine in the world. And don’t forget where we live: Nor Cal is famous for theirs too, but the romanticism and this Chianti Classico is something you just won’t get stateside. We have both stated that we will return to Italy for their food and wine!
Thank you for your continued love and support through our life journey. We are so lucky to have family and friends to support us and our new marriage. We are so in love and are loving every minute of this crazy adventure.
One thought on “Half Way Home…”
Love this post – made me tear up missing you! This would make your mom so happy 🙂 And it makes me happy thinking about all of the fresh pasta you’ll make me when you get back! 😉