The Plunge

And so it begins. Some sort of new life -at least for now. Jennifer and Matt v2.0. The pre-adventure adventure is finally over, but was a force to reckon with. Years in the making really, we looked for opportunities to potentially disembark wherever we ventured: Eastern Europe; Mexico; Asheville; New Orleans; Hawaii; San Luis Obispo; even Chico. Eventually we boiled it down to what we most wanted, which was a long, open-ended, and cheap adventure to some place we’d never been -or even considered. A way to retire early, without moving to North Dakota. Our instincts began to simmer with new thoughts of Costa Rica, Argentina, Belize and the like, but they boiled when we leaped to Southeast Asia. We’d both independently visited China and Thailand, and other surrounding countries, and so had some idea of what to expect -and we both wanted more of that again. In retrospect, varied friends had long promoted Bali, Indonesia as an interesting destination, but neither of us had given it much thought. But now suddenly, there it was, and it felt so obvious, and like the perfect place to start whatever this thing was going to be. We would exchange one paradise for another: San Francisco, and all that we loved, for a very different sort of equivalent way of life halfway around the planet, for awhile.

That was about 9 months ago. It seems obvious now, but we underestimated the effort it would take to systematically unplug ourselves from our work, home, cats, bills, contracts, cars, obligations, hobbies, family and friends. Not to mention the very real emotional component of leaving a life that we loved (everything just mentioned, minus “work”). We thought we started with plenty of time to disconnect, but would need every last hour of every last day of every last week right up to boarding the plane to get it done.

The process was stressful, but brought us together nicely, and revealed just how entrenched and complex our lives had become. It felt good to say goodbye to AT&T and the like (they especially were almost impossible to deal with, despite being a communications company). But it wasn’t all bad. We started learning to speak Indonesian, and watching related movies, and anticipating everything, which was fun. And of course, we couldn’t just cut all the cords, but instead needed to set up new overseas phone and banking connections, and the like, which was complex and time consuming. With just weeks remaining, things were still chaotic, with so much still to do -now in April- from the confines of Dad’s house or Matt and Rita’s, or Kristi and Jack’s, or elsewhere, because our new renters had moved into our home, for which we were-and are-grateful.

We spent our last 2 weeks before take off saying farewell (not “goodbye” as Dad pointed out) in between finalizing a million last details. We would’ve liked much more of that, but father time had a different agenda, and suddenly we were boarding the plane, and what was done was done (or not). We hope and expect to have loved ones come and join us on this adventure -maybe you? Regardless, the internet will surely help bridge the distance between us. We don’t know how long this SEA leg of JM v2.0 will take; hopefully a year or 2 or 3.  But we’re more than ready now, and will make things up as we go along -a central tenet of our mission. Bear with us, we’re new at writing blogs too, and will do so in similar fashion .

-matt

128 Mary Ellen, Susan and Bill

matts iphone april 3013 393Raphaelle

013 Elsa and Joe

348  Matt and John

141  Jack and Kristi

149   Rita and Matt

matts iphone 4-26-13 005 Tracy and Randall

matts iphone 4-26-13 009 Zoe

133 Debbie, Larry, Tom, Regi

331 Eileen 137 Susan matts iphone april 3013 374 Debbie and Charles

matts iphone april 3013 549  Cathie and NikkiPhotos from iPhone 685  Jasmine and SophiaPhotos from iPhone 715  Sally

Photos from iPhone 450 Spread the Glove

Photos from iPhone 705  Laurelyn

Photos from iPhone 792  Debbie

Photos from iPhone 859  Mary

040  Gene

matts iphone april 3013 552  Oscar and Ozzie

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dad
    May 03, 2013 @ 18:20:36

    Very informative and beautifully written. I have it marked in my Favorite places and look forward to future installments.
    Love to you both.

    Reply

  2. Matt & Rita
    May 08, 2013 @ 07:24:28

    We are excited to have found your blog (not easy) and look forward to living vicariously through you until we can come visit in person.

    Reply

  3. Pat
    May 14, 2013 @ 14:05:05

    Loved hearing from you…and am just a little bit jealous. Can’t wait to hear more.

    Reply

  4. Pat
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 16:13:02

    You have inspired me, and now I am starting my own journey of shifting; not quite as dramatic as moving to Bali, but we’ll soon see what the Universe has in store for me. I really love reading your blog and hope for more.

    Reply

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