Ever On And On

It’s finally almost here. My first lengthy vacation in, like, well, ever. Next month, Matt & I are riding the rails up north for ten whole days. Through a combination of job instability and other pressing commitments that ate up little pieces of PTO here and there, we’ve never been able to rack up enough time off all at once to do something like this together before. But now we’ve both been in stable jobs for a while, and we’ve saved carefully, and we can finally take what we’re thinking of as the honeymoon we never really got to have.

Of course, in this day and age, that means the next week and a half are filled with anxiety — even not during pandemic times, a last-minute cold can easily derail months of planning and money already-spent on flights, train tickets, hotels, etc. We feel good about preventing that sort of thing; in a funny way, I think the pandemic has taught us all how to be much more careful about not picking up even mundane illnesses, but short of hermetically sealing ourselves away from the world, there’s no way to ensure 100% that something won’t come up.

It’s so close, though. So close I can taste it. The idea for the trip started out as a long weekend up in DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2020. We’ve always wanted to see the cherry blossoms. Someday we will, but when we had to cancel that trip due to the rise of COVID, we knew some variant of that would be the first big trip we’d make when we could travel again. We combined the idea with the fact that Matt has always wanted to take me up to New England to show me where he grew up, figured the pandemic would be over by October of 2021 (hahaha), and started planning.

And even in a pandemic, there’s something thrilling about going on a journey, seeing new things, trying new foods, wandering new streets. We haven’t been able to make all the plans we’d hoped to (thanks, anti-vaxxers), but I think we’re still going to really enjoy ourselves, and at the end of the day, it’s good to have things left on our to-do list. It’s good to hope for “next time”.

I blog so infrequently, I can’t imagine writing another post before we leave, so I’ll see y’all on the other side, and I’ll keep thinking about pulling out of Raleigh on the Carolinian next Saturday morning until then.

“The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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