For the most part, Spencer and I travel really well together. We enjoy the same basic daily structure - caffeine, optional breakfast, head out to walk around and explore a bit, do something active, go to happy hour, dinner, music or chess or whatever looks interesting. We both do a bit of research before arriving in a new place, but don't make a lot of plans ahead of time (other than securing a place to stay for the first night or two - do this! It greatly reduces potential stress of travel).
We've found ourselves on islands the size of a city block, lost in Belize City, hiking up an active volcano, passengers on a broken down bus, and sleeping in a hostel that still makes me itch when I think of it. And we very rarely ever complain. We know that we're lucky to be out experiencing the world. Even if the world is sometimes a bit challenging to navigate. I wouldn't trade travel for anything.
Except...when I'm hungry.
And then, things get...interesting. Spencer knows how to spot it long before I do. He'll typically ask about 25 minutes before the hanger hits. He's got a finely tuned radar based on too many close-calls and near misses. When we're in a controlled situation, it's no problem. But last February, walking down the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, tragedy struck fast.
We found ourselves in front of the beautiful Panza Verde hotel. I took a look at the menu and found this lovely gem which sparked my attention:
Yes, that is a roasted beet salad with feta served at a restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala. That is precisely the kind of salad that Spencer would make from beets in our garden if we were at home. I really, really, more than anything wanted that salad.
Spencer was not amused.
He didn't see any point in spending $11 USD on a beet salad in a town where we could buy an incredible pupusa for $1. Sentences like "why did we travel all the way here to eat a beet salad" and creative comebacks like "it's just what I am in the mood for NOW!" were traded back and forth. This conversation took place while we were walking away from Panza Verde, so before I realized it, we were nowhere near that beet salad. Sly, Spencer. Very sly.
It was a pointless argument that could have no winning outcome. Eventually we ate some nachos and they were fine. Just fine. They tasted a little bit like defeat, but at least they were plenty spicy.
Now we laugh about it. Kind of. I mean, yes, it is a bit ridiculous to get upset about a salad. I can't say it won't happen again in some other form. But we survived. I hope that the next time Spencer opts for a grilled cheese instead of a tamale I'll be patient and remind him about the bee--about the fact that he is allowed to eat whatever he wants without judgement. And that I love him.
I have a rule: always look for the best parking spot. There's a chance you might find it. If you don't look, you'll never know.
For the last year Spencer and I have been talking about a big trip to India. This would be mean quitting our jobs and living off our savings for as long as we were able to do so. Maybe a year or two? But a few months ago it occurred to me that I like my job. And maybe...maybe I could work remotely. So I asked. I drove around for a little while looking for that parking spot. Then it opened up, front row, superstar parking! I got the go-ahead to work remotely for a year. India is too far away, so we reworked our plan. We'll be heading to Central America for the next year. Packing up the Subaru, loading Spencer's bike, my pillow, and Monet. Our first destination is San Miguel de Allende, in the Mexican highlands. From there...I don't know, I'm done planning for a little while.
You might be wondering what Spencer will do while I'm working. He'll be working as well, he's picked up a great contract assignment that helps him stay connected to the sustainable energy industry. And when he's not near a computer, life will look a bit like this...