It's our last week in Raleigh, and we've been busy packing up the last few things we need, getting everything in order, and saying goodbye to friends. It's tough to finally be wrapping things up, but we're getting there. My to do lists and TJ's energy level are a great combination for getting everything done!
It's actually kind of amazing how neatly this trip fits into our lives. When it comes to two full-time professionals, two dogs, and a house, there are a lot of lose ends to tie up. Fortunately, we have a roommate who will hold down the fort at home while we are away. Our dogs are both going to loving temporary homes: Kaylee is moving in with my parents, and Beau is visiting Paula's family in Durham. My job offered me a leave of absence for the time that we are gone, and TJ is excited about finding a new opportunity when we return.
The leave of absence is particularly convenient because we get to carry over the same benefits that we have now. That means we get full health insurance, life and disability insurance, and even basic travel insurance for the duration of our trip. Having adequate insurance is a priority for me, and I had been stressing about how we were going to replace all that my current company offers. The way this leave works is a dream come true, and it makes this adventure slightly less intimidating. When we get back, I will still be an employee, so I will just have to look for a role on a project that needs me. That's got to be easier that finding an entirely new job.
With the at-home logistics in place, we are knocking the last few items off our to-do list and almost ready to set out. Our first stop is Atlanta, GA, where we'll spend a few days with family and friends there and celebrate TJ's sister's wedding. From there, we will hop on a plane to the other side of the world and hit the following countries in some semblance of this order:
It is hard to believe that this adventure is really happening after all the dreaming we've done. As we get our house in order, wrap up things at work, and say goodbye to the dear friends we've made in Raleigh, it is starting to feel more real. For better or for worse, Friday will be here before we know it!