It was a very surreal feeling to return my laptop and knowing that I won’t be working for the next seven months. Exciting of course, but not normal, as I have never had a break from work for more than two weeks at a time. I still checked my empty email inbox for the next few days because I somehow felt guilty and wrong not to be working. Ollie’s last day was Friday. His desktop started shutting down abruptly at midday and he didn’t even have a moment with his computer to say good bye. He was cut off cold turkey! I know we are not going to get any sympathy for not having to work so I will move on, but I am sure we will “miss” work for a bit and definitely when it’s time to get paid.
The last few weeks were full of friends and family visiting us – leaving coffees, lunches, dinner and drinks. Lots of drinks! Our liver and tummies might not be happy with the over indulgences but we felt blessed and loved. Our work friends, collegues and bosses were coming to terms with our upcoming absence. After dutifully giving us a hard time for leaving them with all the extra work, they said Bon voyage with meals and drinks. Amongst Whatsapp messages, phone calls and Skype our family and friends overseas, we started packing up our apartment and life in New York.
Our dusty living room was soon neatly stacked with boxes labeled and numbered. We had laborers from philly and Texas (thanks Shreya and Heman) and some local help (Ivan) to help us move our belongings into a storage. We were left with our backpacks stuffed with sparse clothing and necessities in our empty apartment.
Hoboken and our cozy apartment of the past two years had seen us get married a few times and served us well to start our new life together. Saying goodbye was tough even though adversity hit us right at the intersection of our street when we tried to board the bus to make our way into the city. We were short 40 cents for the ride. The driver halted the bus in the middle of the road and the whole bus was staring at the two backpackers still trying to manage their luggage. A couple of passengers came to our rescue and lent us the change with warm smiles, almost wishing us luck. With flushed faces we took the first step of journey praying this was not an indication of months to come.
Our first stop was the O’Sullivan house for the night before we fly to New Orleans. We were fed hot home made food (our last one for a while) and given some much needed love. At the airport we met an excited Katie ready to get the party started. With a GoPro in our hand and heavy backpacks, looking like absolute tourists we have started the adventure!