I have been very angry at my wedding lately. In between all the genuine excitement about crafting a wedding (and wedding team) that feels right and all the worthwhile conversations we're working through together, has been a serious undercurrent of resentment. Because damn you wedding, you're stealing all my time, spare energy and money.
I'm the first person to admit that this process of wedding and marriage planning has been both enjoyable and enlightening, in surprising ways. But I've been equally surprised by the real frustrations of this process, and the ways in which this Big Important Conversations and the Big Important Goals have been limiting my enjoyment of the here-and-now. I can't spend that: I'm saving for the wedding. I don't need a big vacation this summer: we're taking a honeymoon in a year. We can't take a week off this summer: we need all our precious (and limited) vacation days for the wedding and honeymoon.
But you know what? I'm burnt out. I'm tired of 10 hour work days (minimally) and relentless deadlines. I'm tired of wedding planning. And, more importantly, I'm tired of waiting. Waiting until the wedding to have money again. Waiting until after the wedding to travel internationally. Waiting and worrying and counting pennies.
We had grand plans to take a trip to Guatemala this past winter. When Jason lost his job (and found another) and I got sick, we both lost access to the vacation days we would have needed for a week-long vacation. And with the job loss, fear crept in, and we both felt too shaky to make any plans that required large expenditures. The sensible what-ifs took hold, and I cut back my expenses to the bone, worried about emergency funds, wedding budgets, retirement planning, and future children's college funds as my concept of job security and secure healthcare crumbled around me. The trip fell by the wayside and we went to San Fransicso for a long weekend instead.
While you'll never hear me complain about a weekend in San Francisco, as we started planing for another sensible domestic mini-break this summer, a part of me finally revolted. The part of me that spent childhood summers in Scotland with my mother's family, that studied abroad in Kenya, that worked for two years in Madrid and who used to spend every spare penny on crazy last minute trips to far off places finally grabbed me by the shoulders to talk some sense into the sensible. A different set of what-ifs started to take hold. What if the honeymoon is our last chance at unencumbered (ie childfree) international travel before my biological clock explodes? What if we miss our chance to wander the back streets of a foreign capital, intoxicated with wine and adventure? What if we miss our chance to be stupid and young and travel the backroads in a chicken bus and sleep in a $3 hostel in South America (that's not a steroetyped vision of South America, it's an actual trip a girlfriend took.) What if we miss our chance to hit the European countries I haven't seen yet - primarily in the North - because plane tickets and lodging for a family would be just too exorbitant whereas for two we could manage?
I'm tired of dreams deferred. I'm tired of waiting until after the wedding. I nearly have a year to go before we get married, so eff this waiting for life to begin again. We're taking a trip this year. It's somewhat silly (though not disastrous) from a long-term financial standpoint, but I don't care. I can't care and I won't care. I need to see something amazing today, to squeeze every last bit of single-and-healthy life that we can before kids arrive. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks. We want babies before I'm 35. Once those babies arrive, we're looking forward to years of frugal camping and hosteling vacations within a drivable distance. Which is great, but I want something else now. While we can. And I need something to look forward to that doesn't involve pretty dresses and Important Emotional Conversations. I just need to be me and I need us to actually live our life-dreams instead of daydreaming about them and waiting until after the wedding for everything to begin again. I need it now. Not next year, but now.
So, if anyone has any semi-affordable, week-long, international vacation ideas that don't steal more than 8 hours (ish) of flight time from LA, I'm all ears. Help us out here. Because for our honeymoon, we're going to Guatemala but for this summer (and the Guatemalan rainy season) we need help.