People sometimes ask how one adjusts to life out of a suitcase and then back to the real world again. They don't ask me, clearly, but I'm sure that this question has been asked. If this inquiry was directed in my vicinity though, I would take it and turn it into a blog post. Kind of like this one.
I think that Zhou and I fit two different molds as it relates to world travel: (1) people who enjoy the experiences rather than possessions and (2) people who are way too structured / organized to even think about taking a year off and fly by the seat of their pants:
My typical weekday morning goes something like this:
6:23 - wake up (no snoozes, thanks to this guy)
6:25 - brush teeth and take vitamin (Target brand, to save money)
6:34 - head to gym (crazy, I just recently became a morning person)
6:44 - pushups / crunches / stretch (I can now touch my toes!)
6:55 - basketball (show off my reverse jams)
8:00 - make and eat breakfast (either oatmeal or bagel / eggs, always with applesauce and milk)
8:31 - shower
8:42 - change (while watching DVRed Sportscenter top plays)
9:08 - work
I'd like to think there's some variation to the schedule, but other than choosing whether to eat oatmeal or not, there really isn't. And that's the way I like it.
And then there's Zhou. To sum up, I once caught her sweeping the floor, then washing it, then sweeping it again. And the next day for good measure, she swept it one more time. (Don't tell her I told you this - I'll get in big trouble.)
In light of this, I honestly sometimes wonder if we'll be able to fend for ourselves out in the world. And as much as I love my dad, I just can't picture him Liam Neesoning people the way Liam Neeson does when his kid is in trouble overseas. But then I see that terrible Denny's Nanerpus commercial one more time and I realize that I need to get out of this country and not return until that commercial has run its course.
So in order to keep sane while leading a completely unstructured, almost chaotic, lifestyle from September 2009 to July 2010, we will need to KevinandZhou-atize it as much as possible. Harkening back to an earlier post, we started by making a daily schedule of every last day that we'll be traveling. An example:
12/15/09: Thailand. Bangkok (Grand Palace - Emerald Buddha), overnight bus to Chiang Mai
12/16/09: Thailand. Chiang Mai (Flight of the Gibbons), overnight bus to Bangkok
6/24/10: Switzerland. Zurich (electric train to Uetliberg, tour at Felsenegg)
6/25/10: Switzerland. Zurich (bike from Seebach station through the forest to Katzenruti, picnic, then to Katzensee, then back to Affoltern)
Might seem a little over-the-top to a lot of people, but planning our days out over 15 months from now is just another thing everyone loves about Kevin and Zhou. (Right? Anyone? Bueller?)
Another thing that we've decided to do is create statistics from the trip. Everytime we board a bus, we'll start a timer, and every time we get off, we'll stop the timer. And if we get a better stopwatch than John Candy in Cool Runnings, we'll document the results in Excel. Since we're timing our bus rides, we might as well time our train rides too. Oh, and planes. And probably taxis. The good part is, everyone will be interested in these statistics, and I'm sure will be waiting anxiously for the results to come in. (Right? Anyone? Bueller?)
Not everything we do will be able to be quantified or organized or planned out though. I think a big reason for this trip though is to get Zhou and me out of our comfort zones (Survivor and canned pears for me, naps and making up songs about Charlie for her) and into new and exciting situations. I will try to stop worrying about getting my new jacket wet or new shoes muddy. Zhou will have to learn that no matter how many times you sweep the Serengeti, it will remain dusty.
Of course, when we return to the States, we'll fall back into our anal ways. We're not trying to change the world...
This post was a little bit nerdy, and I apologize for that. I realized halfway through that I was heading down a path that was going to get my suspenders snapped and my head dunked in a toilet. So to make up for that, I think it's best that we finish with a mind-bending puzzle and the usual Scrabble summary. Since there was a winner from last post's puzzle (Hadley, your postcard's not quite in the mail yet but it should be shortly), here comes a completely new anagram.
The 43rd President's Response to a Millionaire Anagram:
"W: Treasury has inflation"
Scrabble Games: 15 (full log)
Zhou WPLB: 9; 367; 364; DOSsIER
Kevin WPLB: 6; 360; 341; LEAVENeR