It is official. As of 5ish this evening, I will be short one best friend. And it's for such a compelling reason, I can't even be pretend-devastated about it. Best friend and best fiance are embarking on a year long tour of Asia, commencing with a 17-day tour through Mongolia (cool, right?). You can follow their progress along with me, as their travel blogs are now gracing the sidebar, Our Year in Asia and life logistics.
Obviously there is a huge part of me that is wildly jealous. I mean, ask me what I'd like to do with my life and the answer is endlessly travel (ask me about my Helsinki to Cape Town itinerary sometime), and there's a huger part of me that has no idea what one does for a year sans best friend. You see Best Friend and I talk on the phone. In fact, other than relatives, Best Friend is the only person I speak to on the phone. For hours. About nothing.
In preparation for this telecommunicative tragedy, Best Friend bought me a portable Skype phone for Christmas so that I can keep in touch with him as he rides yaks and learns kung fu, but I think our habitual 2-hour long Wednesday calls about who knows what are going on hiatus for a while.
Also, Best Friend is the only person I really go out to dinner with. The Boy and I used to do so, but he works far longer hours these days and is less thrilled to then spend more time in a restaurant. Devoted partner and I generally reserve eating out for special occasions and put our eating out money towards our travel instead. But I do like a good meal. I may have to prevail upon the other two men in my life these next 12 or so months.
But the real reason I can't muster any ill will about this abandonment is that I think it's just so darn cool. I know there are a lot of people who look at a decision like this and have an immediate proto-Calvinist reaction to it: how irresponsible, what makes them think they deserve this kind of thing, why aren't they being like everyone else; as an aspirer to the non-status-quo myself, I applaud my friend and his future wife for doing something they WANTED to do and not contenting themselves with merely the things that are acceptable to want. They were able to do it, they wanted to do it, and as of this evening they're doing it. It takes balls, people, and I think it's fantastic!
We hope to meet up with them along the way, possibly in Southeast Asia, possibly in Polynesia, we don't know, they don't know, and the fact that their schedule leaves so much room open for whimsy and spurs of the moments leads me to believe they will have a wonderful, unexpected trip. One I'll be plotting how to emulate for quite some time.
2 weeks ago