Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 22, 2008 - Newport, RI

This trip home has been a bit different for us than last year. We are now halfway through our trip around the world, both in terms of miles and in terms of time. And although we are very excited about the destinations coming up in the year ahead, we are also starting to consider where we want to settle when we return home to the States and how we want to live our lives when we return. Eighteen months from now we're going to be looking for work, looking for housing, and trying to start a family all at the same time. Well, maybe not simultaneously, but you get my drift.

As we've traveled around the States these past few weeks, visiting friends and family in various cities in the Midwest and Northeast, we have been paying a lot of attention to how they live their lives, and particularly how they juggle working and raising families. Some of our friends raising children work part-time, others full-time. And still others are able to have one person stay home with the children, which strikes us both as a full-time job in and of itself. Conversations like the one we had last Friday night with our friend Sarah, who, together with her husband, works full time while raising two children, provide us with a lot to think about. It seems to us that there are trade-offs to be made with every approach, and each family has to find one that works for them.

We recently realized that renting, rather than buying a home, when we first return from our trip would give us a lot more flexibility, financially and geographically. So, when Suzy mentioned that seventy of the 18th and 19th century houses that have been restored by the Newport Restoration Foundation, which was founded by Doris Duke, were available for rent, we promptly downloaded and completed an application. The waiting list is several years long, so we got ourselves down to the office today and submitted our application. Hopefully something will become available before the first frost of Winter 2010.

A few hours later, on the way home from dinner with friends in a frigid, under-insulated restaurant in Jamestown, we were both wondering what we could possibly have been thinking, planning to move back to a place that is so cold for so much of the year. But, we'll cross that bridge when we sail under it.

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