GRATITUDE

by Carmel on September 17, 2013 · 20 comments

I started writing this as we were mere minutes away from heading to the airport to begin our travels. We are excited, nervous and sad all at the same time…but most importantly we feel SO incredibly grateful. Grateful for the quality time spent with family and friends, the opportunity to take this great adventure, but mostly so grateful for the love and support we’ve received from our friends, family, and even just strangers who read our little blog. It has given us the strength we need to say goodbye and embark into the unknown. This dream has been the hardest by far to accomplish, but already the most satisfying.

It’s easy to lose perspective in the midst of all the difficult goodbyes. We’ve only been away from Portland for just over a month and just left Seattle, but I already feel this deep pain in my gut from missing everyone. I tend to focus on my fear of missing out – however, at this time I choose to think of all the love we’ve received upon our departure. We’re blessed. We have a community we truly love and that wants us to get out and fulfill our dreams of travel. What more could you ask for?

It’s hard to look at these pictures without tearing up a bit, but I wanted to share some of the faces from our two (!!) incredible going away parties that were thrown for us – one in Portland and one in Seattle.

 “Time doesn’t take away from friendship, nor does separation.”
― Tennessee Williams

Portland Party

girls

My sister, mom, and Eve-Maridy (practically a sister)

AricChristine

The beautiful Christine and Shawn’s oldest friend, Aric

LeviNora

My other “sister,” Nora, and her beautiful baby boy

MelBarb

Representing the “Women’s Group,” my dear friend Barbara

Momsister

My beautiful mama and sister

MSR_Shawn

Our little niece (Eve-Maridy’s sweet kiddo) and uncle “Shaaaa-awn…”

Quattro

The newest little heartbreaker in town, the adorable little “Quattro” and proud papa Angelo

Quigleys

Two of my oldest friends in Portland, Jason and Megan, who will have another little baby while we’re gone

Seattle party

HenryPlane

My incredible uncle Henry who told me he was going to make a cardboard airplane for a decoration, then showed up with this

PattyGrandmaMe

My aunt Patty and my grandma (who told me about 10 times before we left that I have to come home)

Takemuras

Our friend (and broker) and his beautiful family

Thiessens

Posing with some of our oldest family friends

Mom

One of my greatest inspirations, my mama

HenryBlanca

Henry and Blanca, who was nice enough to fly up from LA for our party and help assemble the plane

TanyaEmily

Tanya and her cutie-pie daughter who hates it when I try to take her picture

MelShawn

And, of course, I couldn’t do it without this guy…the love of my life and partner in crime

There were more people there whose picture I somehow didn’t get, but thank you to everyone for coming and supporting us. Special thanks to our friends Eve-Maridy and Tobias, and my mom for throwing the parties for us. We can’t express enough gratitude to you in particular.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim September 18, 2013 at 3:46 am

Carmel, you look so much like your mom. Beautiful photos and I’m so glad your send off was wonderful. You’re in Mongolia!!!

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Carmel September 19, 2013 at 5:58 am

What a nice compliment! 🙂 We ARE in Mongolia! And by now you’re probably in Spain. Crazy.

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Maria B. September 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

I got a little teary eyed by the time I got to the picture of you and my Auntie. Over the years, I’ve really come to understand just what it is to have the support of your family and friends for your ambitions–even if they aren’t constantly with you.
Maria B. recently posted…Eurotrip 2013My Profile

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Carmel September 19, 2013 at 5:59 am

I would imagine you have a lot of experience in that department since you’re always moving around, as is your family. 🙂 It’s a good feeling, although sometimes what you wouldn’t give for a hug….

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) September 18, 2013 at 7:57 am

Such a nice way to start off your journey by taking the time to pay tribute to the rich life the two of you are leaving for a little bit. I know that right before Tony & I started off on our trip, it really struck me just how fortunate we were to be in the position to take our adventure and that so much of it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our family and friends. They sure do may leaving home hard, but they’ll also make coming back all the sweeter!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…The Multicultural Morass of SingaporeMy Profile

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Carmel September 19, 2013 at 6:02 am

It will make our eventual return even sweeter, you’re right. In our first few days, we are just overwhelmed by the ever-changing emotions. We’re so excited to be here and have so much time to explore and absorb the culture….we’re also having a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle of not having a home or a community. However, it does help still having that support back home, even though they can’t be with us. I’m sure we’ll find a balance eventually, for now, it’s like trying to balance on a surfboard in a very choppy ocean.

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EM Rice September 18, 2013 at 9:35 am

Thank you for the love, Carmellie! We miss you already!

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Carmel September 19, 2013 at 6:02 am

Us too!! Give my little MSR a huge hug from her aunty and uncle!

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Ana September 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Yes – Miss you & Shawn lots – However I am so pleased that your are following your dream to travel. OXOXOXO mama

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Carmel September 19, 2013 at 6:03 am

Oh mama, you’ll never know how hard it was saying goodbye to you or how much we appreciate all you’ve done for us. Love you.

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Lindsay September 20, 2013 at 1:41 am

I had similar thoughts of gratitude this morning while journaling. We worked hard ourselves to make this trip happen, but there are so many people in our lives who we have to thank, without whom we would still be unhappily toiling away, not realizing our dreams. What a beautiful, heart-warming post!

(BTW – I signed up for email subscription to your blog a while ago, but never received any emails. So, I have it in Feedly now, but not sure why the subscription never went through!)

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Carmel September 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

Thank you Lindsay. It takes a village…right?

Sorry about the subscription. I’ve had a couple people tell me they haven’t been getting posts. That’s a little disconcerting. Not sure why! Thanks for using Feedly to keep up!

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Sarah Somewhere September 20, 2013 at 8:14 am

So much love!!! Loved ‘meeting’ your family and friends, and big props to Uncle Henry on that awesome plane!!!! 🙂
Sarah Somewhere recently posted…The Fire That BurnsMy Profile

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Carmel September 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

I’ll let him know you say so. I love having a big, crazy Mexican family!

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Maddie September 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Gorgeous photos, you must feel very lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. Bon voyage to both of you, I cannot believe you are finally on your way and can’t wait to read all about it 🙂
Maddie recently posted…Paradise found – Isla del SolMy Profile

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Carmel September 27, 2013 at 7:46 am

We do feel very blessed/lucky/fortunate for the amazing people we have surrounding us. Nothing like leaving them to make you appreciate them even more (as if we didn’t already…)

I can’t believe it, either, to be honest.

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Claire September 22, 2013 at 8:21 am

It can be so hard to say goodbyes, especially for the long-term. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures!
Claire recently posted…Don’t Let Money Take Over Your LifeMy Profile

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Carmel September 27, 2013 at 7:47 am

Yes, yes they do…but we’re happy to have such wonderful people in our lives that makes it hard to leave. Thanks for following and commenting, Claire!

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Amy October 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Beautiful pictures; I remember so well how painful those goodbyes are. It’s lovely to know how much everyone is behind you and wants to see you achieve your dreams though. Congratulations on starting your adventure!
Amy recently posted…Batad: The Toughest TrekMy Profile

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Carmel October 6, 2013 at 12:34 am

They are hard, but they wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t feel so loved…so I guess it’s not a bad thing! It’s been almost three weeks since we left and sometimes I am still in shock that we’re on the other side of the world. I’m sure by the time it really settles in, we’ll be on our third or fourth country! 🙂

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