"Our daughter was five months old when I got a scholarship to Johns Hopkins. My wife came with me to Baltimore so that our family could stay together. I will always be thankful for that sacrifice, because I know it was the toughest three years of her life. She didn’t speak a word of English. We lived in a tiny studio— so tiny that many times I did my studying in the bathroom. In Vietnam, she had a job where she was getting phone calls all day long. But in America, the phone never rang. She wasn’t allowed to work because of visa requirements. Vietnamese holidays were regular days in America, so I’d be in class during New Year and we could never be together. Sometimes when I’d come home from school during wintertime, she’d look at me with tears in her eyes and say: ‘Tuan, I want to go home.’ But she still stayed with me. When I finally got my degree, many of my friends asked if I’d look for a job in the US. But I wouldn’t do that to her. She had done enough for me. So I said: ‘We are going home immediately.’ And as soon as we got back to Vietnam, she was like a fish back in the pond."
There is so much responsibility required and reward possible in a marriage.
Hopefully something similar will be my actual view - not just my desktop background - in just 18 days, because we’re going to Stepantsminda! And also elsewhere in Georgia (a country I’ve wanted to visit for years). You can find me Googling pronunciations of Georgian places / foods which I will likely forget before arrival, reading up on the Russo-Georgian war, learning what South Ossetia is, and planning my strategy for “Living Through Khachapuri" as a paleo eater.
I have even gone so far as to insist that we install a ‘travel planning’ cork board in our home on which we can visually piece together the different aspects of an upcoming trip. We’ll put a map of in the middle, a couple of helpful phrases to learn, details of where we are staying and the expected temperature, etc… My brain is imagining it as a useful tool, so we’ll see if it ends up looking like a Pinterest fail.
Feeling pretty lucky as I approach my 29th birthday.