The Money Brick

(All photos in this post courtesy of Iowa photographer and all-around swell guy Joe Pyle.)

A few days before we left, our Iowa City friends threw a little back yard shindig to send us on our way. Speeches were made, hotdogs were consumed, small bits of crepe paper streamers were licked to verify that yes, the probably highly toxic dyes do taste astoundingly awful.

Our friend Stan, who is usually plotting ways to redecorate peoples’ yards while they’re on vacation, secretly took up a collection and at the end of the night handed us a rectangular bundle to help us do something extra special. As you can tell by our unhinged jaws, we were shocked. Shocked! And humbled. We can think of hundreds of more worthy charitable causes than the Tony and Alicia Have Quit Their Jobs to Travel to Who Knows Where Foundation. But for some reason, you crazy people decided to love us.

We decided that we would 1.) use it on an experience that is the best in the world for whatever it was we were going to do, 2.) use it on an experience that we wouldn’t have otherwise chosen, and 3.) film a bit of it so you can be there with us.

So here it is. Here’s what we did.

Thank you SO MUCH.

Aug 2012

Iowa City


Regarding Confidence

Yesterday included a bit of sleep-deprived stress, a first flight delay, a bit of confusing / lacking canadian airport signage, a bit of a check-in computer glitch accompanied by a frazzled attendant, a bit of panicked running with my belt in one hand and a handwritten boarding pass in the other, and of course bit of classic fret and worry about decisions I’ve made about this year.

We touched down in Keflavik at 7am local time after watching the sun rise over tiny bits of ice floating in the Atlantic. The first wi-fi spot available was on the bus that drove us 45 minutes up to Reykjavik. Before even leaving the airport I read through maybe 40 Facebook notes from people who wished us well, shared our blog, and told us they would miss us.

A captivating scene of mountains and moss-covered fields of lava rock kept me from replying with more than a quick Icelandic “bless bless” at the time, but now that we’re all snug in our guest house and the first night is winding down, let me tell you how I really feel…

The confidence I had when I first decided to do all this has been affected by the constant and increasing fight between excitement and anxiety. Even right now as I type this the bewilderment that this is actually happening is more tangible than any confidence about this decision. The only thing more bewildering, which happens to also be the only thing I am truly confident about, is that we have been blessed with the best friends in the world.

The past couple weeks have been a marathon of goodbyes and last meals. We have so many friends who have encouraged us from the very beginning. We have friends who’s excitement for us outshines our own. We have friends who drove from neighboring towns and states to hug us one last time. We have friends who showed up at 6 am wednesday morning to see us off. Friends who passed us like a torch from Iowa City to Cedar Falls to Mason City to the Minneapolis airport. Friends who barely knew us when they invited us to live in their home in January, but hugged us goodbye as family. We love you all so much. We don’t have any other words but thank you.

- Tony

Apr 2012

Iceland, Iowa City