1. Elope mid-week at the Seattle courthouse, giggling in your work clothes as you read the standard vows, head spinning. Follow up with Thai food.
2. Take your entire wedding kitty, and spend it on your honeymoon. Leave the day after eloping with your brand new passport and land in Barcelona.
3. Travel around Europe for two weeks, seeing Italy and Malta along the way.
4. Fall in love with Barcelona.
5. Spend 18 months back home wondering why you’re not loving your job anymore.
6. Move to Texas for two years where you get promoted over your boss, she tries to make your life hell and you wonder, seriously, “What am I doing here?”
7. Sell off that massive Texas house you bought, move to Boston, where you start your dream job. Spend two weeks sitting in a cubicle with no assignments, time given to you to “set up your laptop and complete new hire training” both of which you completed on the first day. “Holy crap, I have to get out of here.”
8. Spend the next year saving 50% of your income to quit your job and become a world traveling writer and photographer. The motto is, “F&ck it.”
9. Travel around the world and become a writer. Spend two whole years of mucking about to finally make a living at it.
10. Have a baby.
11. Keep traveling for three more years.
12. Have a second baby.
13. Live in Mexico for 10 months when your realize: holy crap, we stopped traveling! When did we become expats? Look at your children suspiciously.
14. Plan your great escape: Europe!
15. Research like mad. Where should we settle down?
16. Choose Spain for a number of really good reasons.
17. Research cities, looking for a place near the ocean, but not full of retired expats, has good schools, walkable, multicultural, and of course, lovely.
18. Remember your 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up. 10 years. 10! How does that even happen?
19. In the end, look at your spouse and together decide what you knew was inevitable all along.
Next year, amid the craziness that is three years in the making… our documentary is coming to film festivals in the US, my book is due to my publisher and I still have two countries to visit for it and a slew of language exams to sit and we have a lease until Dec 31st on our Mexico home, but at some point in the early spring, we will rent a small flat in Barcelona and start our life there. Just 10 years later, instead of walking through the Gothic quarter as newlyweds, we’ll be there as residents, as parents of two kids, as a family.
Happy anniversary to my husband Drew, whom I was lucky enough to snag 10 years ago today — October 16th, 2003.