It all started with tears dropping into a stemless glass of Pierre Jouet. Floating high above the city, a celebration of completing 24 years of life turned somber as the champagne salinated–the result of an unwanted, unexpected offensive launch by my tear ducts, who clearly didn’t understand that I was living the dream. I believe what happened was the beginning of a quarter-life crisis, a year too early.

Before this moment, my life was perfect. Well, really, it was perfect afterwards, too, and it would be naive and stupid to declare it otherwise. I had a career-path job doing environmental work downtown, a relationship quickly veering towards happy cohabitation in a dreamy apartment, leisure time and energy to spend as I pleased, and very little debt. You’ve heard this story before: white, educated, upper-middle class chick has it all, but still feels empty. Blah, blah, blah. It’s nothing new, and rather than turn this very first post on this shiny new blog into an Eat, Pray, Love-wannabe post about finding myself, I’ll get to the point: I felt settled, comfortable, and  yet shocked by how seamlessly time had rolled on since college without regular vacations punctuating time. That my position in life on my 24th birthday was really no different than where I was on my 23rd slammed into my brain over dinner, parked itself, and refused to move.

I’d achieved the dream too quickly, with very little deviation from the narrative of life you hear over and over growing up: achieve well, do extracurriculars, go to college, graduate with honors,  nourish friendships and relationships, get a job using your degree doing something you believe in, save money.  I did it. Over my birthday dinner, I realized that I needed to do things with my relative youth and strength while I still had them–things that didn’t jive with the full-time work, settled lifestyle I slid into so gently and peacefully. I had to get unfettered. I had to get out of the country, and stay out of the country until past the point of readiness to return, but I had to do it right. This, I decided would be a step in the right direction.

The process took longer than I thought, with time rolling on without my consent, new projects popping up, and the needs of my boyfriend, who after observing my fit of self-pity on his balcony, decided that his life could handle some shaking up as well. Today I am nearly 25.5 years old, and we’re just finalizing our paperwork to submit to the Royal Thai Embassy in pursuit of educational Visas that will allow us to stay in Thailand for 360 days. Our departure date from Texas and from our lives is November 27, a monstrous date that approaches without concern for our preparedness.

This website will chronicle my time in Thailand, starting right now with the departure process, and will hopefully be less melodramatic going forward. My greatest hope for this site is to provide company for others who have had huge ideas  fall into their brains out of nowhere that compel follow-up, and not in the Andrea Yates sense. Following these ideas through to execution is hard work, but it can be done. I’m going to prove it to you.

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3 Responses to In The Beginning There Was Salty Champagne

  1. Katie says:

    And you are rolling! I will be following……and now I’m really hungry for some curry.

  2. Rachael says:

    What an incredible journey you have set upon. I can relate to your desire for change and sense of adventure. Last year, my boyfriend and I moved to Manhattan, NY from Richmond, VA. It isn’t Thailand, but it was definitely a complete culture shock!

    I’m sending good vibes your way and look forward to reading more about your experiences.

    ps. My blog about the move to and travails in NYC, is:

  3. Sujittra Martin says:

    Great journey, Susan and Andy. I am your Thai cousin (in-law). LOVE that you are doing it! Please go visit my Thai family when you can. Will talk details.


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