This Time Tomorrow

A friend of mine once bought a day planner and used it for half a year without incident. Then one day, we're sitting there in Biology---did I mention that this was when I was fifteen?---and she turns the page to write down the due date of the next homework assignment, which was, I don't know, Tuesday June 5th or something, and finds that someone, SOMEONE THAT ISN'T HER, has written in her planner the following line: "a year today she went away."
This is pretty creepy, sure. It's pretty creepy that someone---I'm thinking it was a lovesick teenage boy who'd listened to a little too much Matchbox Twenty in the HMV next door, possibly while wearing a trenchcoat---would commemorate a private anniversary in someone else's unbought planner (in rhyming couplets, no less!), but it's also a sentiment that I really kind of understand. I've always been one for marking the passage of time by comparing it to what I was doing a day ago, a week ago, two weeks ago, a year ago. It helps keep me grounded if I have a frame of reference. It makes things less sad or less painful or maybe it just makes them seem less long ago.
Through July, August, September, and October, I have been secretly and religiously keeping track of where I was this time last year. And where I was this time last year, of course, was China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma. To say my life is different now than it was a year ago is like saying Sean Preston Spears Federline is going to have a mildly turbulent adolescence. My life now is pretty much as different as it is legally possible for a person's life to be: my days, for instance, are structured around the fact that I have a job to do and a cable bill to pay and a toilet that frequently needs its handle jiggled, and not around the fact that the Lonely Planet has a temple on page 586 that looks pretty cool and might be worth checking out. I do not carry my entire wardrobe on my back anymore. I don't sleep with my passport tucked in the waistband of my pants. I shower with alarming regularity.
So today is a secret special little anniversary of mine, a day I observed with a moment of silence in between wiping up cat vomit---oh, you wish I were kidding---and arguing with the DHL man about whether or not he attempted delivery yesterday, and if so, why he didn't RING THE BELL. Today is the day---this very day, this very time last year---that Sean and I gave up the traveling game after three months and slunk back to some semblance of normalcy. This means that a whole 365 days have gone by in which I haven't identified myself as person (a traveler!) taking three months off to see the world. And, you know, that gets me kind of down if I think about it too hard. Somehow, this anniversary of it being over is almost worst than the moment when it was over: with every year that goes by, the best part of my life so far is buried a little further under another layer of time.
But hey, that is totally why God invented slideshows, right? Turn the sound on your computer up and let's reminisce!

Oct 27, 2007

great slideshow, but how on earth did you choose from all your photos?!

Oct 27, 2007

Beautiful photos Holly & Sean. My 6-month old cat died Thursday, which made me want to sell everything, pack my bags and go off on an adventure. Disappear for awhile. Your slide show solidified that feeling. Now if I could only find a big stash of money somewhere...

By the way, you gots to come to Canada! You'll love it up here.

Oct 27, 2007

Do you ever wonder what the people you photographed a year ago are doing in their lives now?

Oct 27, 2007

when you stopped traveling the rest of us did too. sniff!

Heather B.
Oct 27, 2007

After watching that I'm now craving a beach somewhere far far away.

What you all did was pretty awesome. I'm jealous. But think of it this way, now you have new(er) adventures to go on which can always be fun. Not necessarily Thailand fun, but a different fun.

Oct 27, 2007

pickles! your site auto-refreshed right in the middle and i was all teary and reminisce-y

thank you for sharing your voice, thank you

JB at Twice Five Miles
Oct 27, 2007

Somehow the first time around I missed the photo of Sean with all the lightholes (?) behind him... I truly love that one.

You guys are so gorgeous... I mean that in a completely non-creepy way, I swear.

Oct 27, 2007

That slideshow makes it all real again I bet. It was great to travel vicariously through you then and wonderful to revisit it again now. You did it! What an amazing thing!

Oct 27, 2007

Wow. Great slide show. I think I just caught the travel bug from you. Itchy!

Sarah Marie
Oct 27, 2007

I love love love traveling. I always feel more like myself while I'm doing it.

Great slideshow and song!

Oct 27, 2007

What a gorgeous slideshow. . .makes me want to just pack up and leave. I don't even care where., (Especially now that it's getting to be winteryish here).

Oct 27, 2007

Beautiful pictures! I don't think I started reading until after you had finished your travels, so this was the first time I got to see the pics. Just wonderful.

Oct 27, 2007

Holly, thanks for sharing these fantastic moments. Is there any way for you to set the slideshow to play more slowly? Or for us to pause it so that we can drool more effectively over each frame? There isn't time to really appreciate each picture before it's gone... I may have to sit here and replay this all day long to get my fill!

Oct 27, 2007

Jesu Christu, great slideshow. Y'all sure brightened up Asia.

Oct 27, 2007

Beautiful slideshow. I still don't know how you managed to carry your entire wardrobe on your back for 3 months; you're wearing a different adorable outfit in each photo! Did you have a bottomless Mary Poppins carpetbag?

Oct 27, 2007

I adored this slideshow!

Oct 27, 2007

Whoa! That airliner just went RIGHT across the room in front of me here -- full volume!! Perfectly normal to be wistful, I would say, but believe me, the memories just get richer with time, and you will carry those with you for the rest of your life. As for the "best part so far" part, I have the perfect antidote for you...get the heck married and start having babies!!! The whole blog world knows you're going to do that someday, and I guarantee there will be more "best parts" to come than you can even begin to imagine. Life is good ;-)

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 27, 2007

Erica: I wonder that all the time.

Marcheline: No way to pause or slow down the slideshow, I'm afraid (programming it just to do this pretty much kicked Sean's butt), but all the pictures (and waaaaay more) are on Flickr! They're divided by city and country, under My Sets.

And thanks, everyone!

Oct 27, 2007

wonderful slideshow... you guys are sickeningly photogenic, (not that you aren't gorgeous in person also..). Always have loved the Kinks, and have had this song in my Itunes for a long long time, but Darjeeling and this slide show definitely take it to the realm of 'magical'+ now I can't get enough of it! will write you more in an email. In NYC now :-)

Oct 27, 2007

Thanks for sharing that! It was really nice. It makes me wish that I could do a little adventure before adult life REALLY sets in.

Oct 27, 2007

That was simply breathtaking. And awesome!

thank you so much for sharing that!

Oct 27, 2007

Wow. Amazing, gorgeous photos. You two are such supermodels!

Oct 27, 2007

That was awesome!

Now I'm psyched for my next trip!

Susan D.
Oct 27, 2007

I addictively followed your travelogue as you spent those three months on the road. You must have had the most incredible experience. No matter how much time goes by, it will always be yours, one of those things that makes you who you are.

Oh yeah, and by the way, when are you and Sean getting married? (Sorry, I'm nosy!) I've never seen and/or read about two people more perfectly suited to be together forever. And plus, once you get married, you have an excuse to go on another big long trip together - culturally sanctioned as a honeymoon.

Oct 27, 2007

Gorgeous photos.

I wish I could pack it up and travel for 3 months like that. But somehow listening to my children whine through Asia would make it less enjoyable ;-)

another Teej
Oct 27, 2007

Amazing slideshow, I'm intrigued, I need to find some time to read your archives of that trip.

Oct 27, 2007

Lovely! the pictures are great.
Loved the music. Here's where I show my ignorance: what track is it?

So... is it Canada or Portland? I voted for Canada. I lived in Boston for a while and made my way there a few times. It was beautiful!

take care,

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 27, 2007

Atul -- it's This Time Tomorrow by the Kinks.

As for Vancouver or Portland, we're STILL undecided. We're wondering now if a Saturday and three quarters of a Sunday is long enough to do Vancouver justice, and if Portland might be better suited for a weekend trip. Plus, I'm going to London on November 22nd, so the British Candy Urgency is not quite so much of an emergency situation as I perhaps made it out to be.

Oct 27, 2007

What a wonderful slideshow. Someday I'd like to travel the world.

Oct 27, 2007

and if you tell me that you knew of the song before it showed up on the soundtrack to The Darjeeling Limited . . . well, I'm very impressed.

Oct 27, 2007

I can't recall that I ever commented here before (I'm such a chicken), but I have been reading your blog since a few months prior to your Asian travels. I too share your love of travel. Trying to cater to my traveling whims, my husband accepted a job in Japan so I could see all I wanted. I don't see how I will ever get everywhere... there's just so much I want to see, but you certainly have inspired me to try!

Excellent recollection of a wonderful trip! Thankfully, the good thing about amazing trips is that there is probably going to be another one for you. It's just inside your soul to hit the road and experience... no matter how I lives seem to settle in.

Thanks for your beautiful words! Always!

Oct 27, 2007

"Our lives"! Not "I lives"! Sheesh... I finally comment, but my nerves decide to remove any knowledge of the English language from my brain while I do so.

Susan too
Oct 27, 2007

Holly, my now husband and I were you and Sean, years ago. We did a 6 month trip in SE Asia with a few more countries and the South Pacific thrown in. Its not more than a dozen years ago and I still reminisce on certain dates, or when the light hits me a certain way, or the smell of something in the air....all kinds of memories come flooding back. I am always profoundly depressed when I get home as I tick of the time until I am home longer than I was gone. I am rambling to tell you its a sickness and you've got it too....
thanks for sharing....

Oct 28, 2007

The longest we've been away from home was a month (three weeks in South Africa and one in London) last December, but a long trip to Southeast Asia is on our list. We start to get travel-bug-itchy mere days after we return from a trip.

My hubby has applied for three professor positions near Portland, so I'll let you know how it is, if and when he gets an interview! :)

Oct 28, 2007

I started tearing up watching that, and it's not even my trip. Weird. I guess it's the feeling that I'll never have that sort of experience (no balls) and that, like for you, a year of my life is over, a year is gone. Plus I found your blog during your travels, so it's odd to think how far away that is now - you know how you sort of creepily know people whose blogs you read and feel like you grow with them? Exactly.
I hope this next year is another beautiful, albeit different, one for you.

Saucepan Man
Oct 28, 2007

I'm watching Tom at the Singapore Sevens this weekend so I guess that would be about right. We were in the stands on the Padang this time last year explaining the rules of rugby to Sean and you were just back...

Oct 28, 2007

A year ago today (yesterday, now, I guess--October 27), my dad died unexpectedly; keeled over and died at 64, dead before he hit the ground, gone.

Really, though, today is just another day. I don't say this to sound like a downer, because I mean it as anything but that. It's just another day. For me, another day without him, in a string of 364 ahead of it.

For you, another day exploring different things than you were a year ago.

For me, too.

I count days, too: I do the "year ago" thing; I always have.

Keep on doing it. It tells you how far you've come, and how far you've grown, and how much you're the same, still. A year later is just, in the end, another day. For me, another day, 364 days later, without my dad. For you, 364 days after the end of adventure. This is as life should be.

Mark the time, and be happy for what's happened since then. Be happy for today!

Seriously, I think, just be grateful, and happy. There is so much to love in life.

Oct 28, 2007

Wait, is it 365? Probably. I still get thrown off on what days to count. Which is why waiting for Santa Claus was always an issue.

Oct 28, 2007

aww, the first time it loaded wonky and almost made me blind trying to catch glimpses of it, and the second time your site auto refused on me too!! *whines* What I saw looked great though!

Oct 28, 2007

Having only recently discovered your blog, I missed out on all the travel stories - will have to go back through and read them. The slideshow, the song, recalling the journey - all were fabulous.

For a graduation gift, we're giving our 18-year son a year off from college to go globetrekking and explore the world. He'll be doing pretty much the same thing y'all did - backpacking and living on a budget. Still, he's really excited about it - has been putting a plan together for about 3 years spec'ing places he wants to see. And he's rounding up those who are going with him.

Though forlorn over the trip ending, just remember - you can always do it again! :)

Oct 28, 2007


Next semester, I'm studying in London (eeee!), and I can only hope I'll have the courage to see and do as much as I possibly can in those three-and-a-half months I'm in Europe. Heh, if I ever get in an "Oh, I'll just stay home and bum around on the Internet this weekend" mood, I'll just watch your slideshow again. It certainly provokes the ol' wanderlust.

Oct 28, 2007

that was awesome.

Oct 28, 2007

amazing. and beautiful.

All Mod Cons
Oct 28, 2007

Excellent slide show! Tops.

Oct 28, 2007

Thanks for sharing your photos - they are so beautiful! My husband and I are going to Thailand & Cambodia for three weeks in December and I'm inspired by your adventures! Can't wait!

She Likes Purple
Oct 29, 2007

Incredible slideshow... I hope the best days of your life are still up ahead.

Oct 29, 2007

Loved it, but wish it had gone a bit slower, just so I could inspect each picture. It helps me to live vicariously through you when I do that.

Oct 29, 2007

love love LOVE it! when i go to asia for 3 months, will you come over and help me pack? :) perfect song also!

Oct 29, 2007

LOVE LOVE LOVED that slideshow...and believe you JUST might have inspired me to make one of my own for our trip last Fall (around same period) on the trans sib.

Wonderful pictures of what looked like a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Oct 29, 2007

The Kinks rock, your photo's are simply gorgeous, the speed is perfect with the beat of the song (a classic, classic tune, I must say again), and your generosity is amazing.


Oct 29, 2007

Love. Love. LOVE.

Thanks for sharing.

Oct 29, 2007

thanks for inspiring.

did you really live on $10 a day? did you need to know any of the native languages to get around? if a person did not have three months to take this trip, what is the shortest amount of time you think would be ok to see most or all of these countries you visited? Help! I want to go there!

Oct 29, 2007

You two are so stinkin' cute I can't stand it!

Oct 29, 2007

Thanks for reminding me why I must start planning my next big adventure. Lovely slideshow, you two are absolutely darling.

Oct 29, 2007

wow. amazing slideshow. thanks for sharing. i am rather envious. and you both look ravishing and so in love.

Oct 30, 2007

Brilliant. And Inspiring.

Thanks for sharing (and for pulling it together for us Sean!)

Carl Weaver
Nov 04, 2007

Beautiful slideshow and writing.

I completely get what you are saying here. Feb. 1st will be the four-year anniversary of a trip to Thailand to become a Buddhist monk. It hurts to not be there now and would hurt if I were there, separated by such distance from everything here. Such is the nature of suffering, I suppose.

What hurts worst is that the book I have been writing about the experience is still underway and the deadlines I set keep moving backward, like the shore when you are caught by an undertow it seems like you will never reach where you need to be.

This post was good for me. Thanks!

Nov 04, 2007

What a treat! You are both absolutely fabulous!! I admire your passion for adventure. Thank you for sharing.

Nov 04, 2007

How did I manage to miss this post? That slideshow was just lovely.