One of the final items on our pre-trip checklist was to throw a departure celebration with our friends and family. Neither Chris or myself are particularly good at planning events, but it turned out being a flawless decision in making sure that we had a chance to see all of our closest friends and family members before leaving the country.
It may not always be necessary to throw a party when you leave the country, but it sure is a great excuse to get everyone together!
We rented out the upstairs space of Nobles Bar and Grill (a local Baltimore establishment) for a few hours about three days before our departure. We had an amazing turn out and saw many friendly faces that we rarely get to see. Family members were in from out of town and friends gathered from countless different groups from both our past and present; childhood, high school, college, sports, work, etc. We were able to catch up with so many great people and clarify a lot of trip details as well. It was nice to be able to answer countless questions about the trip and even provide a visual of where we were going to be traveling (to minimize the repetitive questions, see below for details). After planning for so long, you start to think that everyone around you knows the intricate details of the adventure. This proved to be wildly false and it was refreshing to add some clarity for many.
It was truly remarkable to see the amount of love and support that showered us throughout the day.
Chris and I are extremely grateful to have such a supportive network of friends while embarking on such a life changing experience. More importantly, we would not be where we are today without our incredible families. From day one, our parents have encouraged us to make this trip a reality and I am almost positive this enduring support is rare. While words cannot describe the amount of excitement bottled up in us to leave for this trip, words cannot describe how much we will be missing and thinking about everyone back home.
“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” -Wendy Wunder