Monday, May 08, 2006

John has left the country

I dropped my husband off at National Airport in D.C. this morning, and I won't see him for 6 1/2 weeks. That is a LONG time. And can I just say, D.C. is still intimidating to me, even after living 45 minutes away from it for most of my life? It's just not a city I really love.

I found a flight tracker on the web and I've been following John's flight. He's currently 33,000 feet over Mongolia, about 3 hours from landing in Bangkok. He took a flight from D.C. to JFK this morning, then had a five hour layover before taking off at noon. He's on a direct flight from JFK to Bangkok, going over the North Pole. Pretty cool, huh? Thai Airways had their direct flights on sale so we both booked nonstop flights. The other times I've flown to/from Thailand, I've had to stop in Korea or Taiwan. Taiwan's the far better stopping place, just because it's a more direct route and shaves a couple of hours off your total travel time. But when you're talking about a 14 flight (give or take) from L.A. or San Fran to Taiwan or Korea, and then a layover, followed by a flight to Bangkok, every hour counts! Seoul to Bangkok was like a 6 hour flight, while Taipei to Bangkok was 4 or so. Much better. John was up all night packing, and just not being able to sleep, so by the time we left he was all nervous energy. I'm so excited for him, though. I can't wait to hear all about this new place we'll be living. I was teasing him before he left that I was going to get spoiled sleeping in a bed by myself and not having to share space, and he responded with "And I'll have a whole HOUSE to myself." Which is true. Besides, I'm still up right now because I can't fall asleep in that bed by myself, I'm too used to having someone to cuddle with.

I was thinking the other day about all that's happened in the last year, and it's just been crazy. In the past twelve months (give or take a couple of weeks), I've:
  • Quit my job
  • Gone back to school full-time
  • Graduated from college
  • Moved cross-country
  • Had two more jobs (one of which I currently still have)
  • Lost all my pregnancy weight (yeah!!!)
  • Started a college savings fund for Chantrea
  • Sold our car, and most of our other household belongings

And within the next couple of months, I will pack up and move Chantrea and me to a new country. It's been a good year, though, and we feel good about all the decisions we've made.

I've been studying Thai quite a bit lately as well, and I've finally mastered all 44 consonants. Well, maybe not mastered. The tones are still tricky. And vowel length (how long you hold the vowel) is very important in Thai, and it's hard for me to combine hard tones with short vowels. Still, I've got the basic alphabet. Now, if I can just get all 48 vowels down I'll really be on my way!

I still have a few loose ends to take care of before I leave. I'm waiting on a check from my life insurance company, I cashed out the whole-life policy my dad bought for me when I was a kid. (My dad was a licensed insurance agent, so they had insurance on all of us, just enough to cover burial expenses). John and I have term insurance so I don't need to whole life anymore. Between life insurance and Social Security benefits, I'm still worth a lot more (financially) to John dead than alive, but he gives me a disgusted look whenever I bring that up. And for good reason :). I'm glad we have the insurance though; it makes me feel better knowing that if something were to happen to us, Chantrea's guardians (most likely my brother and his wife) would have plenty of money to raise her, pay for college, a mission, her wedding, whatever. My brother's good with money and investing so he'd make it go a long way. John laughs at me because I worry so much. I insisted that we buy life insurance when Chantrea was just a few months old, and the agent who sold us our policies was surprised that we had contacted them, instead of the other way around. He didn't get many calls from 25-year-old couples. But he did have several stories about couples who never thought they'd need it, and ended up being glad they had it.

John's over China now. A couple more hours and he'll be in Thailand's City of Angels.


suprbacana said...

Holy cow!! What an adventure. I am so excited for you guys. I hope everything works out and you get to have the time of your life in Thailand! What an awesome experience.

And good luck with the language. That's a lot of consonants!!! :-) All I know in Thai is Tom Ka Gai, or however you spell it. Good soup! :)

AtomicU2 said...

Nice post sweetheart. Especially because I'm mentioned so many times!! :-) It's cool to be here but it's going to be so awesome once you and Trea get here.

LaynaLou3 said...

Wow, Kristen-- I'm thinking of you during your separation! When we were in Hawaii, I left Matt twice for 5- and 6 1/2-week trainings. Everyone around me said it was so short and the time would was all "blah blah blah" to me because I missed Matt a lot! E-mail and cell phones definitely helped, and also to have something to keep both of us busy (which it sounds like you both have, with moving and finding a place to live!)

I'm really excited you're moving to Bankok in just a short time, though. Actually, I'm having a hard time believing it! Are you really moving there? Someone told me they don't sell deoderant in Thailand-- is that true? Do you need me to mail you some in a few months? :)

Have a great time, Kristen!

Zimm said...

Everytime I visit your blog I get a cotton candy craving.

Hope you don't get too lonely...but with all you're doing, time will fly!