Introducing Me, The Better Half

Since we’re expecting this blog to be BIG TIME, with readers who aren’t my family members (Hi Mom, Dad, Matthew, Gregory, and Mark!) or the other five or so regular and commenting readers of my, um, less popular blog Spargel (Hi Laura, Megan, Anne, Lisa, and Jessica!), we thought we’d each do a little self-interview so people know we are. Reveal a bit about who we are in the real world, what we’re looking forward to on this trip, how we ended up so crazy as to think that we could and should do this. You know, the good stuff.

Who Am I?
I am Theresa. I am 26 years old. I am the wife of Jeff, the sister of Matthew, Gregory, and Mark, the oldest child of Mary Jane and Terry. I am a Kentuckian, born and bred, but I currently live in Bethesda, Maryland. In the interim, I have lived in Houston, Texas; Freiburg, Germany; and Athens, Greece. I am a pisces who doesn’t put much stock in astrology. I am a Rice University alumna, a Sacred Heart grad, a St. Athanasius Hornet. I am a wanderer.

What Do I Do In the “Real World”?
Currently I work as an editor at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I have had this job for over one year, which is a record for me, if you don’t count the three seasons I worked at the Louisville Zoo in high school. Since graduating, I have also been a Teaching Fellow at Athens College, an intern at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a program assistant at The Children’s Partnership. Though all of these positions have had their interesting moments, none really captured my passion. They were jobs, a way to make money, a means to make this trip happen.

This year, I’ve also begun to make money as a freelance writer. This, to me, is more than a job. It’s something I enjoy. One day, my only job title will be writer. Maybe even novelist.

What Places Am I Most Excited About Experiencing?
1. Patagonia. I think the landscape will be awesome. I can’t wait to do some trekking and to get up close and personal with this kind of natural beauty.
2. Serengeti National Park. I’ve always wanted to do a safari, to see the wild in the wild.
3. Vietnam. Growing up I don’t think I ever thought of Vietnam as a real place. It was an abstract, a synonym for war. I want to experience it as a real place with real people.

What Am I Most Looking Forward To?
I’m excited about investing time in getting to know a place, in being a traveler and not a tourist, in meeting people and learning about their lives, their hopes, their beliefs, in making connections. I’m also excited about sharing all of this with Jeff.

What Am I Most Worried About?
I don’t know if it’s a worry so much as something I know I need to be aware of. When I travel with someone else, I tend to hang back and let the other person take care of things, especially encounters that have the potential to be trying or difficult or result in some form of “rejection.” Not only is this not fair to the other person (aka Jeff), it also inhibits the kind of personal growth that these trips inspire. So I have to make a conscious effort to be less reserved and to push my own levels of comfort.

I must also admit that I’m not really looking forward to squat toilets.

And on that lovely thought, I’ll sign off for now. Jeff, your turn.

6 thoughts on “Introducing Me, The Better Half”

  1. Hey, Thanks for the shout out 🙂

    First let me just say how insanely jealous I am!! It’s so awesome that you guys are doing this. I would really love to go to Vietnam and do a safari as well. I’d never thought about Patagonia, but I’ll be really interested to hear all about it!

    Now a quetion: Do you guys plan on spending extended amounts of time in any one place to really get to know it? I mean like a month or more in one town… or is your goal to try and see as many places as possible?

  2. We definitely aren’t trying to see as many places as possible. We want to spend time really getting to know a place and not just hop in, see the big popular sites, and hop out. I think South America will probably be the place we really, really emerge ourselves in.

    In some ways, the more I read about places, the less places I put on my list. Not because I’m not finding cool places, but because when I read about somewhere I really, really want to go, I realize that it’s going to take a long time to see it properly.

    There’s so many places we’re leaving off because we don’t think we can do justice to them. Australia/New Zealand, for example. We’d love to go there, but to do it right, we’d need a lot of time. And, when it comes down to it, we’re trying to pick places that we feel might be very, very different in 10-20 years. I’ll make it to Australia at some point, and I don’t think it will be all that different than if I went now. Patagonia, however, feels like somewhere that may be very, very different in the future.

  3. I am so jealous of your trip. I think that y’all are going to have a great time. Think about me changing diapers all day while you are off galavanting across the world. Don’t forget about the little people in New Orleans – y’all can visit here anytime. Not sure when Ryan and I will be able to go anywhere soon – a baby on the way and work is kind-of keeping those options slim right now, so I guess that I will try to keep up with your sight and live through you.

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