Welcome to Part 2 of our origins story! The difficult decision of moving our wedding date, and breaking the news to our parents was done. In case you missed PART 1 you can catch up by checking out our previous post HERE. Now it’s on to the fun part of getting married and figuring out what we actually want to do with our lives.
We’re married! Now what?
You have been dreaming about the perfect wedding your whole life. You mailed your invitations, made the seating arrangements, set the menu, and booked the DJ. All that’s left now is the big day! Have you had the chance to look beyond the wedding??
Now that you’re married, and hopefully enjoyed a sunny sex filled honeymoon, it’s time to move on to the next phase of your life. That probably means buying a house, getting pregnant, and maybe getting a puppy. What are all these things worth to you? Are you doing it to make yourself happy or are you trying to meet the expectations others have set for you?
We looked beyond our wedding day, the expectations, and saw what we really wanted. It wasn’t a simple process to push aside the traditional life, instead we did what our hearts told us.
Now that we had an earlier date, a smaller venue, a cheaper wedding, and an exciting adventure in the works we felt a lot better about our situation going forward.
The combination of our decision to go on our long term road trip, and the melting snow, gave me a greater interest in our wedding. I was much more involved in the finer details of wedding planning. I actually cared about the menu, the music, the decor, and most importantly I was having fun planning it all with Katie. It was still stressful, but a much more fulfilling experience.
After Chris and I made this huge decision in December, we started communicating a lot more frequently. Chris and I talked about the little details more and we started to get excited about the wedding. I realized after, that planning this new wedding was more fun, less stressful, and felt meaningful.
We had to get creative to keep things inexpensive so everything had a personal touch that felt unique to us. By cutting the guest list everyone we invited was significant to our lives. It stopped being about things we HAD to do and more about what we WANTED to do.
As freaked out as I was about what we were doing, I felt more at peace and started to sleep better again. My brain was still buzzing every night, but I slept serenely. We would go to bed and say “What the fuck are we doing?” and we would laugh and I knew that Chris was just as scared as I was but that it still felt right.
The big day finally arrived. The menu was set, the invitations were delivered, and the suits and dresses fit like a glove. The preparations were over and it was time to pull the trigger. The wedding went off without a hitch. The ceremony was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the party was a blast. We couldn’t have planned it any better.
It’s pretty clichéd, but it truly was the happiest day of my life. Seeing Katie walk down the aisle was a torrent of emotions I’ve never experience in my life. I married a damn fine looking woman if I do say so myself!
On the day of the wedding all the questioning and worrying was gone. I knew I was marrying a man who had the same dreams as me and who was willing to listen to all my crazy ideas and look at them as possibilities. I knew I would do the same for him. The wedding itself was amazing. There wasn’t a single thing that I wished I had done differently. In the end we spent 10,000$ less and no one was the wiser, not even us. We went to bed that night drunk, exhausted, and happy with where our future was going.
There is one little dark cloud hanging over the event though. Just before Christmas I had a falling out with a really close friend. I’ll call him Carl for the sake of his privacy. We’ve been friends since we were 8 years old, and Carl was supposed to be in my wedding party. Carl is a real unique person. He has a very “I do things my way, and fuck your opinion” type of view on life. I love him and respect him for it. For all our differences in personality, which are VERY conflicting, I always felt we had a deeper understanding of each other. A week before Christmas he sent me an email to basically tell me to fuck off, in a slightly more polite way, and that he wasn’t coming to my wedding. It wouldn’t be the first time Carl had a falling out with a close friend. I saw the signs coming, I wasn’t very surprised. I apologized if I wronged him, told him that I still love him, and that I’m always open to chat if he feels inclined. Carl, you’re an asshole, but I love you man.
Being at my wedding, while partying it up with all my close friends and family, and my new family, made me really appreciate all the special people in my life. In an ideal world Carl would have been there too, but life can take a strange turn sometimes. Friends and family will come and go, but I know that Katie will be with me through thick and thin, and that’s what all that matters.
Money Gone, Van-a-got
After the wedding shit got real! We sat down, looked at our finances, and talked about what we really wanted to do and how we could do it. When we changed our wedding date we knew it was for an end goal of leaving on an adventure but it was still a distant blur with an undefined goal. Stage two of our plan was buying our new home! And by home we mean a camper van to road trip south in.
This point in my life was pretty tumultuous. I’ve always seen marriage as one of those major milestones in life. You’re married. You’re an adult now. Time to buy a house, make a family, and do those adult like things! Buying this van and heading south on a road trip represented a complete abandon of that tradition. It might not seem like a big deal to plunk down $10k to buy a camper van compared to buying a $350k home, but it represented a big step for me.
I started getting nervous and wasn’t sure what the hell we were doing. During this time one of our friend’s had a baby, two others were pregnant, and another was just settling into their new home. We would be leaving good jobs, our supportive families, and the comfort of our lives to do something that was completely untraditional. Even with all these reservations I spent my days scouring websites searching for good deals on Westfalia Campervans and looking at amazing places to visit all over the USA. This got me impatient for our adventure to start.
After several phone calls and test drives we settled on our beloved 84′ rust coloured VW Vanagon Westfalia, hence forth known as Kanye Westy! The old owner said he had a good feeling about us and thought we would take great care of it. Once the transfer of ownership was done and the checks were signed, we saw this as a point of no return. In reality if we chickened out we could easily resell that van, possibly for a small profit, but we couldn’t look at it that way. We made a commitment to a new life and it scared us to death. Pedal to the metal baby!
We had officially invested in this crazy dream of ours. It was all becoming a reality and it was liberating for me. Before we bought the van I had been nervous to tell people about our adventure because I felt I didn’t have any answers to their questions. I didn’t want to tell them in case we backed out and changed our minds. When we got the Westy I couldn’t wait to show our family and friends, and talk about our plans, no matter how tentative they still were. By talking to others and hearing their excitement for us and all the comments “I wish I could do what you’re doing” I started to feel reassured.
The van was ours, and the money was gone. The reality of the situation hit me really hard. I could feel Katie had the same reservations about our decision, but we made a commitment to push and support each other each step of the way. There is no way in the world I would be in a van right now, writing this post, on a beach in Cape Cod, without Katie. I’d still be at home, watching football in my underwear, dreading the upcoming winter. Thanks to her courage and support I’m confident this is going to be the best year of my life!
We’ve tied the knot and Kanye Westy is ready to hit the road! Now its time for us to get our life organized for the upcoming chaos. We nearly chickened out several times, but we managed to persevere with a lot of love and patience. Tune in next week for part 3!
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