Friday, April 13, 2012

Road Trip

Photo by Nicholas_T, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
April is inadvertently turning into child-free vacation month on this blog and in my life.  In one week we are setting off on the ultimate child-free vacation, a cross-country road trip.  It is something I have always wanted to do, and now circumstance has made it a necessity as we relocate my husband from Boston to Los Angeles.

Allow me to explain.  Last November we relocated from Berlin to Boston with my job, marking our return to the US after six and half years abroad.  We knew we eventually wanted to end up back where we started, in Santa Monica, California, but my company-funded move meant I had a one year commitment to Boston.  After a couple months of looking for the right job in Boston, my husband broadened his job search to include Los Angeles.  While he eventually was offered a job in both Boston and Los Angeles, the one in L.A. was a more appealing opportunity both in terms of the job itself and, from a long term perspective, the location.  Happily my boss agreed to let me work half-time in Los Angeles; the rest of the time I will commute cross-country.  Not ideal, but I am a good traveller and not particularly daunted by the prospect of two red-eyes a month.

When we first tell people about our big plan it elicits two distinct responses.  People with kids ask, wide-eyed, "Is your marriage in trouble?"  People without kids get excited about the road trip and conclude that "eight months [the remainder of my commitment to my current employer] is nothing."

The flexibility to make this kind of unorthodox living arrangement is one of the hallmarks of being child-free.  Although I usually bristle at the implication that the child-free have some sort of unspoken obligation to live adventurous lives (great blog on this from Life Without Baby earlier this week), nobody can accuse my husband and me of not having taken advantage of our status in recent years.  Since leaving Los Angeles, our respective company-sponsored world tour has allowed us to live in London, the Costwolds, Berlin, and now Boston.  The Cotswolds was the best of these destinations (I wrote all about it here), Berlin the worst.  In other words, they have not all been happy outcomes, but at least we can say we tried.

Stay tuned.  Next stop: Niagara Falls.

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