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Sunday, 1st of March 2009 at 08:00

The Honeymoon Trip

God, our respective families and friends came together on the 6th September 2003, on our wedding day. It is said that to the generation of the seventies, marriage was trendy again. Wedding, family, tradition. We had gone out together for three years after having met in medicine school on our University’s campus. The classic, the close to banal story, the one just about foretold. We shared an interest in strolling through flea markets, bargaining and haggling, collecting wares and granting them a second life. And then… Then the degree and the first job. Me as an intern in a clinic, Patrick in research. Week-ends spent celebrating as if we still had been students. Later the first easy enough mountain trekking trips, subtly negotiated, to keep my man away from the Saturday night fever evenings and the Sundays spent in bed recovering from the day before.

What happened to the honeymoon trip? In December 2003, it got forgotten and drowned in the confusion of a big family expedition to Madagascar. Around our couple my brother and my two sisters, my mother, my father in law together with one of our wedding witnesses. We lived through a trip which much resembled a ritual passage, with a bride still much being her Mom’s daughter and not quite her newly wed husband’s wife yet.

200312-madagascar-001Sandra en Voilier à Madagascar


This wedding trip left me longing for something unachieved and the solid excuse to stick it all somewhere in my secret ‘bucket list’. Quietly storing it there, just waiting for the opportunity to fish it out later as ‘the’ argument to undertake a great voyage.

Today I am 36. I was 26 when I first met Patrick. Thirty when we got married. I turned 33 and 34 respectively when my sons Manu and Leeroy were born. I am a medical doctor in psychiatry and a psychotherapist. Making and giving sense that’s my trade.

We are 9 months away from hitting the road. Nine months ? With Patrick thinking that I am not ready. He is right somewhere he cares for the practical side of it all, the gear, the blog, the logistics… And me, I am a bit like the fiancée, I said ‘Yes’ , but I have not worried about the celebration date yet.

The date of departure however is public knowledge. The family, friends, colleagues, employers, all know about it.

I can’t help it. I keep thinking ahead. In 21 months from now I’ll settle in an another state, at some distance from my family, closer to Patrick’s family though. I keep thinking about my career, which I am interrupting, only a few months away from the end of my postgrad schooling. I keep thinking about traveling all on our own, the four of us, so far, with two young children. I keep thinking about the cold and next Winter when we’ll be pedaling away down to the Mediterranean Sea with travel packs full. I keep thinking about Sam Mendes’  movie “Revolutionary Road”, this couple’s destiny sinking into social conformity and I dream about keeping my sweet comfort. I keep thinking about my responsibility as Mom, about our responsibility as parents and I dread striking the wrong path.

This trip has more than one facet, it’s not just a honeymoon trip. In its more intimate aspect it’s the project of a couple daringly free, realizing this within a family circle counting two kids. At the same time it’s a great project for the kids, since it is a unique chance to spend plenty of time with them at an age when they are still so much dependent on us. Manu will go to school on our return.

I took up the decision to go since I love my husband. I am not sacrificing myself. I do this since I very much want to prove our marriage to be a success by spending 21 months on our coming honeymoon trip.

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