July 30, 2008

Aidric Announcement Day
Dlhá Lúka, Slovakia

It was on this day, one year ago, that Tatiana introduced me to her pregnant belly. From SE Asia to Slovakia, with the birth of Aidric in Peru sandwiched in between—the past year has been one for the books.

We choose to remember this day as our day, and a day about family. A day of fear and hope, and questions without clear answers. The difference between the 29th and the 30th day of July in 2007 contrasted like black and white, with many days of gray afterward.

Now, a year later—and feeling more like it's been ten—our extraordinary lives are still anything but ordinary. We have a son, and he's going to be worldlier than a room full of people by the time he's out of diapers. The son of two free spirits—raised to be free from boundaries, borders, and conventional standards. He'll certainly grow to be an interesting fellow.

I suppose this day also marks two weeks of travel in Eastern Europe with my little family, and a year that a woman has been able to (generally) tolerate spending nearly every day of it with me—an equally impressive achievement (…for her).

Who knows what the upcoming year will bring, or where we'll be next July 30th. Life is naturally interesting; you have to work hard to make it boring.

Thoughts from Tatiana

July 29th today, tomorrow it'll be a year since I told you I was going to have your baby. Exactly a year ago, I was at the airport in Amman, Jordan, waiting for my flight to Manila to finally meet up with you, after all I'd been through, my journey to you. I was at the airport feeling exhausted, hungry, scared, and worst of all, lonely as I had never felt before.

In the arrivals area there was a fairly large group of people waiting for someone. They turned out to be a family waiting for dad. They spotted him and I saw the expressions on their faces change into bright happiness, they all hugged each other and I just broke into tears watching the whole scene. Damn I felt lonely! What a miserable feeling. I needed to be hugged too, and I needed it bad. At that moment all I could do was hide behind my backpack and say to myself that this would soon be over, that in a few hours I'd be in your arms, and that I would finally be able to tell you what was going on. The secret was killing me; the wait seemed eternal, the last hours the longest ever.

You had asked me to get a room for us in Manila, since I was the first one to arrive. I had to check out many hotels before finding a somewhat decent looking one—I was not to announce my pregnancy at a place that looked like taken out of a movie scene at a brothel in Vietnam during the war. After checking in I had to run (actually limp, cause I had hurt my legs real bad in the Middle East) to a cyber café, hoping that you'd get to read my mail with the name, address and room number of the hotel before catching your flight.

Next step was getting food, and that was my first disgusting Filipino meal. I wanted to have food for you too. The only not-nasty thing I could find for you was Japanese peanuts, but I ended up eating them myself, hee hee. Sorry. And since I was coming from putting up with Arab men (their stupidity, stench and smoke), covering my entire body when it was hotter than 100ºF, fighting to get a ferry ticket with no departure time to THE WORST border crossing of my life (Egypt-Jordan through the Red Sea), getting super sick to my stomach, camping with Bedouins, and hurting my knees and ankles from walking too much, I needed and deserved some grooming and self-pampering. I wanted to look pretty for you.

I'd been trying not to fall asleep but I just couldn't keep myself awake. There was a knock on the door that woke me up, and that's all I remember. I don't remember what happened next, I only have vague flashbacks of us hugging each other in the dark room. The next thing I recall was parts of our conversation during a disgusting breakfast, my second nasty Filipino meal. I felt quite shy around you, and I was nervous all the time because I didn't know what was going to happen, but at least you knew. Finally. I had waited for so long to tell you.

Some contrast with these days. Wow. Who would have said that a year later I'd be in the countryside of Slovakia having picnics with the two of you? I can't believe how fortunate I am. Not a single day goes by without thinking about that. And I want everybody to know that you've given me so much love that it makes up many times for those horribly lonely days at the beginning of my pregnancy.

I love you, Craig.

Comments:

Nicaragua

Eric

August 5th, 2008

very cool….

The United States

Erik

August 5th, 2008

You should consider having Tatiana contribute more blogs from time to time, if she'd be so willing and since you're no longer a solo wanderer. I suspect the contrast of her thoughts on the same events would prove entertaining!

Australia

Eric Daams

August 5th, 2008

It's been really fascinating following along on your journey. Quite an incredible story, and it's great to hear Tatiana's side of the story. I second Erik's motion above.:)

ps. Three Eric's posting in a row? Now I've seen everything.

Chile

Maya

August 5th, 2008

I remember when Tatiana told me "there`s something i need to do, wish me the best"… i had no idea then about Aidric and i still remember the day i got that mail saying that she was pregnant… half of me wanted to kill her for hiding this from me, us, the family, but the other half couls perfectly understand the reasons and why you should know first… Now (wanted or not) you are a part of our lives too, and we gladly took you in as a cousin, a brother, a good friend, so yes… we also have a side of the story too, but thats another story… ji ji ji
Im glad to see you all ok, i can see my nephiew growing big and beautiful (and looking nothing like Tatiana jajajaj) so thank you, i think is the right word in here.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The United States

Roosh

August 5th, 2008

I wish I was loved by a non family member

South Africa

david

August 6th, 2008

Cool guys. And congratz on being so brave and making this year in such good shape. Faced with the same, I nearly lost myself, but now looking at at my 4 year old son, Johan, and what a joy! Nice having some more adventures to read about again, as well! Would be interesting to see Tatiana's perspective. What about her own blog then?

Kind regards,

Vietnam

LA

August 7th, 2008

Tatiana, you are a super woman. You guys will always have a great journey together, as you have made it this far. All the best to you little family! :-)

Slovakia

Craig | travelvice.com

August 7th, 2008

Thanks all for the kind words — of course I read them all to Tatiana.

I've invited her to contribute here whenever she'd like (and would love it if she did so more often). Given our equally full days, I doubt she'd ever fit in time to do a travelogue of her own, or more than a sporadic story or two on here. She's been a champ taking care of Aidric when I tell her that I need to dedicate a chunk of time to "work".

I'm looking forward to some posts from her about preparing baby food whilst traveling on a shoestring, and other general traveling with infant tips and tricks. I think this stuff is interesting, but know there's really only a very small subset of parents who travel with kids this age, and when they do, it's just for short holidays (where buying things like baby food isn't that big a deal).

Yes, a strange trio we are.

In other news: Slightly reworked the layout of the travelogue today (from below the post text). Story now flows directly into the comments, and some other page evolutions.

You might need to refresh your cache (Ctrl-F5 in Internet Explorer, Shift-Ctrl-R in Firefox) to make the page pretty again.

Note: Comments are open to everyone. To reduce spam and reward regular contributors, only submissions from first-time commenters and/or those containing hyperlinks are moderated, and will appear after approval. Hateful or off-topic remarks are subject to pruning. Your e-mail address will never be publicly disclosed or abused.