Around the world in 80 payments

Ever wonder if you're at a crossroad or just a meandering set of x's? That's how I've felt lately--like there are choices to be made but I'm not quite sure what the choices are or, even if I did, which direction to go. To that extent, I'm feeling very nostalgic about last year's visit to Texas--I want so badly to board another train and spend it crushed up against strangers as gorgeous Southwestern scenery whips by. Really. But that's not in the cards. What is, however, is our upcoming trip to Europe. So. Damn. Excited. And expensive. By my calculations we'll be paying this off for about the next year-and-a-half --which puts off saving for a house. Which is mostly OK. I don't mind being a renter--I do mind watching housing prices go up again. Still, it's nice to call someone else when the water heater or air conditioner go out. And, too, not owning a house and thus dealing with all the costs that go into it means we do, finally, have some money to travel (well, theoretically: see payback "plan" above). After Europe (Glasgow, London, Brussels, Bruge, Antwerp), we'll fly to Seattle for my brother's wedding. Next year I'd like to either visit my aunt and grandmother in Austin (South by Southwest!) or maybe Nashville, just because. Because I need new perspectives and faces and people and places. I need change and sometimes that means not uprooting home but rather changing the way you get back there. Crossroads?