Travel, Marriage and Writing a Dissertation

My life in instagram and facebook, just as it is the case with the vast majority of social media users, is glamorous: a picture of beautiful coffee farms, a gorgeous sunset at the beach, carefree smiles as we explore an island on a moped, to name a few, make it seem like I live in a perpetual vacation drinking coconut water and having exciting adventures. Reality is a lot more than just a few photos posted here and there.

I am a 32 year old married woman, getting her PhD in one of the most challenging areas that you could think of, if your priority in life is stability and constancy: international development.

Jason and I met in college, we were both studying somewhat traditional disciplines, economics and statistics. Boring office jobs. Right? But somehow, as we continued our education our career paths converged as we both entered fields that require a lot of traveling overseas. For the past 4 or 5 years, both of us have had to spend months outside the US. Morocco, Liberia, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Nicaragua.

We discovered new countries and met different people. We added one line to our CVs. We went to beaches. We went to bed alone. We hiked and explored. We had no one to comfort us when things went wrong. We published a paper. We felt lonely.

This year, I am spending 6 months in Nicaragua doing my fieldwork for my research, Jason is spending about the same amount of time in Tanzania for the same reason. He came to visit me for 10 days here, and he left this morning. The farewell had never been harder. It hit me like no other time.

Today, I choose a house in the suburbs.