With its yellow exterior and wraparound porch, it later seemed to us to be the little brother of Carl Fredricksen's home in the Disney/Pixar film "Up." The similarities didn't end there: Like Carl and his wife Ellie, TJ and I are adventurers at heart. Unlike Carl and Ellie, we have been fortunate enough to live out our dreams. We travel as often as we can and fill our photo albums with both potential and realized dreams.
One of TJ's biggest dreams has recently come true. Since deciding to continue his education in 2004, TJ has dreamt of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. The process of becoming an FSO is a long and arduous one best left for a later discussion. What matters is that it is a much coveted position and, having earned his BA in Political Science and an MBA, TJ was primed and ready.
TJ reports for duty on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. What this means for us is that, only two years after purchasing our first home together, we have had to say goodbye to not only our house, but to Orlando, "The City Beautiful," my home since May 2003, and TJ's home since September 2001. This new experience is more than a training period in the Metro DC area. It is the opportunity to travel the world and live in exotic, sometimes dangerous locales. We will not be returning to the "Up" house anytime soon.
The circumstances that brought us individually to Orlando were very different, but the reason that we stayed was the same...for each other. We have decided to rent out our home and to hold on to it for now as a potential retirement property. Perhaps one day, if and when the attachment wears off, we will decide on an alternative course of action.
We have been in DC now since Thursday. On the drive up, we discussed where we would tell people we were from if asked. I spent the first 23 years of my life in Texas. TJ spent the first 17 years of his in Alabama, and the next 3 in Colorado. Four days ago, it was by those states that we chose to define ourselves. Now, if asked, we will quickly and proudly state that we are Floridians.