Brad has always watched shows about Mt. Everest. He hiked the Appalachian Trail when he younger and made a couple of attempts at long hikes as an adult. I know that when he is in the woods and hiking he finds a kind of peace that is hard for him to find elsewhere. (Personally I'm able find that kind of peace on a massage table!) When he told me almost a year ago that hiking the Annapurna circuit in Nepal is something that he hoped to do in 2014 I asked the usual questions. Is it safe, how much does it cost, how long? I thought about it for a minute and then said "Okay". He looked at me skeptically. "Really? I didn't think it would be that easy." I didn't think it would be either. Granted, it's not a foreign concept for Brad to be gone for long periods. When he was in grad school he spent about 8 out of 16 months in Maryland and West Virginia, although he typically came home on the weekends. That was also 4 years and 1 kid ago. But the kids are older now and life is a little easier in terms of the physical labor of kids!
I've been trying to figure out why it was so easy for me to agree for him to go. I can't really come up with a solid answer other than it just felt like the right thing to do. He encouraged me to go to Uganda last year when I faltered about the difficulty of arranging childcare. I knew it was a life long dream of his to see the Himalayas. Marriage is a work in progress. Sometimes you have to put in more work to make progress. I guess I agreed to work a little more knowing all that he would get out of a trip like this and what the gesture could do for our marriage. It was on opportunity for me to "fill his bucket". I know that Brad's realistic enough to not ask for something this "big" very often and he has expressed his gratitude and appreciation almost daily. It felt well worth the sacrifice to help him achieve a bucket list item.