In 2014, F and I will have been married for 20, yes TWENTY, that’s right 20 years.
(We got married at 16.)
(No, we didn’t really. We got married at 21. This time I’m not fibbing.)
We were thinking of throwing a big party, but then got to talking and realised – we don’t really LIKE parties much any more (coz we are so old and socially awkward) and what we’d rather do, is have an adventure together, just the two of us, like we used to do before kids (we travelled all around NZ, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Holland, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Oh, we also drove through Belgium, but only stopped for lunch at a rip-off roadside diner where we paid $8 NZD for a boiled egg.) Anyway, while our lives have been full and rich in manifold ways since starting a family, adventures as a couple have been pretty rare – in fact I think we have only had child-free nights away as a couple twice in twelve years. (And we’re not even attachment parents! lol)
SO – we have started a savings account called ‘the mad adventure fund’ and we are going to put any ‘windfall’ money into it – like writing money, or gifted money or trademe sales money etc…
Then in 2014, we will spend whatever is in the account on a mad adventure, just the two of us!
Presently, we have saved about enough for four nights in Auckland or Wellington, but – early days!
Our ultimate dream would be to have a week or two in New York City. I’ve never been to the States. F has, and has been to NYC, but is keen to go back. In all honesty, the likliehood of us saving enough for that in two years is slim….but dreams are free, right?
We have made each other promise to stick to this plan and NOT SPEND THE MONEY ON SOMETHING WORTHY BUT DULL or SPEND IT ON THE CHILDREN.
We are very practical souls and in recent years, any extra money we’ve had has gone on: home insulation, paying off student loans (we’ve paid off F’s, mine is still huge), extra-mortgage repayments, getting carpet put down to make the house warmer – oh god, are you still AWAKE?? How sensible. How very dull.
So the challenge will be to not talk ourselves out of it – ‘gosh, we saved all that money – maybe we should replace the car / pay off the orthodontist / get retro-fitted double-glazing’.
Some friends went to NYC last year and bought us back this genuine NYC Made-in-China souvenir giant coffee cup. It sits in the kitchen to remind of us of our mad adventure plans and we sling our change in there – every little counts.
It’s changed my daily life, too, now, if I go to buy something I think: ‘that could be bagels and coffee at Dean and DeLuca’ or ‘if I don’t buy that, it could be the entrance fee to the Guggenheim’ or ‘if I don’t spend that now, maybe I can spend it in a flea-market in Brooklyn…
Even if our adventure gets downgraded due to lack of funds to a week in Melbourne or a weekend in Dunedin – no matter – we would have had two years of fun in the saving and dreaming.
It’s hard being a grown-up – everyone needs a mad adventure to look forward to!