This is the FIVE-HUNDREDTH article I have written on my Around the World “L” Travel Blog since its birth in 2009! The timing is fitting for three reasons. Read on to hear them…
First, as you can see from these photos, I just got married!
What does that have to do with this site? Well, I started this blog when I left my job to voyage around the world for a year alone in 2009, and if you click here to the first article I ever wrote on this site, you’ll see that reason #3 for my trip was to get an “open heart for love.” In other words, before I left the country to see the world, I was in a romantic rut.
So did it actually work for roaming five continents alone to open my heart to brilliant love? YES! If you click to the story of our romantic meeting and engagement, you’ll see that I met Colin at my “Welcome Back to America” party, the week I returned back to America after circumnavigating the globe. Yippee!
This brings us to the second reason it is fitting that my 500th article on this site comes now: the national Meet, Plan, Go! Career-Break Travel conference is almost here! Since career-break travel completely transformed my life, in 2010 I volunteered to become the Boston coordinator for this amazing movement.
Okay, let’s just pause for a moment and take in the awesomeness of the next photo. It comes from the Bedeken ritual of our Jewish wedding, which I shall explain in a subsequent article, but for now, admire how beautifully our photographer Krista captured the love on everyone’s face.
And now for a totally hilarious photo…
And what of our wedding ceremony itself? Our Cantor did a masterful job weaving together tradition, history, poetry, song, and personal details about us and our families (including our penchant for eating massive piles of vegetables, and our adoration of the reality TV show, “The Voice!”)
Speaking of reality TV, if you haven’t checked it out already, click here to read about then see our wedding on the TV show “I Found the Gown!” It was a surprisingly delightful experience.
Something we did that we highly recommend is that Colin and I were the MCs of our own wedding. As we are both teachers, we love commanding a crowd, and this was our big day! We meticulously planned out and introduced all 16 speeches from our loved ones during dinner, and relished every second of it. We also DID make sure to eat, despite everyone telling us we wouldn’t have time to.
Though some people warned us we would be “too tired” to MC our wedding, we felt much more relaxed having full control of proceedings, and were actually energized by the experience. But speaking of energy… the most phenomenal moment of the whole night was when my father surprised us by leading a SING-AND-DANCE-ALONG with all 100 guests to the Bill Withers song, “I Wish You Well!”
To anyone who is planning a wedding or making a toast at one, DO consider a sing-and-dance-along.
As my father said, “Everyone here wants to wish you well, but we don’t have time for 100 speeches… so let’s all sing it and act it out with our dancing!”
Look at the photo to the right to see how happy we all were after the song. Sing it, Bill:
“I wish you flowers, sunshine, and smiles…
I wish you children that grow to make you proud.
I wish you pretty things to wear…
Sweet things to smell.
I wish you good friends that always treat you fair…
Wanna wish you ribbons to tie around your hair.
I wish you truckloads of cheer,
and many happy years!
I wish you freedom to do the things you love…
Wanna wish you blessings and kindness from above.
Wanna wish you sunlight through the clouds…
I hope you laugh out loud!
I wish you well!
(Oh I wish you well)!
I wish you well (wellllllllllllllllll)!”
So what is the third and final reason I’m so happy this 500th article came at this precise time? As you likely know, I’m a teacher, and the 2012-13 school year just started!
Do you know how effective it is for a teacher to tell her students, “I will make you write a lot, but since I’ve already written FIVE HUNDRED articles on one of my websites, plus TWO HUNDRED on my other other one, I have no mercy for you saying six pages is too long!” Bwahahahah! :)
Thanks to all of you readers who have made these first five hundred articles so fun to share. I LOVE your comments, and I can’t wait to continue this journey with you!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!