Gone are the days when I used to have white-collar IT hands, soft like a baby’s butt, only capable of typing away on a computer. Now, I have “worker” hands — tough and callus-stricken — capable of chopping, beating, kneading and butchering.
When the headless chicken and I first locked eyes, I thought that there was no way I was going to survive the culinary program. It was only the second week in the kitchen. I knew when I signed up for the program what I was getting myself into. I figured I would be able to handle the dead meat. When the moment actually arrived, I was squeamish and disgusted. The blood dripped off the poor chicken’s dead body. I was so shook up for a second that I couldn’t tell where the legs were and where the wings were. Random thoughts raced through my mind like, “How would I feel if someone did this to me?” Weird, I know.
It was exactly one year ago on March 4th, 2012 when our friend Doug dropped us to the Newark Airport early in the morning. It is one of those moments I will never forget. We had been busy wrapping work, packing our apartment, renting the place and stuffing everything we would own for 5 months in our backpacks. For weeks, it hadn’t hit us that we were leaving our jobs, our home, our friends, and our lives behind. We had been talking for almost one year about travelling around the world. The idea seemed silly. We joked and laughed about it. It was something that would never ever happen. Who would leave their good jobs, their home, to live out of a backpack for months? We weren’t ready to do the planning that went into something monumental like this.