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First Stop, Walt Disney World

At 5PM CST on July 2, we left Chicago, IL for a 1 year excursion around the world. Our first stop was Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL (okay, Lake Buena Vista). We didn’t even leave our home country.

Leaving Chicago from Midway

Why We Picked Walt Disney World

There’s a couple good reasons for this. The practical answer is that we had two free two-day Park Hopper tickets to Walt Disney World because of a RunDisney event that was cancelled for weather earlier in the year. Since we had to connect through Florida anyway on our way out of the country to our next destination, it made sense.

And conveniently, it just happened to be the Fourth of July and what better place to kick off a trip abroad than one last salute to America done up with the people who do fireworks better than anyone!

But on an emotional level, we needed to come Home before leaving home.

Leaving our friends and family was really hard. Leaving our jobs was really hard.  Leaving our regular Friday night bar was really hard. Leaving our Starbucks Third Place was really hard. Don’t get us wrong, we are excited about this and we are by no means complaining (I feel like I have to say this repeatedly), but the emotional toll it’s taken was just harder than we expected. Add to that the stress of packing, cleaning, and moving, and it’s just a lot at once.

Enter Walt Disney World. We’ve been to Disney several times together since we started dating for family vacations, holidays, and RunDisney events, and we feel so at home here. It was such a relieve to get off our first flight at a place we felt familiar with. We needed to be at the happiest place in the world before we could take on the world.

We made it to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and couldn’t be happier!