... one fuck-off, scary-ass, massive, life-altering trip of a lifetime for Aarayan and Paul.
Mum, dad... we've got something to tell you.... we're gay.
Nah, not really (well, only a bit) - we're just going to live in Thailand for a year.
Following a period of epic unrest for me and a lengthy period of what can only be described (providing you're a bit middle-class and pretentious) as ennui for Paul the fates have presented us with a set of circumstances which are never likely to align again.
1 - I'm still young enough to make a go of training and fighting full time to see how far I can get
2 - I'm about to be out of a job
3 - Paul is bored senseless and wants to re-train as a teacher (fool)
4 - We were planning on selling the flat anyway
As such, we find ourselves young (well, I am anyway), child-free, moneyed up (I hope) and unemployed.
This will Never. Happen. Again.
So, what's the plan?
We're moving to Phuket, so that I can train and fight full time with Tiger Muay Thai, which appears to offer excellent facilities, for a reasonable price, and with good promotion connections. I want to get as much fighting experience as I possibly can, come down a weight category perhaps, get ridiculously fit and come back to Scotland and kick some ass :)
Paul's going to work probably teaching English, perhaps doing some web design, spend alot of time grinning his head off, drinking on the beach and learning to dive (not all at the same time, I hope).
He also thinks we're getting a pet elephant. I haven't got the heart to tell him it's not the same as owning a dog.
We'll get a flat on the island, and try and really enjoy our year in Thailand properly. I'm learning Thai with Bun down the road, and Paul's going to start lessons next week, I'm going to get as fit as I can before I leave to avoid too much unneccessary delay before fighting when I arrive.
Before all that, though there's all the unfamiliar territory of visas, work permits, selling our flat here, finding temporary homes for our pets, putting our belongings in storage and somehow managing to say goodbye to the people we love.
Paul, at least, has done this before and has some experience of saying goodbye, coming back and finding he hasn't been forgotten. He has many friends whom he sees intermittently and whenever their paths cross.
I'm finding the idea more difficult because, to be perfectly honest, I don't have many friends, but the ones I do have I love very much. There's Kal, Fran and Giles; Ally, Ann, Scott, Tessa and the guys from training; and the girls at school and saying goodbye is going to be very, very tricky. I've been in Edinburgh quite some time, and it's taken me this long to feel like I belong, so leaving it all feels like a big risk. All I can say is expect a very, very emotional Aarayan at our going away party (which, by the way, will be huge!)
So, I'm going to have plenty to write between now and July, when we leave, and even more after that!
Stay tuned, folks