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23rd April
written by Steph
First, thank you to all of you who have been so patient with me regarding my lack of updates here at S&TI! I also really appreciate the supportive comments you left on my last post; the past few weeks/months have been über stressful and any handhold of strength or confidence I can find, means the world to me. On the work front, I have just one last chapter left to write for my dissertation, which I'm hoping to knock out this week along with continuing edits on my remaining chapters (though in happy news, my advisor got back to me about my Intro chapter yesterday and said she thinks it's pretty much done!). I've also set a date for my defense! So, if I keep my nose to the grindstone for the next few weeks, come 4 pm CST on Thursday, May 24, I should finally be Dr. Steph! I am simultaneously excited and terrified. Please bear with me as I push through these last few hurdles and finally close what has been an extremely tumultuous chapter of my life and get ready for the next one!

Our new travel site: Twenty Years Hence

Speaking of which, clearly what I need to do right now is start a new online writing venture, right? Probably not, but after some serious thought, Tony and I decided it would be best to document our impending RTW trip on a separate site specifically dedicated to this trip and to travel. I know not everyone who visits S&TI! is interested in things other than books, and given the scope of what we want to do, we realized it would just be really hard to fit our upcoming adventure into the existing framework of this site. So, for those of you interested, all of our trip-related posts will be housed over at our new site: Twenty Years Hence ( We just launched it yesterday night, so we still have some tweaks to make to it, but our first post is already up, in which I explain the meaning behind our new blog's name. There are surely some kinks to work out, but we wanted to give our longtime readers a heads up and first look at our new digs! If you're at all interested in following us on our adventures, we'd love if you bookmarked 20YH or added it to your feedreaders. Also, for those of you worried about the fate of S&TI!, please don't! I fully intend to continue/re-commence blogging here about books once my dissertation is finished. I have no idea what my reading life will be like while we're on the road fulltime, but rest assured that anything I read, I'll document here. S&TI! is not being replaced or phased out, we're just starting a new venture to coincide with a big change in our life and a shift in our priorities. Our hope is that by taking this trip, our lives will be richer and fuller and we'll have more time to devote to the things we are really passionate about. Like this site! So thanks again for your patience and your support and Tony & I look forward to having double the fun with y'all!
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  1. 04/23/2012

    So excited that you will be finishing your dissertation, and that you will soon be Dr. Steph! I know you have worked hard, and it’s been a long time coming. Congratulations to you! I am also excited about the new project, and will be checking it out and adding it to my reader, for sure! Great things happening over there…

  2. Dr. Steph! That’s amazing. You can totally push through, and then you deserve a huge, long rest. I’m heading over to the other site now!

  3. 04/23/2012

    GOOD LUCK STEPH! You can do it!

    I will be cheering you from afar and will keep an eager eye out for your new travel blog:)

  4. 04/23/2012

    I will be off to subscribe right after I leave this comment! I like your non-book stuff a lot (not that I don’t like your book stuff too, of course), and I miss seeing your food posts ever since I deleted my Tumblr account a couple months ago. I definitely don’t want to miss your travel posts too!

  5. 04/23/2012

    Wow, I bet you can’t wait till May 25! :–) We’ll be rooting for you!!!

  6. 04/24/2012

    @ zibilee: Such a long time coming! In some ways, it’s really scary to close this chapter of my life because it has wound up being a substantial portion of my life to-date, but I know that once I’m on the other side, it will just feel really good to be free! 😉
    @ jenn: I can only think of the complete and utter mental collapse I will experience once I’m done! Part of me thinks it’s crazy to try to juggle a dissertation with planning such a big trip, because I’m sure once I’m done I’m going to want to sleep for at least a month! 😀
    @ sakura: Thanks for the encouragement! It means so much to know I have friends the world over rooting for me!
    @ Amanda: Lately I’ve really been wanting to write more non-book-related posts, probably because my dissertation hasn’t allowed me much time to read for pleasure so I just don’t have much bookish content. I never really intended for S&TI! to become a blog solely devoted to books, but I guess that’s what it largely has become. Still, I think that I will start posting more “life” things here again. I always enjoy reading those things on other people’s sites who I have gotten to know (such as you!), so I’m glad you feel the same way.
    @ rhapsody: Honestly, I can’t even process May 25 at this point! It seems impossible to think that I will be done in a month… aieeeee!

  7. kay

    How exciting! I’m heading to your second “home” as soon as I am done with this comment. I dream of having a travel blog, so of course I will be following you there (and living vicariously through your adventures!) The beauty of blogs is that they can move, transform and multiply along with our lives.

  8. I’m glad you dropped by to check-in and I’ve added the new blog to Google Reader.

    I’ll be sending positive vibes your way on the 24th. Keep us updated!

  9. 04/25/2012

    You are in the home stretch now. I love the logo for 20YH and can’t wait to see what happens there.

  10. 05/17/2012

    I am so JEALOUS of your RTW trip! This would be my absolute dream. Sigh.

    I looked at the list of places you’re thinking of going and I have been to the following (from your list): China, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, England, Ireland, N Ireland and Scotland.

    Out of the ones that you question marked I would highly recommend Egypt (don’t just stick to Cairo in Egypt though, the Pyramids are not worth a whole trip there – further south to Luxor and Aswan are amazing), Greece (try and do some island hopping if you can – it’s seriously worth it), Czech Republic (Prague is awesome), Scotland (if you can get to Loch Lomand and take a trip up through the highlands it will take your breath away). There are others on there too like France, German, Belgium etc but you say you have lived and travelled there before. The only place I would recoemmend that’s not on your list (and as you are probably going to Egypt and Jordan) is Israel. Jerusalem, Haifa, Acre and Tiberius are all worth going to but if you only get a day or so go to Jerusalem (it’s worth making a detour for).

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! Now I’m frothing at the mouth. Is there room for one more if your shiny new backpacks?

  11. 05/27/2012

    @ Kay: I’ve loved reading about your travel adventures, as well as seeing the lovely photos you’ve taken, so now it’s my time to give back! Am glad to know we’ll have you reading along with us!
    @ Thomas: Thanks for the kind words! Tony gets all the credit for all of the graphic excellence of 20YH (though I did convince him to put that globe within the “0”)!
    @ The Book Whisperer: Thanks so much for your input! I’m blown away by all the places you’ve already visited, so your insight is super valuable! Your thoughts on Israel are interesting, because another commenter said she really didn’t enjoy that country at all! 😉 It’s certainly a possibility, we just have to see how far our money will take us, and we’re trying to make our peace with knowing that we might not be able to see all these places on this trip, but this will not be our last great adventure, just one of many!

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