After only three weeks of travel, it’s extraordinary how different this journey has been compared with ever other trip we’ve taken in our lives.  First of all, we’ve never kept a blog before, sharing our lives so openly.  Nor have we made so many new and dear friends in such a short period of time.  There’s something about being out on our own in the world for such a long period of time that makes us incredibly open to meeting people, starting conversations, and forging bonds that we could never imagine forming so quickly in our lives back home.  (Telling people you’re in the midst of a year’s journey around the world is a helluva conversation starter by the way.)  Tonight was Mark’s birthday and we had the great fortune of sharing it with Jean-Michel, Isabelle and Anatole, a funny, smart, interesting family from Lyon, France who we met only two days earlier in Machu Picchu.  This relationship was born from a simple conversation that started in line to retrieve our bags.  After only forty-eight hours of knowing each other, this was the third meal we shared together, life stories were exchanged, and we look forward to staying them in the winter when we arrive in France.  More than anything else, these relationships will certainly be the most valuable things we collect on our year to think.