One year ago, we created “the chain.” With sixty-four construction paper links, it hung to the floor on both sides of the entryway between our living room and kitchen. When we first put it up, I immediately questioned the wisdom of creating it; with so many links, it made the trip feel like an impossibly long way off. But each week as we removed a link, we got a tiny thrill, thinking about the adventure ahead and realizing we were one week closer to freedom. As the chain got shorter, it motivated us to get organized and accomplish a daunting list of tasks that had to be done before we could leave. And now, with just 13 links left, the chain is an exciting reminder of how little time remains before we embark on our year-long adventure. The task list is still a bit overwhelming , but the motivation and excitement grow every day when I look at the ever shrinking chain.