Who are we?
We are Anjel Van Slyke and Connal Hughes. We met while attending “College: Part 2″ – going for our second undergraduate degrees (in Graphic Design this time) at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. After leaving school we started our own design firm – Cabbage Design Company – and about a year and a half later we got married.
On August 25th, 2005 I asked Anjel to marry me. Two months later, on October 25th, Anjel’s father, Vernon Van Slyke, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 50. It was a terribly difficult time for the entire family and in addition to the tragedy of his passing, the process of closing the estate (of which Anjel was the executor) turned out to be an enormously frustrating, time consuming and expensive process, taking nearly 2 years to complete.
On August 19th, 2007, less than three months after the estate had closed and we felt that we were finally moving on, my father, Frank Hughes, was diagnosed with lung cancer. 18 months later, after a lobectomy (removing a third of his right lung) and two courses of Chemotherapy, he passed away on February 7, 2009 at the age of 59.
For Anjel and I, the last 5 years together have been enormously rewarding at times, and unbelievably difficult at others. Of course that can be said for almost anyone, and if anything, the time has shown us just how lucky we are. The support of friends and family has been enormous and the lengths to which people have extended themselves to help has been amazing. The very fact that we’re even in a position right now to be able to take this time off is not something we take for granted. Our hope for this trip is not just to get away for a while, but to take time to reflect, to experience cultures and lifestyles very different from our own, to spend time volunteering where we can, and most of all, just leave ourselves open to where the trip will take us.
This trip is both inspired by our fathers, and in honor of them. It’s unfortunate that it took such tragic circumstances for us to get to this point, but in more than one way they are the ones who are making this trip possible, and we’re sure they would both find it a fitting memorial.