There and Back Again, Part 3: The Quest for Home Continues
Do you ever get the feeling that maybe the story you're intent on telling, isn't quite the story life plans on telling for you? To put it in travel terms, maybe you want to take the interstate, but the back roads call instead. Well if not, I'm going to tell you about not one, but two times I've set out on telling one story, but life had something else planned. I'll begin with the first, much shorter story. I actually wrote this post in its entirety last week while sitting in the LAX airport, waiting for my red eye flight from California to North Carolina. Feeling inspired while listening to O.A.R., I had written what I believed to be an eloquent story of the last few months of travel. There was even more satisfaction in the fact that I had written it with pen and paper. However, that notebook is sitting in a small, beaten up laptop bag that is lying in a closet in my mom's house in rural North Carolina. I am sitting in the passenger car of an Amtrak train en route to Atlanta, Georgia and won't be back to my mom's house for another few weeks. You'll never hear that story, so instead you get this one.
I like things to be climatic. Sometimes I pretend to make grand entrances, I elude to big announcements even if they aren't that big, and I like being a surprise giver. The end of last August had that feeling of climax. I pulled into a McDonalds (not climatic) and I could see the sun starting to rise above the horizon through the rear view mirror (climatic). I had written the email already, but just had to hit send. And so, with the click of a button I sent my letter of resignation to my boss, as I prepared for what was going to be an indefinite period of travel. That was eight months ago.
Just a few months after throwing a backpack over my shoulders, that season of "indefinite travel" is coming to an end within the coming weeks/months. I remember such a feeling of satisfaction and completion as I embarked on the greatest adventure of my life. Now just months later I feel an even greater sense of satisfaction. I did it! What did I do? I don't really know, but whatever it was, it was much greater than myself and will forever leave an impression on my life; and an impression I hope I can pass along to others. Travel isn't coming to a halt, I'm not going back to the cubicle life I so loathed, and I'm not just "settling". Just as I set out on one of the most important adventures of my life 8 months ago, so I'm now setting out on an equally important adventure.
I'm moving to San Francisco! Why? Because I want to. Do I have to give a reason why? Often the philosopher's duty is to ask and answer the why questions. I've become somewhat disenchanted with the expectation that important decisions have to be grounded in logical, concrete explanations. If you're not satisfied with that, then fine, I'll give you a word: opportunity. If you really want to know, shoot me an email or let's Skype, or better yet, let's grab some coffee or drinks if our paths cross.
After several months of extended travel, it's time for something new; for some semblance of home. Does this mean I didn't like traveling long-term? Absolutely not. I feel like I took several years of travel experiences and put them into a few months. The person I was last year, I don't even know anymore. Uprooting myself from a comfortable job and lifestyle and placing myself within unfamiliar cultures helped me evolve and understand the world in ways I don't think I otherwise would have. However, I'm not a long-term traveler. And you know what, you can still travel even if you have a home. Shocker, I know.
So here I am. One chapter is ending and another is beginning. Not a whole lot is changing really. I'll still be traveling. If I want to take a long weekend trip, I will. If I want to take a month to travel, I'll do that too. I'll still be freelancing, doing community management, and writing/blogging for travel companies and publications. This is a good point to also tell you that I'm for hire. But wait, before you check out, I have a little bit more. As I've asked for your help when traveling, I'm also asking for your help in this decision. Maybe you have a particular neighborhood in San Francisco that you love and think would be a great place to find an apartment. Better yet, maybe you know someone renting out their apartment. Or, perhaps your Uncle Leroy has a boutique furniture shop in Mission Bay. Also, I'll be looking to make friends. If you live in San Francisco, I might want to be your friend. So I would love to at least meet and chat. Please leave any recommendations below or you can email me.
Lastly, I want to thank you. Yes, you. In just a few months I've grown to 100 readers and have met some incredible people as a result of this blog and Twitter. It reminds me why I travel and write. Your comments of encouragement, constructive criticism, high fives, drinks, and banter remind me how much I love traveling and writing. I hope you'll continue to follow along on this next grand adventure of mine.