We are closing in on the end of another year and I have found myself thinking more and more about what’s next for us, where we go from here (both figuratively and literally…our time in Alaska ends December 29th!).
We’ve been talking a lot about home lately.
Again. (When you move every three months, this is a topic that comes up often.)
We’ve been asking ourselves if we want to keep traveling as we have been or if we want to begin the process of really figuring out what we want next in our lives. Where we want next in our lives.
The answer changes daily but a few things are getting clearer with the passing days. The craving for a home base is getting stronger and we keep ending up in more and more conversations about where we might want to settle down for awhile, listing off the pros and cons of everywhere we’ve spent time over these last 2+ years of travel.
The feeling that seems to be strongest in both of us is the craving to be somewhere long enough to invest a little more of ourselves. In our work, in the community, in the culture and politics. We really felt this during the recent elections when we sent in absentee ballots to a community which we certainly care about in a general sense, but whose election results are removed from our daily lives. And while we were interested in the goings on here in Anchorage, we haven’t been here long enough to have a clear sense of the issues faced by Alaskans or what factors influence policy here. We felt ill-equipped to contribute in a meaningful way.
This is one of the costs of a nomadic lifestyle that gets left out of the magazines filled with photos of beautiful twenty-somethings living out of their vans by a pristine wilderness lake. We’ve spent more than two years now as outsiders in every community we are a part of because we are, quite often literally, neither here nor there.
This isn’t to say that we haven’t been warmly welcomed or that we haven’t loved learning about places and cultures and communities that are new to us. That was at the heart of why we chose to travel in the first place and we feel every ounce of the privilege that this has been.
But we are of the rather firm opinion that as newcomers to a community, our first job is to listen and observe, not come barreling in with our own ideas and agendas. And while three months in a place has afforded us significantly more opportunity to do that listening, we haven’t felt that we’ve even come close to a deep enough understanding to really begin participating in the change or growth any of those communities were seeking.
Our nomadic lifestyle has offered us a wide breadth of experiences and we have treasured that deeply.
But we find ourselves lately craving more depth of experience, which is something that requires more than three months to create. We simply need more time than that to forge long lasting relationships and understanding.
We are taking a breath in 2019.
We have an opportunity for an affordable living situation in Seattle (unheard of these days!) and we’ve decided to pause our traveling and commit to the year there in the PNW. I don’t think we’re quite done traveling yet, but the honest truth is that I’m just not sure what we’ll want for 2020 yet.
For now we are feeling pretty excited to have a place to really dig into, to get to know in all four seasons, to invest a little more of ourselves into.
I keep reminding myself that we don’t always need to know what will come 6 steps down the road, we simply need to know what our next best step is, where to place just this single foot.
Seattle for 2019 is our next best step and we’ll figure the rest out from there.
Any of you that have experience in Seattle, we’re looking for recommendations and introductions and all the thoughts and advice and bits and bobs you can offer up! Don’t be shy!