I never thought of myself as moving a lot. I was more of a traveler who always lived in the same area. My parents still live in the same house where I was born. But now I am preparing for my 5th move in 4 years. Ugh. And I had actually moved more than a few times before that.
My friends use to tell me I had to put down roots, one day or another. The idea seemed like a nice one, but all I ever thought about was moving somewhere else. Back in those days, when I was in NY, I dreaded the idea of living there “forever”. That word filled me with anxiety and dread, as if I was being locked away in a cage. And that is not to say that NY is a bad place to live. For years it was exciting. Life in NYC was new and entertaining. Until it wasn’t anymore. I was ready for a change. The feeling crept in slowly, first just a flickering thought, then a daydream here and there of somewhere new, until eventually it was a consuming voice within me that the world was simply too big to stay in one place for that long. I needed to get to the West Coast. I was hell-bent on making it to California, San Francisco in particular. And suddenly, I was skipping right over California. Almost 6000 miles beyond California. It was time to go big, and call it home.
At the time I first moved out here, I was so ready to be somewhere different I didn’t even care too much where it was that I was going other than that it was an island and had white sandy beaches, crystal blue water, and swaying palm trees. I didn’t even know the correct way to pronounce the island’s name and hadn’t a clue what I would find there, other than those three key elements listed above and my new job. The unknown actually thrilled me, gave me that buzz of life that only the brink of a new adventure does. Stepping out into the unknown was a rush and, at that time, I was always looking for that perfect edge. The fine line between getting close enough to feel the rush, but not going too far to lose it all. I was learning to rock climb, mountaineer, and ice climb back then and was in love with traveling anywhere and everywhere I could. Moving was the great adventure I was looking for and moving to the unknown was riding close to that edge.
The subsequent moves were not quite so exhilarating. After years of island fun, I was exhausted. It was time for something different. Not with the same sense of urgency that I had previously felt, but with that same feeling creeping in that the world was large and I wouldn’t get to see it living in one place forever. But where to go? After living in paradise I realized it was going to have to be something pretty special to switch to. Then I found that something special. Except it came in the form of a person instead of a place. I had met the man who swept me off my feet and all those sweet clichés. His songlines were taking him off island and it felt completely right to join him. And that is how I ended up with an Oklahoma phone number, lived on a beautiful farm in Minnesota, and spent a year in the Arizona desert. Work dictated life, our direction, and the places we called home for those next few years. I love experiences and there were certainly reasons we ended up in each of those places that we couldn’t have known at the time. But it still felt like we were drifting, not quite at the helm of our own lives, but rather being blown from port to port. As that year in Arizona started coming to an end, we knew we had some decisions to make, most practical of all being the decision to renew our lease or move again. We were getting weary of just making our way through each day. We now had a son and we wanted more for him then the suburbs and a routine that made each day look like the last. I was always a firm believer that work should not dictate life, and yet, here we were. And suddenly breaking out of that cycle seemed so hard to do. Where would we go? How would we find the money to make what we wanted happen? How do we get from here to there? So, there were those Jamison margaritas and the messages to friends. We were on our way. Yes, the world is big, and you are never going to see it all if you keep going back to the places you have been, but you also are never going to truly see it with your nose to the ground and your feet walking the same steps every day. Now it was time to go back, live life a little outside of the typical routine, and find that sense of adventure again in the white sandy beaches, crystal blue water, and swaying palm trees.