I’ve been settling in from our vacation this week, enjoying the familiar comforts of home and reminsicing with photos. Mexico is so far away from Portland, in a lot of ways–our bottles of tequila look a little lonely sitting on the shelf here!
I always crave novelty–new sights, new things to eat, a place I’ve never been. But at the same time, there’s nothing like coming home after a long vacation, grabbing your favorite mug, and curling up under your favorite blanket. It seems like a well-lived life is one that balances these, to the degree that is best for each individual.
And yet… I just want to travel. Yesterday I read The Lost Girls, a blog about three women who quit their jobs to travel for a year, and Nomadic Matt, who travels for a living. I was immediately struck with envy. It’s such an adventure to see new things!
Jesse and I are tentatively planning a trip to Europe next year, and it’s been consuming my thoughts this week. It’s all I can think about–where should we go, how long, what should our route be, should we bring bikes, and how much will that cost anyway… I’ve been a bit distracted at work. The thought of getting up and going somewhere is just too arresting!
Getting up and Going in Sorrento, Italy, 2005
On the flip side, I like the idea of putting roots down and getting to know a place. Living in community. Recognizing the local barista or mailman. Being able to really call a place a home, and knowing what the local food is, and what the seasons are like. Having a history somewhere. Belonging.
Life in general is a struggle between global vs. local, it seems. It’s impressive to know the details of the Kyrgyzstan struggle going on, but isn’t it just as impressive and important to know the details of the school’s struggles down the street? It’s nice to appreciate the beauty of Italy or Australia, but Oregon is just as pretty!
Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, Oregon, 2010
It’s time for me to tuck my travel plans into a little drawer somewhere, keep them safe and warm for later, while I focus on living in Portland. There are too many festivals to enjoy, concerts to attend, waterfalls to see, camping spots to find, berries to pick, rivers to float, and restaurants to try. With over two years in Portland under my belt I feel like I can finally call myself a “local,” but there’s still so much more to do. And summer is the best time to do it!
So I’ve decided I will stop pining for somewhere else and start living here. The sun is shining, friends are around, and we’re having taquitos and margaritas tonight. ¡Ole´!