If You Could Go Anywhere…
“How did this even happen?” Martin asked me as we walked the city streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It had finally stopped raining. We’d been back in Minneapolis for a week, hibernating inside a friend’s house, partially to escape the never ending rain and partially in denial that we were inescapably back in Minnesota. But now the rain had stopped. It was still cold, windy, and cloudy, but the rain had stopped.
How does it feel to be homesick without a home?
While I love traveling, I am burned out. I want to stop and play house. I want to do the same thing for days (maybe even weeks). I’m craving consistency. Thankfully, Martin agrees, although he may express it differently. When we first hit the road, I had hoped we would travel for a year. It has been 16 months. It is time to regroup.
But how? Where?
We thought about volunteering again, this time in Thailand. We could get to know the country, the people, the culture, and see if we would want to live there for a year or two. But then we learned that Thailand’s tourist visa doesn’t allow volunteering of any kind, and we heard that they are enforcing this more than they used to.
Maybe we could volunteer with an NGO who would assist us with our official visa paperwork. But then we learned that most NGOs require volunteers to pay for administrative costs and/or accommodation costs, which were higher than our total daily budget.
Maybe I could find a job. But that takes more time than we have at the moment. We want to leave now, not in a month or two. (Winter is coming…)
Then we realized housesitting would provide us with the time we needed to regroup and job hunt. We joined a housesitting website and fantasized about all the places we could live. Portugal, France, Spain, United Kingdom. We could go to Europe! We could visit our friends and family there! We could regroup! Yes, this is what we would do!
Then we went for a walk. Planning is always more effective when combined with walking. Now that the doctors had deemed me healthy, we could go anywhere. ANYWHERE. We wanted to housesit, but we also wanted to be warm. Some places in Europe are warm this time of year, but many are not.
Australia. We would go to Australia.
We weighed the pros and cons of going to Australia instead of Europe, but that didn’t help us decide. Ultimately, we just wanted to go to Australia. I found several housesitting gigs to apply for, and so far, we have one lined up for 6 weeks starting in December. Hopefully we can get one for November too.
Within one day, we decided to go to Australia (a country not even in our discussions until that morning), found a housesitting opportunity, and bought a plane ticket. I love the internet.
Just one week ago we were in New York City researching Thailand.
Now we leave in three days for Australia.
This morning, I read a quote by one of my favorite authors: Thich Nhat Hanh –
“At any moment, you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”
Our decision to go to Australia may appear caviler but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels exciting and thrilling to be getting ready to fly to the other side of the world in just a few days. But more importantly it feels like I’m living deliberately. That I’m choosing to live a life that makes my heart sing. Like I’m taking a step toward my spirit. Watch out Australia! Here we come!