I never imagined that I would feel that the lyrics from one of my favorite songs applied so specifically to me. Well, how did I get here? By here I mean: living in modest accomodations (comparable to a shotgun shack) in the Pacific northwest (another part of the world), driving a large (rental) car, with my beautiful wife (and kids) living in a beautiful house (with some of her family) a couple of hours away.
The short version of the story is that I accepted a unique (perhaps I should say a once in a lifetime) temporary work assignment.
Here’s a longer version: About two weeks ago, we moved everything that wouldn’t fit into luggage from our townhouse into a storage unit and gave the keys back to the landlords. We’ll miss the good landlords and location, but not the angry downstairs neighbor. Elena spent the main moving day with her grandparents, but we brought her back for our final cleaning day–she was sad and shocked to see everything gone, walking from room to room saying things like “Oh no, my bed is gone! Oh no, where’s the couch?” We had tried to prepare her for this by talking about how we were going to move, but she didn’t understand what that meant until she saw the house all empty.
I didn’t express my concerns openly, like Elena did, but I had some very deep concerns and doubts as we got ready to go. Was I right or was I wrong to pursue this opportunity? After we handed in the keys, the question changed to: what have I done? But the die was cast, and there was nothing to do but shift into adventure mode for our travels.
We’re grateful to have family and friends that living at the origin and destination for this trip. We stayed with my parents for a few days before our scheduled departure. After a long day of flying that in the end wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, our good friends Carrie and Matt opened their home to us. It was lots of fun to watch Elena play with their kids, her friends, Danny and Kaylee.
Predictions for adverse weather conditions forced us to make a tough decision about when to try to travel over the mountains to Jenny’s father’s house. Jenny and I had some heated discussions about the right course of action, but eventually came to an agreement. It could have gone the other way, but we got lucky by leaving early rather than lingering. Our drive wasn’t impacted by the weather, but conditions deteriorated all along the route after we made the trip.
The bad weather had a silver lining for us, because it kept me with Jenny, Roman and Elena for a few extra days before I moved on to my work location. Now that I’m here, I find that I hadn’t fully comprehended how different my life would be without them. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on my own this much. My consolation is the thought that by making these sacrifices we can figure out how to work this to our advantage. For one thing, our house down payment fund will grow more quickly. More importantly, we’ll learn about whether we like life on the road. We may have other opportunities to travel, and this is a trial to see if we like it.