On freedom and daydreams.

Mostly it's worth it to have the mental space for daydreaming. And what I daydream about most is our (hopeful) move to Ecuador. We're scoping out airfare for the exploratory visit we plan to make within the next few months, looking at hotels, and this is both more exciting and more solemn somehow than planning a normal vacation. I think about a new life in a country where I don't yet speak the language, where even a simple trip to the grocery store will present a challenging learning opportunity, and I don't feel the least bit nervous. My heart races but it's with the thrill of knowing we might get to have the kind of life we most want- one with a solid, loving core at it's center, but unexpected adventures swirling about.

I've been in Denver for an entire decade now, longer than I thought I'd ever stay in one place after 23 years of moving from place to place. When I was 12 my dad was stationed in Germany for the first time. Two years of cobblestone streets and red tile roofs, fairy tale bakeries and vans that delivered Kinder eggs to our apartment, two years of my mom scraping together a little money through her miraculous ability to save even when we had little, money that bought us bus tours and absolutely magical adventures in Paris, Switzerland, Amsterdam, and more.

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For some reason though, the memory that always comes back to me the clearest is of the very first night after our arrival. In the middle of the night, while my parents and sister slept soundly after our long journey from South Carolina, I woke with a start. My heart raced and my brain buzzed, a combination of jet lagged wakefulness and excitement, and I tiptoed out of my bedroom. I walked into the unfamiliar living room, with it's sparse, temporary military-issue furniture that would do until our stuff came over, and I crept up to the glass balcony door. I quietly moved aside the curtain and looked out to a starry sky and somehow the fact that I was looking at the stars from a window in a different country, on a different continent, from where I'd been just the day before seemed like the most important thing that had ever happened to me. It meant everything: the unknown, fresh starts, endless possibility. Once I had that feeling I knew I never wanted to go without it for long.It's the chasing after that feeling that leads my husband and I to live more frugally than strictly necessary in order to be able to travel often. Maybe we'll chase that feeling straight across the ocean to Ecuador.

I feel like 12-year-old me would be thrilled with our plan to move to South America. If we fall in love with our new home we'll stay there, and continue to build a solid life together. And whenever we need that middle of the night, heart racing feeling we'll get on a bus or a short flight and go find adventure in Argentina or Uruguay. The only thing I'm afraid of is the regret that will cling to me like stale cologne if we stay put.

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Posted in Moving and Relocating Post Date 11/16/2015


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