Transitions can be exciting or scary, slow or abrupt. But rarely are they comfortable. As Rob and I transition back into “real life” on land here in Missoula, Montana, we are attempting to accept the discomfort that comes with change. Our life is full of unknowns right now: where will we live? What will we do next? Who do we want to be when we grow up?
Luckily, even while immersed in the unknown, it feels good to be surrounded by familiar sights and our favorite people. Our transition back to the States was buffered by spending two weeks wandering the Northwest before settling back in Montana. We reconnected with friends from Bellingham to Bend, stopping in Seattle, Portland and Mosier in between.
We saw balsam root flowers springing up along the Columbia River, and mushrooms poking out amid the cedar forests near Canada. We played with doggies and goats and chickens, told stories, caught up. And we bought warm clothes at Goodwill to ease our heat-soaked bodies into the cold northern spring.
Now, vacation is over. By choice, for sure, although the ending is no less poignant. Rob and I are both ready to delve into new projects, new passions, new challenges. We’ve been back home for a week now, living in my parents’ very comfortable house and reacquainting ourselves with Missoula. When we get overwhelmed by all the “to do’s” in front of us — find a house, a car, insurance, income — we call a friend we haven’t seen in over a year and go for a walk in the hills.
It’s almost too easy to slip back into old habits. But that slip seems to make the transition even harder, as we struggle to hold on to those hard-earned travel lessons. We are working to find the balance between embracing our old lifestyle and carving out a new one that accommodates our expanded horizons. Mostly, we’re just taking the good advice of a wise friend: be kind to ourselves, and forgive ourselves when we hit rough spots on the road as meld back into our home.