Well in theory I should be in San Francisco patiently awaiting to board my international flight to San Jose Costa Rica…
Rather I am snuggled up in my old bed at my parents house in the mountains typing this entry.
Say what?! Yup, I have passed up my trip to Costa Rica…gulp. It still hasn’t hit me, though I’m not sure it will for awhile. I’ve been running amok around Northern Thailand and California for the past 5 weeks to keep me from the reality that I will be staying in California through Christmas…
Why the change of heart? Well, I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve been away for three full years now and with this past visit it really just started to take a toll on me. Both mentally and physically. After leaving Australia I went to Thailand to visit friends for a week and to surprise my students. I spoiled myself in spas and mangos and sang karaoke (thank you whiskey for the courage) with my friends that I call my family. But even just being back in Thailand for that week, I knew I wasn’t ready to move back to Asia – I still wanted to live in the western world. As I piled my luggage into my tuk tuk to take me to the international airport, I was ready to leave again.
Thailand will always have a place in my heart for me, but it isn’t the time to make roots there again – a new place is calling me.
I had a layover in Beijing and explored the city much to my dismay. I will give China another chance, but I honestly couldn’t wait to leave. I was also exhausted so that played a part in my little visit. I took a few photos of the Tibetan temple I visited, but I hate to say it, but…I really have grown immune to temples, Asia does that to you.
I landed in San Francisco and it felt like I hadn’t been gone at all. That I was only just getting dropped off in 2014 to begin my journey. My mom pulled up in the terminal and I threw my bags in, gave her a hug, and we set off to my grandparents ranch where we had a family wedding that would last 4 days.
We pull up to our Air B&B mansion that overlooked a beautiful valley. The smell of pine in the air and the altitude had started to kick in for me. I got to sleep in a proper bed and had a huge bathroom with a shower the size of a bedroom. So long hostel life – I was back to California living.
The wedding was beautiful, saw family I hadn’t seen in years, drank delicious wine, laughed with cousins, and danced the nights away. My jet lag hadn’t really set in yet, I was still in a time zone somewhere over the the Pacific Ocean. I would sleep once I got to my parents house. When we arrived that Sunday night I crawled into bed and slept for a week.
Over the next few weeks I would be traveling to my friend’s new house in the mountains where I went white water rafting for the first time in my life. Probably the most terrifying and amazing experience to date. Spent time with my best friend at her house, walked West Cliff in Santa Cruz, camped in the mountains and jumped off cliffs into a river. I flew back to my parents house and was ready to settle in.
But the universe had another plan for me.
I met with an old friend for a glass of wine and was discussing my dilemma about Costa Rica…Do I go and be skimp on funds…or do I wait a work for a couple of months, spend time with family, and then leave on a one way ticket after Christmas…
Well you now know which decision I chose. And once I made up my mind that it was the right thing, I started to figure out what exactly I was going to do with myself in Quincy for 3 months when I haven’t been home for this long in 12 years.
As much as I love Quincy now, it was not a place where I had a lot of good memories. But as my new friend Emily told me: now is the time to make new happy memories.
My despise of my little town helped fuel my desire to travel to places as far away as possible. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to distance myself from this little town and the bad memories I hold onto. Now is the time I need to actually make peace with this part of my life. To create new memories in my hometown, to trust that I will be welcomed back into the community. Maybe it’s paranoia – but whatever it is, this is where I need to be.
There is still so much traveling within my town I haven’t done. Just the other week I accompanied my friend’s outdoor education group on a hike that everyone has done, yet it was the first time for me. There are plenty of hikes in this area that I want to do, I’m surrounded by mountains that scale 2,500-3,000m that are calling my name. I’m meeting a new group of young people that have moved here over the past few years to make Quincy their home. It’s a very active/outdoorsy town with a progressive atmosphere. An atmosphere that I was unaware of while growing up here.
I spent a few days in Oregon with my mom to visit some old family friends. They have been friends with my parents for 40 years now – they’ve known me since I was a baby and they hadn’t seen me in 12 years. They were so excited for our dinner and to hear about my travels and teaching experiences (they’re all teachers). It felt good to be around people that have known me my whole life, I just got to be myself and let them know how I’ve grown up and that I will be staying stateside for awhile and promise to visit again before I leave.
I’m seeing autumn for the first time in forever. Even living in San Diego autumn wasn’t really a thing, we have palm trees and evergreens – October was still summer weather. The leaves in my area are turning all different shades of oranges, red, and yellows. Every walk I take with the family dog I see new trees that have changed.
I forgot I did like autumn.
I saw a real pumpkin for the first time in 4 years as well. I got to pick one from the pumpkin patch and plan on carving it with friends. I get to celebrate Halloween for once – granted I’ve never really been a fan, but it’s such a fun holiday in the states where it’s huge here. My friend and I already have it planned that we’ll dress up as Disney princesses to hand out candy for the trick-or-treaters.
I’m starting to get excited for the next 3 months to be in little Quincy. I’ve already made new friends and invitations to yoga, live music, and apple picking. In a sense I guess I am traveling back to my roots, to mend a part of my life that I always kept on the back burner.
Quincy, I imagine, will be my biggest travel adventure ever.
Costa Rica will come about January 2018. I’m still planning on Amsterdam in April with my partner in crime. And the Dominican Republic in May for my 30th and the wedding. (Don’t think I don’t still have the travel bug!)
And despite what is going on in Spain currently…my heart is still set on that country to move to sometime next year…
So yes, Quincy will be my new-old home for the next few months. A land of slow WIFI, no cell service, 2 stop lights in the town, and freezing temperatures…And beautiful nature, home cooked meals, being able to curl up next to the fireplace with a good book, and time spent with family…
Oh what a blessed life I live…
Let the wild rumpus begin 🙂
P.S. Promise to be better at posting photos…still transferring everything onto my MacBook…