Back in January my best friend Allison and I left home with a car full of survival essentials, a vague list of places we would like to visit, and a whole lot of that fuel inside of you that keeps you smiling and laughing regardless of the circumstance you might find yourself in. The experiences, friends, love, and insight I came home with will never be captured. They were too big, too carefree, too abstract, too stunning, and simply just much too much to be contained in any container. I myself had trouble holding it all together at times, absorbing the richness, feeling so endlessly alive. But I intend to ride the resonance of that road trip as far as it will carry me.
The road trip eventually ended, or at least I Allison and I split up (begrudgingly, I might add) some time in May, although I can’t say for sure because I still haven’t stopped moving. It dawned on me somewhere along Highway 70 that I had no final destination, no semi-permanent stopping point. I had summer plans floating in my head, and since then I’ve mostly carried on floating from place to place, but am slowly grounding myself through projects and people and eventually a place of my own. (Move-in date: August 1st!)
Living such a transient lifestyle sheds light on life through a different filter. Material possessions become heavier and harder to deal with when you are always carting them along with you. Seeing a familiar faces is oh so appreciated. I caught myself observing groups of friends, pouting jealously that somewhere far away my friends might be doing something similar. But then there is the ever changing landscape, the joy of the unplanned adventures that every day holds. The constant newness. I realized at one point that New was the New Norm. It might seem hard to believe, but there were times I was completely unfazed by the novelty of each day. Thus is the adaptiveness of the human spirit. We adjust to the life we are living.
Which might be why I feel like I keep adapting to each new place a little faster. I have changed cities 14 times since returning to the Midwest/leaving Allison/ending The Road Trip. I’m grateful for this. It’s allowed me to see my friends and family even if they have scattered across the country. But its also caused me to become a little too comfortable with saying goodbye. I can’t expend too much emotional energy with each new goodbye or hello because I know each is only temporary. I’ve trained myself to realize with each “So long” there is another “Hello” and hope that it won’t actually be too long before I return.
I am curious to know the long term effects of living such a lifestyle. Will I grow restless once I am rooted in Champaign? Or appreciate the benefits of routine? I suppose only time will tell.