Its August 28. The end of another season, one more big push and then that’s it: we’re home free. We can all breathe and sleep and call our mothers to catch up and clean our bathrooms.
This is the time of year we also start looking at the winter months and planning. Already my phone’s been blowing up with the “what are you doing this winter” and “are you doing trees again” texts. Kayak.com is constantly pulled up on our phones as we scramble to find cheap flights to Chile and we start the Facebook posts: “how does one get a boat to South America” partly because we really don’t know, and partly because we want everyone on Facebook to know we’re going to Chile.
Usually I’m packing my stuff in my plastic boxes, taking them one at a time to my mom’s damp basement, and looking at budgets while plotting every possible way to lower my overhead. Every latte here is a taxi ride in Ecuador.
But this year is different.
I’m smelling fall, and I’m watching some of the green leaves think about turning into glowing red leaves, and I’m riding my new bike a lot.
I get on kayak.com but I’m not very motivated. Plane tickets are expensive. Maybe I can’t afford it.
I look at my plastic boxes I’m supposed to fit everything into, and I go out and buy new dishes so I have more than one set now.
I buy sticky buns after long rides and don’t think so much about taxi rides in Ecuador as I do about how good these will taste in November, when its chilly out.
The attic I live in I’m supposed to leave in October, but I am instead considering asking my landlord if I can paint one of the rooms grey and hang a cabinet for the kitchen supplies I’m accumulating.
This year I turned 28 and made some big changes in my life and the craziest thing that has happened to me is the sudden stability. I’m not sure what this means for my winter yet. In a crazy way, I don’t want to leave. For the first time in years (eighteen years?!) I’m not ready to leave a place.
This place is home. I go on 35 mile rides in Pisgah on my bike, and my heart feels like it’s finally resting in a home. I bounce my way down the Green and I’m at home. I spend mornings in my attic with a white mug full of locally roasted coffee, and I’m home.
This is such a change for me, and I must confess it caught me off guard. But traveling is my identity, I reasoned. But I live this way for a reason, so I can see the world. But my image is wrapped up in the gypsy, nomadic lifestyle.
Maybe it isn’t? I think I’m about to find out.