Nothing is permanent. (A big announcement…or two…)
On ending my 'round the world trip and working from the road.
I’ll always remember how it felt to book the first flight of this journey. I was, admittedly, at work searching the interweb for some sort of deal to get me to Europe. I stumbled on a cheap one way ticket to Berlin and, after a little hemming and hawing, after a little hesitation, pressed purchase.
I was all at once petrified and excited. But it still didn’t feel real. After all, all I did was purchase one ticket. I still didn’t have to quit my job. I still didn’t have to travel for a year. All I had really committed myself to doing was going to Berlin. I could just take a week-long vacation if I changed my mind. I could still get out of it. Nothing was permanent.
And so, I’ll probably always remember how I felt clicking purchase once again, this time on a one-way ticket from Bangkok to Chicago.
I was all at once petrified and excited.
While I know I’m not ready to go home, not permanently, not yet, I think I am ready to leave Asia. I love it here, don’t get me wrong, and part of me never wants to leave at all. But it’s also getting too comfortable. Too familiar. And there is so much more out there to see. I think it’s time I explored another part of the world.
Plus, some friends are getting married at the end of October and I always knew I wanted to be home for that.
Plus, I have a job.
Yes world, for the first time in over thirteen months, I am employed.
Not a bad office, am I right?
Not that I’m going home for the job, per se. In fact, I’m staying in Asia even longer than planned because of it. I’ve started a three-month remote position doing web updates and newsletter design for Meet, Plan, Go! (a website that inspires people to quit their job to travel — I attended their first event when I was planning my trip). The work is pretty much exactly what I’d done for five years at Lyric and I can do it from anywhere. (And I can do it in my pajamas — I knew that old adage always dress for the job you want was true!)
Getting this position, though, helped me make some decisions about the next few months. I now knew I’d have enough money to cover my grad school loan payments through the end of the year. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to handle working while road tripping so I would no longer be able to do my always-planned road trip before the wedding (you know, that road trip that went from being 4 months to 7 weeks to 4 weeks to…). So I’ll be going back to Thailand and staying a few weeks longer than I thought I would, and then will get back to Chicago about a week before this year’s Meet, Plan, Go! to be on US time when work will really get busy (and, possibly, be a panelist at the event…).
My flight will land me back in Chicago on October 8, 3:35pm, more than fifteen months after I left, more than four months after my proposed return date.
But, just like my first ticket to Berlin, nothing is permanent. After my friend’s wedding I’m taking my Saturn to the west coast for a bit. And then, in December, plan to head to Mexico. Though, of course, everything is subject to change. Maybe I’ll decide to stay a bit longer in Chicago. Maybe I’ll purchase a ticket right back to Bangkok. Maybe I’ll end up in Africa or Saudi Arabia. Who knows.
What I do know is that I’m not ready to stay, not permanently, not yet. But I am ready to see my friends again, meet my nephew who will be older than one year the first time I see him, eat deep dish pizza, drive LSD, watch some improv, sleep with more than one pillow under my head. I’m ready for a visit.
But nothing too permanent.