Figuring Out What’s Next: Three Weeks on the Left Coast

Feature, Life Abroad — By on April 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

We arrived at YVR after 26 hours in transit: from Montevideo, Uruguay, we took a red eye to Panama City, then another flight to Houston. We had a seven hour layover in Houston (which was obviously spent over beers), and then onto Vancouver, where we arrived just before midnight on March 22.

When you’re traveling, any amount of time away seems like both a lifetime and the blink of an eye. On the one hand, we moved so quickly from place to place, and saw so many things, that our three months of traveling seemed like much longer; each day was saturated with so much more newness than a typical day in the daily grind. On the other hand, each day seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye.

Getting home — and not yet having any idea what to do next — meant that we had to face an undetermined amount of time of nothingness ahead of us: no newness, few changes of scenery and, to top it all off, it wasn’t that hot out and it rained a lot. After three months away, moving from place to place with very few responsibilities to speak of, this was where the real challenge began: What do we do next?

Luckily, we were now surrounded by people who knew us well and in a city that truly must be one of the most beautiful in the world, even with the rain. Our cat slowly began to forgive us, allowing us to pick him up, feed him, spank him, and generally grovel for forgiveness through the provision of treats and unrestrained affection. We went out for drinks with friends, went on a seed bombing mission with Mary from Social Alterations, went to Yuk Yuks (if you want to feel some environmental outrage, ask for a glass of tap water at Yuk Yuks Vancouver), and began sorting through the pieces of our lives that remained in boxes and needed to be either donated or reorganized for transport to our new home.

Mortimer, our seed bombing friend

Seed Bombers and their Amo

Beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada

We took a bitter-sweet trip to Calgary, giving us a total of 22 hours in the car to talk about what to do next, and where we should do it. When we got to Calgary we were comforted with our decision to leave, not because we won’t miss our friends and family there dearly, but because it wasn’t the right fit for us: jumping back into that life would have eroded the muchness reclaimed through travel. And on the way back from Calgary, we talked, and talked, and talked, and talked, and we realized it was time to head back to Asia.

If you asked me my future plans three weeks ago, I undoubtedly would have answered that we were moving to Argentina to start a wine tour business. Just over three weeks ago, Geoff and I were sitting in Posadas, Argentina, blissfully sipping Cerveza Quilmes with potential business partners in a recently formed idea for an Argentine venture. So why did we end up buying one-way tickets to Asia? It took us three weeks of ups, downs, and adrenaline, but we eventually landed on the choice — and the life and the region — that is quite simply, much muchier us.

And so onwards we march. Next stop: Tokyo.

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