Where we're at.
You know how you floss your teeth right before going to the dentist? Only text cross country people when you've been running a lot? Wait for an "epic adventure" to update your blog? Avoid calling your parents when you're camping at a Walmart?
No? That's just me?
Recently, we've been doing a lot of city street parking, a lot of irresponsibly spending our cash on americanos (cause wifi) and not a ton of running or photogenic adventuring. So if I haven't called you in awhile, I'm sorry. I've been busy maintaining the illusion that I'm a super-cool #vanlife adventurer... by imposing a blackout on my insignificant corner of the internet.
That made way more sense in my subconscious.
The thing is, our time in The Bay involved a lot of pretending we were qualified to wear a lot of hats on a complicated project that we lacked an obvious reason for being involved with. "What we were up to" didn't fit in a sound byte and the explanation generally amplified a lot of perfectly loud doubts and questions. So I avoided it when possible.
The other thing I've been avoiding?
People who want to make plans, or compare plans, or know about plans. Are you coming to beach week? Can we go hiking next weekend? Let's get together this fall. When are you going to be *Insert location in the continental United States*? and always... What are you doing next?
I'll plug my nose and answer though.
I don't know. I don't know where I'll be this fall. I don't know where I'll be this weekend. Tonight, I'll be within driving distance of where I am now. If you're here, I'd love to hang out. Twenty minutes notice is perfect.
I've been avoiding reaching out because I'm waiting to have some answers. Waiting to climb V6 and get back in running shape. Waiting to have a cool story to tell. Waiting to have a plan and be able to say YES I'll see you there next year.
But I'm beginning to come to terms with the fact that I don't know when that'll be. The "plan" has changed so many times in the past month, that it's not worth running through how we got here. So here's where we're at.
We're in Durango Colorado at my cousin's boyfriend's house while they're at my family reunion, and we just wrapped up a week planting hemp for a friend of his. We arrived planning to just spend the night, and were connected to the gig the minute we mentioned we were largely lost & short on cash. It's been a great opportunity to slow down, do a simple (hard) task in the (hot) sunshine and let go of some of the stress about what's next. I don't know if it's just the place or that we had an "in", but we've really enjoyed what little we've seen of Durango so far. We met some great people and had truly amazing ice cream for lunch after we planted the last seedling today.
We're largely killing time until James has a site interview with Hydroflask on August second.* After all the real people and seasonal work job searching we did, this is the only remaining lead. How that goes (and how James feels about it/Bend) will largely determine the "what's next" question.
We like being on the road, we don't feel like we're done with vanlife, or even that we've figured it out yet. We also feel like we need a little more purpose, a little more income, a bit more structure and a ton less suburbs so we're actually able and motivated to do cool stuff.
We might move to Bend and get a puppy and become real people. We might go back to Asheville and help out at Square Peg for awhile. We might sell the van and do another conversion. I have a startup project with a friend that I'd like to accelerate. That other vehicle conversion might have 4 wheel drive. We might figure out how to be digital nomads. I might train for another ultra, or focus on climbing or get an MBA. James might become a pro climber/Magic player/fly fisher/guide. We might stay in Colorado, or Wyoming, or Montana. We might become hemp farmers, or ranch hands, or circus clowns.
By the second week in August we should know whether we'll watch the leaves change color on the east coast or the west. But who knows. Our only constant is change.
Well, change and two people eating oatmeal from the same pot and smiling at each other's dopey morning faces.
*Update: Hydroflask just pushed James's interview back indefinitely. I'm still cooling off about it, but it looks like we might spend longer than expected in Colorado. Hit us up if you want to go adventuring or need yard work done.