Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clarity in Travel

One day, a few years ago, Andy mentioned to me the idea of a job that would move us to a different city each year for three years.   Typical to many of my emotion-first reactions, I shut-down the idea before he could explain further.  There was no way that I would give up my career while we wandered around the country exploring his – especially when there were perfectly good jobs to be had in Iowa.

But, if my husband is nothing else he is persistent.  And, as the economy took a tumble, the idea of leaving the familiar behind became intriguing.  We kept talking, as we often do when it comes to big decisions, and, in the end, I came around.

Today, what I had originally feared has become the best two years of our lives.  And, what was once familiar seems somehow intimidating.  With all these emotions in tow, we headed out for one last trip before the big move back.  And, true-to-form, we didn't touch the radio dial on the drive from Melbourne to Key West.  Instead, we talked through much different emotions and decisions than we had just a few short years ago. 

We stopped in Key Largo, to break up the drive, and found our way to Bahia Honda State Park.  We lucked-in to two spots on a boat that was heading out to do some snorkeling.  After a quick 45-minute boat ride, we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean with strangers, snorkeling equipment, and much to explore.  I jumped in, and felt the butterflies of anxiety before I blew up my life-vest, got my mask and snorkel situated and grabbed my husband's hand.

The last few years I have read a lot about why people travel. For most people it's to escape. It's a time to leave the computer and cell-phone behind, and live in the moment. Then there are those who find that the unknown provides clarity. I remember the day we left Iowa like it was yesterday; just as I remember the day we left Oregon. What I remember is inching closer to a place of clarity. A place that says that we can travel – seek out that escape – everyday not just while we're on vacation!

As the hour and a half of snorkel exploration evaporated in what seemed like minutes, I realized that there was nothing to be intimidated by. Not in this ocean and not in what lies ahead. There will be different bumps in our road, and there may be less "new" places to drive to and explore, but there will be no less adventure. Because, if we can continue to dive into life the way we dove into the ocean, continue to hold each other’s hand as we see and do what's new, continue to kick when the other is tired and laugh along the way, than we can continue to live in this place of clarity!

{More from Key West later this week!}

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