A two-faced aspect to travel is that while our souls are opened to new adventures and people, we miss out on the day-to-day moments of friendships back home. Some of those friendships hibernate, some continue on digitally, and others grow. It’s a huge trade-off, and one we speak frequently about with other travelers. We haven’t entirely figured out how to cope with it, and I’m not sure we ever will. All I know is that we can’t do it all, but we’re feeling the call of the open road and so that’s where we are until it is no longer fun.
Still, there is no place like home, and the last two weeks are a reminder why we love Portland so much. Parking the van at a friend’s in Las Vegas, we took a trip to Idaho to visit family, then flew west to Oregon. Spring is in full bloom in the northwest and flowers and budding trees sparkle everywhere. People are even wearing flip flops! In a whirlwind of meals, walks, tea dates and bike rides, we caught up with our friends after six months away.
I don’t think it is possible to cultivate the same closeness with people while on the road. Phone calls or Facetime chats can’t water the seeds of friendship the way a hug does, while Facebook leaves out the honest reality of peoples’ lives. (Looking at mine, you’d think all we do is bike, smile and do handstands.) We knew that we missed our friends, but coming back for awhile drummed home how lucky we are to have such dynamic, caring, inspiring and hilarious amigos. People raising families, building businesses, and living awesome lives. There were new engagements and marriages to raise a glass to, divorces to digest, careers in flux, pregnancies to celebrate and cute babies to hold, and life’s adventures and trials to discuss.
We jumped right into the good stuff with people. Some tales of our travels, but mostly the ways it has changed us. Perhaps the blog fills y’all in on our adventures and so we just pick up with aspirations and goals instead? It felt like the small talk wasn’t necessary – “sooooo, how have you been?” – and instead we dug right in. Thanks to all of you for making it a jam-packed, laughter-filled visit, and for weaving us back into the fabric of your lives for just one small square in the quilt.
Our visit drummed home the fact that while we may be out traveling, there is a little string from each of our friends tugging at us, a connection back to our home in the northwest. We’re off on the next leg of the journey, but we’ll be back sooner than later. Exploring, yet pulled to the greenery and vibrant pulse of Portland. Charmed by the people there, and looking forward to visiting again.
I started this short blog in the Portland airport and am finishing it among the red rocks in the Valley of Fire, just northeast of Las Vegas, before we venture north on I-15. The van 10k servicing and oil change is done, our fridge and larder is jam-packed with grub, and we even gave the Sprinter a bath, washing off the dust from SoCal and Arizona. With any luck, it will be coated in grime from adventuring in Utah very, very soon. That is certainly the plan!
Thanks to all of those we are lucky enough to call friends back home in Portland. We can’t wait to see you again sooner than later!
Headed into the canyons,
P.S. A special thanks to Ellee, Joe for sharing their home and wonderful new baby, Ruby, with us while we visited, plus bikes to cruise around town. And to Ashley, Beth and their cheery kiddo Parker for hosting us. AND to Elly and Joe (different E&J) for letting us housesit and hang with my new feline buddy, Tigger. Lovely to see you all!