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The life I didn't know I wanted
Journal Post #21: May 1st 2023, Glasgow Scotland
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Warning: this is a very journal-y post! read: rambling, all over the place, just random thoughts on digital paper 🙃
We are en route to Spain today to do Round 3 of family time and also hike a portion of the Camino de Santiago with my dad, which I am super excited about and will write about later! We are on our way there from the UK, where we spent about two weeks visiting Alan’s family, half of the time in Glasgow and half of it in Shrewsbury (about 1hr from Birmingham).
We had a lovely time with family that we don’t get to see that often, so the trip was more than worth it. But the weather… wow, it was freaking dreadful. Being here, under grey skies and a light but annoying drizzle, brought me straight back to our life in Seattle - where we lived for a long decade - and made me realize how different our lives are today.
It was a loud reminder of how lucky I feel to have such a flexible life
Honestly, it had been a while we were somewhere where I plainly hated the weather. Sure, we have been in very cold places recently - ahem Utah - but in those places I *wanted* snow so we could snowboard or see the beautiful contrast of red rock and white snow in National Parks. And, more importantly, the SUN was almost always present.
In truth, I need the sun more than anything, my body mind and soul crave for it. Like literally. I love to feel the sun on my skin, I love to see its reflection on water, I love how it makes the colors of nature just pop! I even love that it makes me sweat.
Sunshine changes everything, it makes everything feel so much more alive, including me.
Looking back at our many years in Seattle I am honestly not sure how I lasted that long there. I love Seattle for many reasons, including its spectacular summers, but there is no denying that the weather there is awful for most of the year. The issue is not even that it’s cold and rainy - even though it’s - but that it’s grey and dark for so much of the year and so much of each day. You could easily spend a week or more without seeing the sun. And like I said, I like the sun, like a lot.
In Seattle I discovered a lot about myself, including that I am happier when there is sunshine, and even happier when it’s warm. And although that learning might seem simple, even obvious now, the truth is that deciding the weather was a priority for me - over many other things in my life - was an important thing to come to terms with and made many life decisions a lot easier.
I am in love with the life we have today, but the truth is that there wasn’t a grand plan to build such a life, at least initially.
At some point in our Seattle sting I was fortunate to land a dream job, which turned out to be remote. I was not looking for a remote job, it just happened - long before COVID - and at that point I didn’t even consider it a perk. But not long after I told Alan he better find a remote gig too, and once he did, our lives were forever changed.
Traveling had always been central to my life, but after both of our jobs were remote we started to travel longer and deeper. And the more we traveled the more it was obvious there wasn’t any reason to be anywhere we didn’t want to be. There wasn’t any reason to be in Seattle in the winter, for instance. Even more mind-blowing was the realization that we could live in multiple places throughout the year, chasing the things we love and leaving the things we didn’t enjoy behind. It seemed too ideal to be true, but it became an obsession, and little by little we built the life we have today. A life of choices.
A life I didn’t know I wanted until I realized it was possible
There are plenty of reasons why people live where they live, and there were certainly lots of reasons why we were in Seattle for a decade. I don’t regret a single one of the ten wonderful years we lived there; I don’t regret running for miles in the dark, biking to work in the rain, nor the hundreds of muddy hikes we took; I don’t regret camping under the starry skies, kayaking, admiring the Seattle skyline, nor the hundreds of picnics at the beach while watching gorgeous sunsets. We lived a beautiful life there, an absolutely defining phase of our lives. That was the decade we met, fell in love, and built our careers.
But, I am very happy to be in a different phase now. And I know for a fact we will be in a new phase in two, five or ten years from now, and I am looking forward to whatever that will be.
And I guess that is my point with this rambling post:
You are where you need to be right now
You might not know what you need - or even truly want - until you somehow stubble into it. TRUST YOURSELF
You will live many different phases of your life, embrace them all