This blog has been quiet for a while as I’ve been working out a new plan for my life and major pieces of the have only become connected very recently. I am set and excited to leave Minneapolis for Northern Italy – a place I have never been, to begin several months of travel in Europe. I don’t know if this is a low-stakes first step in a transition to moving away from the USA or it is just an opportunity to take a break from U.S. culture and experience life somewhere else. I don’t actually have a set end date to the trip and feel very open to new possibilities.
Before departing in five weeks I must get rid of most of my belongings, get health insurance and settle other long term visitor concerns, make sure to spend meaningful time with my family and friends and tie everything up at my current job. Time had been passing quickly ever since I bought by ticket and this last month is sure to fly by.
Feeling both sad and excited, I made the decision because of the support of so many encouraging friends, close family, buddies from sport and volunteering and other people I have just somehow come to know. Traveling and going new places can be difficult but the hardest part is always returning deeply changed, older, jobless (not valued in my culture) and maybe feeling critical of your own society after being exposed to other ways of thinking. It’s as much work to return “home” after a long time away as it is embarking on a new journey. If I didn’t think I had the support to return I may not have been able to take this chance to leave. Whenever I come back I know I can integrate back into my old circles.
Travel and migration isn’t glamorous. It’s just a fact of life and very human and it’s absolutely necessary in a global world. While away I will be posting regularly about places visited and experiences. I want to share how it really feels to be somewhere new. Watch out for frequent updates. I am curious to know what has been helpful for others that have successfully navigated similar life changes.