In the world of business, we often create a Year In Review for the stakeholders and higher-ups. Its usually a chunky letter with a lot of jargon and figures and positive spins on some of the bad blows from the year. And it always concludes with a summary and a "Looking Forward" paragraph. Some of the more creative and usually smaller businesses send out an infographic highlighting the ups and downs of the year. If its an especially fun company, we throw a Year End party and just go ahead and congratulate everyone via cocktails and appetizers.
Because I didn’t run a business this year, the following year in review is not like any of the above though still supplemented with wine and/or whiskey. Please take a moment to pour yourself a glass and come with me down memory lane.
We went to beautiful, wild locations and visited a lot of National Parks and Monuments. We had our highs and lows of travel and experienced the world of the modern day full-time explorer. I started to secretly write poetry and Nick has an exposé on camper-life in the works. We battled through fears and used our hopes as floatation devices. We had sudden inspiration for business ideas and the inability to connect those ideas to action. We had extended time with friends and then long stretches slumming through loneliness. I started and ended my year selling luxurious silk clothing despite my walking into work every day with holes in the elbows of my favorite flannel shirt. Nick has followed his vision and climbed to mountain tops and repelled into the depths of canyons and apparently he’d like to do it some more. We’ve felt like we don’t belong here or anywhere despite our wholehearted attempts to find our place. We’ve done so many versions of exploring that I’ve had to come up with creative adjectives to describe our life this year. We worked together and we had our arguments. I learned to curse just a little bit and Nick learned to curse a little bit more. We’ve found more strength in our voices and more creativity in our art. And we’ve found that we may never actually find a destination because the journey is far too good to rush through.
Bed head. So much bed head.
Work days. Sometimes cramped and always awesome.
Wildfires. They chased us from Canada to Montana. It was eerie and spectacularly worrisome.
Matt. Camp Illustrated. Travel Buddy. Member of the Krushing Kilometers Krew. (his idea)
Wifi. When that little icon came to life our hearts beat faster and our eyes welled with unshed tears. The most beautiful little icon in the world.
Showers outside. Naked ones. Cold ones.
Camper meals. Simple, tasty, nourishing.
Friends. On the phone, around the fire, in their houses… Outside, inside, all sides, don’t care. Just, friends.
Injections Everywhere. My favorite place that I’ve taken an injection was in a parking lot just after a midnight walk through the Narrows in Zion. Not because of the parking lot but because of the beautiful, quiet, memorable evening.
Juanita's Chips. Randomly available throughout the Northwest, when a bag of those tortilla chips were spotted down the isle it felt like a warm, salted hug. Welcome to Fiesta Size.
Dani Boxer. Best travel buddy ever. Snuggles when you’re cold, jumps when you play, sits with you when you’re sad, waits when she can’t come and loves to go on adventures. I can’t get over how awesome she is.
Trader-Freakin’-Joes. Its the new Starbucks when you’re traveling. Its like Cheers only nobody knows your name, they just have your favorite yogurt and say thanks when you bag your own groceries.
Sunsets and sunrises. 9 months of quiet, still, beautiful sun. But oh my gosh, you have no idea what it's like being a girl who grew up on musicals to hear the word "sunrise" (sunset) almost every day.
Scares. Nick was simultaneously blown away by the beauty of the northern lights and scared by a homeless man that he thought was a bear. Completely alone at 2am amongst the boulders with a bear-man 15 feet away.
A moment of silence for my Old Man Sweater who was lost in a Zion Laundromat. I loved that sweater. A fitting end to a life well lived. I hope the whoever who has you now takes you on new adventures.
The Looking Ahead:
LA. Great city, wonderful for the doe-eyed confidant who hasn’t grown cynical and crusty over their time in. Yes, I’m talking about us. And yes, we have begun our walk down the path to Jack Nicolson’s eyebrows and jaded comments but without the court side Lakers tickets and the acting chops. In an effort to continue building our life around nature and creativity, we are putting our resume’s out to creative firms and adverting agencies, pitching projects and articles and anxiously looking forward to moving into our future home. Road life was amazing and difficult and wonderful and beautiful, but we are ready to put down roots and go out from there. Friends in Los Angeles have gotten so used to our coming and going that it won’t be much different, only now we’ll have somewhere to host them in a new place of our own.
2016 is going to be awesome.