The Year of Tiny Adventures

Now we’re in 2018. It’s a brand new year and we’ll encounter brand new challenges that will be tougher and easier than keeping a baby safe and well from birth to 12 months. (So I hear.)

I’ve started to have a little more time to breathe now and it seems like my brain waves are firing a little faster (no guarantees). Tempted as always to create unrealistic goals for the new year, I’ve settled on a single idea.

(Okay, I’m lying. I have a lot of resolutions but I’m trying to ignore them. I want to just have a theme for my year instead of a lot of lofty goals that are unrealistic to set.)

I want to have more adventures, but to do so I need to see the adventure in everyday things. Haines is 13 months and I work on someone else’s schedule. Hiking Machu Pichu or snorkeling foreign seas aren’t in my near future. It can be hard to appreciate adventures in baby world. Haines primarily finds fun in eating leaves and other tidbits he finds on the ground. But to grow him and me we have to get out of the house.

Welcome 2018: The Year of Tiny Adventures

My goal is to explore Wilmington in a way that keeps me outside and interacting with others. These are the two things that maintain my sanity. That and the occasional baby break but sometimes that’s not an option.

January’s adventures include:

A trip to the Fort Fisher Aquarium– big news, we’re members now! Haines got a membership for his birthday and we plan to take advantage. His attention only held for about 30 of the 60 minutes we were there but I consider that a win.

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Wilmington Coffee Crawl– I don’t actually drink coffee but I like coffee shops and anything involving strolling a baby around downtown. I hope the weather holds out!

Also, I started using Peanut which I’m super intimidated by. Has anyone tried this? It’s like Tinder but it’s for Moms and is just to make friends. Wish me luck!

So, here we go- a little attitude change, a little planning and a lot of (tiny) adventures!

 

I’m Not as Jealous as I Thought I Would Be

But that being said, I’m still pretty damn jealous. This weekend I met yet another couple my age setting out to see the US on the open road. Yes, I now know two couples who live on the road. Yes, it seems unfair to me too.

The couple, Mel and Carson, have recently had their story featured in Travel + Leisure magazine and will be documenting their journey on www.localcolorxc.com. They have renovated an old trailer to use as they traverse the lower 48 states in one year’s time. While most of their path is undetermined, their goal is set. They’ll visit most of the states in our fair nation, recording their travels and take a little extra time to find direction in their lives, even if not on the road.

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Photo credit @carsonvaughan Mel (far left) from Local Color XC, me and Chrissy (right) at Cap’n Bill’s.

Another set of friends, Marie and Josh, (okay, I’ve only met Marie but I assume Josh and I would be instant friends) are about to hit their one year anniversary  of living on the open road.  You can catch up on their travels on their blog Ardent Camper. This is totally wild to me. Sure I lived out of a backpack for a year but I was 22. It seems so much harder now. Now there are expectations. Now an income needs to be more than enough to buy Ramen.

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I’m sure there are more recent photos of Marie and I but this one probably best captures our adventurous spirits. Right?

Also, now there is such a thing as freelancing and work from home.

You don’t need an office. You don’t need a boss. You need internet. You need determination. You need gumption.

Since these travels are basically my life dream, I would expect to drowning in jealousy. And let’s be honest, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. The idea of the visiting friends across the country, staying in national parks, staying in little towns- seeing all of America! The idea of not sitting every beautiful day in a cubicle under fluorescent lights… what more could you want? It makes me want to pull out a map and start planning. Despite that, I feel like I’m in a different sort of adventure right now. I’m still getting to know Wilmington. I’m learning about being a homeowner, a pet owner. I’m not done here yet!

To my friends living each day with purpose, to my friends living each day with adventure, you have all of my admiration.

And all of my jealousy. Please take me with you!

Soul Mates?

I was reading a post on Thought Catalog today titled Sometimes Your Best Friend is Your Soul Mate. I was immediately intrigued because I have often spoken of the idea of platonic soul mates. The author of this post didn’t really have the same idea that I had in mind. She thinks if her best friend was a man then she’d be everything she could ever want in someone. I have no desire to date my best friend soul mate and she’s fine just the way she is, thank you.

Anita and I are very different. She is ambitious and has always been  focused on her career. I have just recently introduced this word into my vocabulary. I can’t resist any of my favorite foods where as she uses “moderation” (except for the European gelato tour of 2007 where we ate gelato every day without fail). She updates me on hockey games where I don’t understand what she’s talking about. Once she took me to a professional soccer game where the main thing that I understood was I got hit in the head with the ball which also spilled my drink.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of very good friends throughout the years but it wasn’t until I traveled with Anita that I started pondering the idea of the platonic soul mate. I met Anita on my very first day in Scotland for study abroad and initially I was skeptical. I’d never met anyone so outgoing and genuinely friendly. Was it real? Also, off the bat she expressed how much she loved Justin Timberlake. I let this go after she showed me what to order at an Indian restaurant. It took only a few days for Anita to be my go to person there. I have never made a true friend so quickly and I question whether I will ever enjoy traveling with someone as much as I did with her. Our differences only make our friendship more balanced and therefore all the more special to me. Unfortunately for me, Anita lives in Canada which is inconveniently located (Recently I’ve noticed that almost all my favorite long time friends live in another country. Is it me? Do I smell bad?) so I rarely see her as much as I’d like.

I have no idea if there’s a true soul mate (in a romantic sense). Honestly, that’s hard for me to wrap my mind around. But a platonic soul mate? That’s easier for me to grasp. A true friend who knows you and you know them above all others. Someone you can always trust to tell the truth but sugar coats it when you need it. Someone to adventure with.

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Are You Domesticated?

I recently turned 26. This neither feels like a particularly young or old age. I am young enough to have no real responsibilities or obligations. I am old enough to have my Facebook newsfeed be flooded with pictures of weddings, engagement announcements, baby photos, updates on pregnancies and the list goes on. I am equally fascinated and repelled by these. Did Cat really marry that boy from West?  Is Abby really pregnant? Is everyone pregnant? Is that where we are now- the age of life where everyone is… domestic?

Part of me is horrified by this. How can everyone be ready to settle down? While I realize that my lifelong idea that adventure ends with marriage is a little extreme, there are some adventures or experiences that can only be had when you’re flying solo. It’s a lot harder to pick up and go with someone else to consider. There are so many places I still want to go. So much of the world left unseen. There is this feeling in my chest, a tightness that I associate with the feeling of being trapped. Furniture makes me feel trapped. I hate owning any. My job makes me feel trapped. I go there five whole days a week (can you imagine?!). And even having a boyfriend means that I am limited in my explorations. I can’t exactly take off, life packed into a bag, for unlimited amounts of time and expect someone to wait behind.

But then, I feel the other side. This side is a new development. It’s something I feared would take over in my life eventually. It’s the need to nest. I want to garden. I want window boxes on a little bright colored cottage. Inside the house are pictures of all my favorite people, places and things. In the fridge are delicious treats. From the oven comes the smell of fresh bread baking. And everything is mine. At home, I wear only my underwear. My messes are always mine. And maybe, if he’s lucky, the boy comes over or lives with me. We fill the house with laughter and music can always be heard from our open windows. Even  though he doesn’t want to, he dances in the kitchen with me. I love to dance in the kitchen.

How do people do this? Balance the need to explore the unknown with the want to make roots? Am I the only one who feels this tug of war?