Four years and 17 days ago we drove away from Jim’s parent’s house in Salem, Oregon heading south. The plan was to spend a couple of years driving the PanAmerican Highway, working on my writing, and explore in-depth a new-to-us continent. As the sun sets on one decade it is clear that having such a plan rarely works out exactly as we expect. Today I write this from a campground in Coos Bay, Oregon somewhere we never thought we’d end up having not yet made it to South America. As the saying goes…the best-laid plans.
One of my favorite quotes from “Sweet Home Alabama” is when Reese Witherspoon’s character is told “You can have roots and wings”. This is a difficult concept for me. Those who follow our social media are well aware we followed the road back to Oregon and the questions have been many. In truth, we never planned on leaving Clio’s and the stunning Sierra Nevada’s early. We loved the managers and our co-workers and the chance to explore a new region. However, the truth is also that for two years we have been searching for a paying camp job in Oregon or SW Washington, something that is far harder than you might imagine.
Back at camp in Idaho, the idea of “home” has been on our minds of late. Jim’s parents still ask when we’re “coming home”. We frequently find ourselves in conversations with strangers where they ask where home is. There is no real clear-cut answer. Our official residency, for now, is Portland. We live half of the year in Idaho and half elsewhere. The majority of those we meet simply can not comprehend the idea of a semi-nomadic existence.
It all started with an ottoman. A broken brake fiasco south of Mulege had us pulling into Playa Santispac rather than our beloved Playa Coyote beach. We generally think of Santispac as a place for “big rigs” and all of those who want easy access to Mexico 1 rather than those seeking a bit of peace and quiet. No matter. A night on any one of the scenic beaches of Bahia Concepcion is a dream.
We decided to leave the brake fix until the next morning and then I saw it. The tall blond woman in the RV just down from us had an ottoman. A real life, straight out of a living room, ottoman that she was resting her feet on while reading her book next to the sea. A wave of envy washed over me.