Call it what you like. Wanderlust. Grass-is-always-greener syndrome. Unrelenting sense of adventure. Pie-in-the-sky expectations. Commitment-phobic. Optimistic.
We don’t go on many vacations, but we make up for it by moving. In over eight years, we’ve spent a full two years in the same house exactly…well…never. In our record holding shortest stay, we were in at Halloween and out at Christmas. But that place had some serious issues. It wasn’t just us. Really. But our habits are still revealing. This will be our third lease in a row where we cut out early. Even a year is too confining.
There is always something a little sad about leaving any place. At this Northern California house, I was finally able to have a mini-farm: a few chickens and a couple pigs. Family lived close, rent was cheap, there was no traffic.
Memories of San Diego from our previous stopover have been a particular challenge to shake from my psyche. It’s hard to argue with amazing and beautiful year-round weather. Warm stretches of beach, beautiful deserts, and wild mountains, all within an easy drive, have never drummed up complaints that I’ve heard.
And there’s Reno. Well, there’s not much I miss about Reno. There was extreme hot, extreme cold, and extreme wind. It’s close to Tahoe, but I didn’t ski once while we were there. Not one time.
But the sadness of leaving behind is always the minor emotion compared to the excitement, anticipation, and suspense of what’s to come. And our current what’s-to-come carries a particular weight that no other destination can dare compare with.
A name alone that hangs heavy with dreams, images, and emotions. The mere mention evokes thoughts of mystery in a land that is both ancient and new, but also wild and unsettled. Among those thoughts there is, undoubtably, unrealistic romanticism. But even unrealized ideals house the possibility of exceeding the expectations.
Alaska really needs no introduction. Every other show on the Discovery Channel is about it. People are curious. They want to know more. To see it. To feel it. To be part of it. It is far enough away to exude the foreign appeal, but close enough to be realistic, if not practical. But still, only some actually go. Is it the distance? Anxiety about the unknown? The majority of general responses to our decision has been resounding and enthusiastic support. Maybe most people, for themselves, come to settle on the conclusion, “But why?”
I doubt that our foray north will fizzle, as our other forays have, into just another broken lease and a few loose ends left untied. This time it’s different. This time it’s special. Because this time, we don’t have a practical list of answers to the question, “But why?” We just have absolutely no answer to the question, “Why not?”