What am I up to since I’ve been back in the US of A? And what happens from here? Well the first question, I can answer. While at my mom’s home just outside Winston-Salem, I’ve been meal planning; grocery shopping; cooking; going for walks; spending time with family in both NC and VA; watching dvds ((Dallas Buyers Club was really moving)); catching up on Girls Season 3; exploring the areas in/around Winston-Salem; dreaming about French baguettes and croissants; checking out books from the library and then not reading them; hanging out at Whole Foods and Camino Bakery A LOT; missing the UK and the Darbyshire fam; taking my mom to various appointments; refreshing Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds far too many times per day; and settling in enough to unpack my luggage & makeup bag. Oh, and also I turned 32 and celebrated 3 years of marriage to my darling husband.
I thought I would rapidly get bored with being here. But surprisingly, I was wrong. Even though there’s been three snow/ice storms since my arrival, there have been even more gorgeous, sunny days reaching 60 degrees and above. I need sunshine in my life, and since I’m getting a decent amount of it here, I figure there are worse places I could be. It has been a good mix of being at my mom’s home and venturing out to do errands or grab lunch.
This area of North Carolina feels artsy and somewhat hip, with a fun downtown area full of theaters, restaurants, cafes, bars. But there are also chain favorites like Trader Joes, Costco, World Market, H&M, Target, etc. to provide my consumer fix. I’m well within day-trip proximity to places like Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville. Also, coastal Wilmington and lovely Richmond, VA are close enough for weekend visits. I’d love to get to Charleston, SC while I’m so closeby – I hear it is incredibly charming. My mom tells me there are dozens of state parks near W-S, and I am excited to explore some of them in the coming weeks when the weather is ideal for a hike where I don’t get mud up to my knees.
So, what’s next? Honestly I’m unsure. I do have a flight back to the UK mid-April for a few weeks for the wedding of my brother-in-law and his bride, which is sure to be an exceptional affair. I have a flexible return ticket from London to the US, which means I can fly back on whatever date and to whatever location I wish ((most likely for a fee, of course!)).
I find it kind of exhilarating to sit and ponder where it is I want to live once it is time to settle back in the US. And trust me, I ponder it often. Looking back at all the photos from the road trip across the USA fills me with immense happiness. We visited some truly great places, and I can’t help but reconsider which of those places I can see myself living. I love Boston for many reasons; one being proximity to family and friends. But I do not love a snowy, freezing cold winter. And that is all Bostonians ((and much of the Northeast)) have felt for the past four + months. Plus: traffic. No thanks. I love the year-round sunny weather in San Diego, but would I miss the seasons? I love Austin, but would living in Texas feel right? Where would I road trip to? Would I feel somewhat land-locked? I could see us living in Richmond, but would we miss major league sports?
So really, at this point, the plan is there is no plan. And the majority of my days, I’m actually cool with it. I know we will eventually end up in a place that feels right and suits us. I also know that now, more than ever, Andrew and I have to be smart about our spending because we aren’t sure how long it will need to last us. Which will be the ultimate struggle because we both dislike restraining from consumption.
I am trying to take & enjoy each day as it comes. Which is, perhaps, ironically how we should live our lives anyway. As if we have no detailed plan. Just focus on the day or week at hand. No reason to worry about what comes next, because the decision is mine/ours to make. Cheers to lessons abound in this year of adventure.
Could you live without a plan?