- I’ve recently returned to the Lower Mainland after living nine months in the town of Golden, about eight hours east, in south-central British Columbia, Canada. While in Golden I saw seven bears, learned to climb (top rope), learned to cross-country ski (classic), visited the Bugaboos Provincial Park, and was planted into multiple, welcoming friend groups.
- We’ve received Evan’s Canadian Permanent Residency! Processing time was 12 months. In early 2020, it weighed on us that we didn’t have the right of residency in the same country. We had a choice of countries (see: passport privilege), and we chose Canada.
- It’s not accurate to say that I miss bike travel, but it remains meaningful insomuch as we are trying to build our lives such that it will (with luck) be an option for us in the future.
- I definitely miss writing on this blog, and minutes—even seconds!—spent writing feel akin to wringing the value out of life so much that your wrists ache. But as you know, a hope without a plan is a wish. I also enjoy running. It always feels good after, and often feels kind of good during. But I don’t run without a plan; I don’t yet have a writing plan that’s equivalent to my running plan. The result is that I do not write.
- One of the reasons we chose to stop bike travelling at the end of 2019 was that we sought the feeling of a “home base” in heart, mind, and soil (or concrete; we’re largely urbanites). What I believe: travelling doesn’t guarantee any shift in mindset, beliefs, or goals. Any shift takes time, persistence, vulnerability, luck, flexibility, an openness to fail, perhaps a commitment to the process moreso than to a prescribed outcome. The work is within, to a large degree. Likewise, being in one place does not a home base make. Sometimes we feel like we are saying “this is our home” through set teeth and with forced smiles. We do this because sometimes the motivation follows the action; you can’t solely rely on passion to make reliably good decisions; and because, like dating, you will not know how it feels to be with someone unless you put yourself in the firing line of experiences that may cause feeling and a sense of connection. (By “you” I mean “me.”)
- For a big chunk of our time bike travelling, I experienced feelings of low confidence about my ability to do valuable work, or even to do any job well. I do not experience these feelings anymore. My first step in addressing this was to enroll in professional development courses. I took three editing courses through SFU Continuing Studies and this was fantastic for me. Simultaneously I decided to pursue a job, any job. Teaching online ESL with VIPKid dealt a big blow to my negative internal stories. It was even fun.
- I put myself out there (a little bit) at the EAGxVirtual 2020 conference, was fortunate enough to connect to multiple people who were tremendously encouraging and opened doors. I now work four days a week at Rethink Charity, where I’m part of a small team that runs and incubates high-impact projects. One day a week I work at ALLFED, where I’m part of a medium-sized team that is trying to build humanity’s resilience to a range of global catastrophes for which our global preparedness is out-of-touch with the chance of their occurrence this century.
- I just finished reading “A Many-Splendoured Thing” by Han Suyin. Through an almost overwhelming number of metaphors it chronicles a relationship likely to have only been possible in its particular geographic context: Hong Kong, that “sea-wet rock.” Jokes aside about my travel boyfriend, we have had to weather the storms of transplanting our partnership. We have made great efforts. It has continued to feel right to forge ahead together (not all breakups are failures). Our relationship is in bloom.