“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
- John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
Those of my beloved readers who have been following my plans since the beginning know that my itinerary has changed several times along the way. My very first draft itinerary was to spend last summer in Scandinavia, fall in Western Europe, and this winter riding around the Mediterranean before heading off to cross Asia in the spring.
Then I had a minor – okay, maybe moderate – health scare, forcing me to delay my departure by six weeks. Then the Arab Spring uprisings began, putting most of the Mahgreb (Islamic North Africa) except Morocco off-limits for all practical purposes – I like adventure, not needless risk. Then I decided to spend my birthday at the Nowhere Festival (Europe’s teeny-tiny Burning Man-style event in northern Spain in the middle of July), which meant jettisoning my plans for Scandinavia.
Then, curiouser and curiouser things happened:
First off, while at Nowhere I met a great band of like-minded freaks – much like my tribe in Seattle, but scattered far and wide, a European Burner Diaspora. Then I had to go and fall in love with Europe as a whole, and southern (Mediterranean) Europe in particular. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was – at least on some small level – looking for a new place to live.
And then, most curious of all … while sitting in the sun talking with friends one lovely afternoon at Italian Burning Weekend, I asked my friend Andrea if he could give me a job in his software company. After the merest pause, he said “yeah”. Over the intervening months, a slow conversation has continued between us, resulting in the latest new plan:
Come March, I’ll be moving to Barcelona to live and work. Exactly what I’ll be doing there is still not entirely clear – but something in the software world. Maybe slinging code again, maybe a client account manager, maybe something else.
This means that my plans to cross Asia are, at least for now, off the table. Asia isn’t going anywhere, and I’m pretty sure my love of motorcycle travel isn’t either, so perhaps this will happen at some later date. I hope so.
It also means that I’m not planning to return to Seattle as my home. Maybe some day, for life is long and I have a most excellent tribe of chosen family and friends there. Sometimes it pains me to face this reality – Seattle was my home for 15 years, longer than anywhere else, and I miss my people there every day. I have people there I love so much I turn into a big mushy mess if I think about them for too long. I miss my comfortable knowledge of the place, my routines, my favorite coffee shops and bars and restaurants.
This new reality isn’t carved in stone yet – there are still a few hoops to jump through – but it does represent my current course. Things could change – with me, that wouldn’t be such a tremendous surprise, I suspect. Logistical challenges to living abroad for an extended period may present themselves. I may decide that in truth I can’t bear being away from the place and people which have been my heart’s home for so many years. Events yet to transpire may force me to return to the States. However, that is all conjecture and tomorrows.
To my friends and loved ones in Seattle and New York and San Francisco and throughout the U.S.: once I’m settled, please come visit. Barcelona is lovely! Europe is grand! Nowhere is waiting for your smiling dusty love! And most importantly, I miss you and would love to play in Europe with you.
All of you: whether you’ve been completely supportive of me from the start, wrestled with conflicting emotions or laughed and thought “He’s crazy in the coconut! (That boy needs therapy)” – thank you. I mean that most sincerely: I couldn’t have made it this far without you. It’s been a wild ride, and it ain’t over until I’m gone. I don’t plan on that happening any time soon (touch wood), so stick around and enjoy the ride.