You Want To Live Where?
Have you ever wanted to live somewhere else? Have you ever dreamed of experiencing life in completely different surroundings? I have. My daydreams usually include living somewhere with a long history — a cottage in an English village or a flat in a Scottish city. I would even settle for a historic location in the United States, perhaps Charleston or Savannah.
My son and daughter-in-law are living that dream. They are taking a year to explore the world, starting with the US. First, they spent a month in Seattle. Next, they moved north to Juneau, Alaska. After that, they came back east to Portland, Maine. They booked houses through Airbnb and stayed a month in each location, immersing themselves in the community. They love the outdoors and adventure so they spent a lot of time exploring nature. One of the most exciting things they did was to hike on a glacier in Alaska. Yikes!
A couple of weeks ago they traveled “across the pond” to Edinburgh, Scotland. They are staying in a flat over a Christmas shop on the Royal Mile for six weeks. I’m a little envious of them because Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities and Scotland is one of my favorite countries.
Actually, I’m more happyous for them than anything. My friend Christi and I made up this word to better describe the feeling of being happy for someone while simultaneously desiring the same for yourself. You can read about that here.
They are able to take on this adventure because they are working remotely, something they both did during the height of the pandemic. So, while they still have to work, they are able to do so from somewhere new and different. On their time off, they can explore.
At first, I thought it would have been so cool to have been able to do what they are doing. It would have been so much fun to live in different parts of the world, even if it was only for a month at a time. Then, I realized we didn’t have the things that make this feasible. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, there were no cell phones, laptops or Airbnbs. The internet did not yet exist. It was a different world.
The Future Is Now
Growing up in central Florida meant lots of trips to Walt Disney World. In 1975, three years after its opening, Walt Disney World opened Space Mountain. It is an indoor roller coaster that takes you on a fast-paced ride through outer space. In the early years of the ride, as you exited the building, you saw scenes of a futuristic home with all sorts of electronics and new ways to communicate. In 1983, EPCOT opened a ride called Horizons. It was a glimpse of what life might look like in the future, like people communicating with each other visually and audibly from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away: Teachers communicating with students, parents communicating with adult children, friends communicating with each other from different parts of the world. It was all so fantastic and almost like science fiction. Would that really happen in my lifetime?
Of course, what was fantastic thirty or forty years ago is quite common today. This past summer, I attended a virtual writers conference where one of my fellow conferees was in the UK and another in India. Last week, I participated in a craft class where the teacher was in New York and the students were scattered across the country. In my online workshop today, I was in a breakout group with a woman from Nigeria. Amazing! Mind-boggling to me, but becoming commonplace for my kids.
Technology is what allows my son and daughter-in-law to live in one country and work in another. It also allows me to talk to them, text them and follow their adventures through the pictures they post. They will come home in December to celebrate Christmas with family then head back out after the first of the year. Covid had put many of their travel plans on hold, including their honeymoon, so they are very happy that travel is opening back up.
Living Your Story
Experiencing life in different locations — the food, the climate, the natural scenery — is a part of their story. They are building a lifetime of memories. My story is to sit at my laptop gazing out at the beach, the mountains or my own backyard and share some words that will hopefully be meaningful to you. I think that’s a big part of life in the empty nest — discovering your God-given story and dwelling in it.
How about you? Are you content where you live or do you daydream about living somewhere else? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? I’d love to hear.