One Year Later

1 June, 2018

Back in Chicago for exactly a year, working at the exact same job I had before I left in 2015, I knew I couldn’t stay. The calling for me to be Elsewhere, exploring, feeling, doing SOMEthing was constant. I had finally begun to feel like I was part of things again after reintegrating with old friendships and I remembered why I had loved this city so much from the jump. I never tired of my city view.

But for as much as it seemed I had outwardly reassimilated myself, inwardly I craved something more. I had never rehung photos on the wall of my condo. I had never really restocked the pantry beyond what I could use in a week. I was still wearing clothes that had been in storage from 2015 and earlier. I owned too much stuff even though I had considerably pared down three years ago. Real estate taxes in my downtown community were rising too fast without the adjustment in real estate value.

I walked to work every day, which I loved, but I observed zombies on the city sidewalks. People walking with their heads down, checking their phones, not present. I had hated this a year ago, but now I would catch myself occasionally doing the same thing and it was terrifying to be so numb that maybe one day I would become a zombie too.

I set an arbitrary date of May 31, 2019 to leave the US. I thought by then I would have enough money to start over. I would sell my condo. I would get rid of everything else that didn’t hold sentimental value. I would make a plan to start a business or write a book or walk across a continent. I was determined to start DOING again.

Meanwhile, a photo journal of a few places I’ve been this year.

Chester, Illinois – Total solar eclipse on 21 Aug, 2017
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany – Oct 2017
Fall colors in Innsbruck, Austria – Oct 2017
And snow in Innsbruck, Austria – Oct 2017
Innsbruck, Austria – Oct 2017
Partnach Gorge, Germany – Oct 2017

Munich, Germany – Oct 2017

Doreen & I at Christkindlmarkt in Chicago – Nov 2017 – I met Doreen in South Africa in Jan 2017.
Meanwhile…an icy winter in Chicago – Jan 2018
Brrr
*sigh*
Stop…
…Snowing
Skiing in Jackson Hole, WY – Feb 2018
Jackson Hole – Feb 2018
Jackson Hole – Feb 2018
James visiting Chicago – Mar 2018 – I met James in Africa when I toured Kenya and Uganda
Idaho – May 2018
Jackson, Wyoming – May 2018
Tetons, Wyoming – May 2018
Dad & I at Dornan’s in Tetons National Park – May 2018
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – May 2018

Yellowstone National Park, WY – May 2018

Yellowstone National Park, WY – May 2018

Snow in Yellowstone National Park, WY – May 2018

Yellowstone National Park, WY – May 2018

Glacier National Park, MT – May 2018

Mom & Dad in Glacier National Park – May 2018

Glacier National Park, MT – May 2018

Close encounter in the Tetons, WY – May 2018

Glacier National Park, MT – May 2018