Guest Post from the Wifey: Adaptation
Well, we have been on the travel PT road for a little over 2 months now, and the consensus is that we love it. Although we miss Portland (along with the friends and coffee held therein), every week I’m more and more convinced that this was a great idea. When Angie and I first started planning this year-long adventure, I told myself I had reasonable expectations for what it would be like. Many of you who know me are likely laughing right now, because you know my typical initial “reasonable expectations” tend to start out a little fantastical. Throughout the first 10 weeks of our journey, we have made many adaptations to our initial expectations, and I want to share a few of those with you:
- Adapting to having 1 option: When I decided to start doing CrossFit in Portland, I researched for a few weeks. I read all of the Yelp reviews, drove by many gyms, talked to people who had frequented them, scoured their websites, and finally settled on one out of the 20+ options [Mt. Tabor CrossFit]. In Sonora, I searched for CrossFit, found out there was 1 gym, paid my dues, and started going. The same scenario has played out for restaurants, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, Angie’s yoga studios, and coffee shops. When we first came to Sonora, this almost felt a little suffocating (yes, I know this makes us sound a little spoiled). Now, we don’t even think twice about it. The lack of options has resulted in contentment and familiarity with our new little town. We have grown to appreciate how we have made something our own that we wouldn’t necessarily have originally chosen. Does that mean that we spend some of our evenings walking every single aisle of Wal Mart to make sure we get 10,000 steps in? Yep (and FYI every aisle ends up being 2.5 miles). Does that mean that Angie is borderline obsessed about reaching Gold Level at Starbuck’s, despite that we didn’t even know what that meant two weeks ago and that our coffee friends in Portland are probably screaming in horror right now? You betcha. Does it mean we are eating sushi at a Japanese restaurant inexplicably voted “Best Chinese Food” 6 years in a row? Right again.
- Adapting to living in 1 room: Our cottage in Sonora is a little studio with a bedroom/living room/kitchen in one area and a bathroom/closet/dresser in the other. It has been the perfect size for us, especially given that we moved here with only what we could fit in our SUV. That part of the adaptation has been easy. The hard part (and the best part, I think) of the adaptation to this has been that Angie and I have to communicate even more than we did before. We can’t avoid each other when we have things we need to work out, address, or communicate with each other. This has been the most challenging adaptation, but also the most rewarding. It’s amazing what you can learn about each other in close quarters.
- Adapting to a new purpose: When we first embarked on this trip, we had both set our sights on trips to places we had never been before and experiences we have never had before. We are definitely getting a dose of that, but what I didn’t expect was that this journey has now taken on another purpose. My grandpa is 91 years old, and his health is declining. Being in California has given us the opportunity to be with him and the rest of my family during this time. In a year that we had initially set aside as a time to set our compass to the horizon and find our own path, I am finding us repeatedly drawn back to Saturday afternoons in my hometown, getting scratchy kisses on the cheek from Grandpa Bud and drinking Scotch at the kitchen table with relatives I haven’t seen since I was 4 feet tall. In fact, we have decided to do another 3-month rotation in California so that we can spend even more time with our family and friends. Is this the original purpose we had in mind? No, but I can’t imagine what I would rather be doing.
So, this adventure we set out on has not gone as we originally intended. That is exactly the way we wanted it, though. We wanted to be challenged in ways we didn’t expect, learn more about what being married to each other really meant, and have experiences that we would never forget.