Iceland, Paris, Southern France, San Francisco, Utah, Colorado.
Whew! We’re currently in Colorado at Bruce’s parents house, visiting and chilling out after five weeks of global travel. It’s been another wild ride, both physically and emotionally, jetting across continents in such a short period of time, being thrust back into a familiar, yet not-so-familiar, routine with friends.
“It’s the Journey, Not the Destination” is the slogan for Icelandic Airlines and these few words pop into my mind daily as I move around from place to place, living out of a suitcase, wondering what the heck I’m doing so far away from my new homeland of NZ. While the destinations have been great, and I will write about them in subsequent posts, the journey needs to be given equal weight as the inner journey and transformation that is taking place is far more important than any physical place I’ve been.
I’m in my head a lot. I am searching for meaning. Friendship. What is the nature of friendship? How do we make friends? Sustain them? Develop meaningful relationships? I ponder these questions frequently. We were just beginning to make new friends in New Zealand, enjoying the early stages of friendship where you slowly divulge stories about your past, looking for commonality to bond you, going out and sharing an experience, laughing and telling stories over a good cold beer. Now this is all on hold although keeping in touch via email is helping to stay connected to our ‘new life’.
Back in San Francisco, the nature of friendship with some people is changing. I am no longer part of the daily scene of frequent large gatherings where cursory conversations are the norm. Instead, I am now a visitor whose time is limited. I’m not interested in large, group events; what I want is small, intimate, intense one-on-one time with people. This will be a new way to experience friendship with some folks and I realized recently that this frightens me as I don’t necessarily know how to be this type of friend with certain members of my social group. It’s new territory. I’m becoming a different person with different desires and needs.
Friendship. I realize that this current journey is all about cultivating, growing, and enjoying friendships, both old and new alike. In the ‘new’ category, we’ve recently met some incredibly wonderful people on our travels and are glad to add them into our global community basket: Nancy & Pascal of Provence, France, running Gite de Chasteuil; and Sue & Steve Dodson of southern Utah running Paria Outpost and Outfitters. Both couples showed us incredible hospitality, shared with us their amazing trials and tribulations in pursuing their lifestyle dreams, and hugely inspired us and affirmed that we are on the right path with our ideas for life in NZ. We also met a young Parisian, Jean-Fabien, who’s interested in moving to NZ, and we look forward to seeing him again ‘on the other side’.
As for the ‘old’ friends, well, get your calendars out as I’m scheduling away. Five weeks in San Francisco, one week at Burning Man. Many good times ahead.
Viva la friends!