I started writing this on a train from Plovdiv to Sofia, kept on writing on a plane, then on a balcony in Athens overlooking a tangle of other balconies. I spent a month in Bulgaria, and now that I’m looking at it from another place and culture, I’ve finally reached a kind of answer to that question, often posed before we came.
We’ve been full time nomads for 2 ½ weeks now, which makes us nomad infants, squinting at our new lives. We’re goofy with joy, given to big grins at each other. In our tent in one of the beautiful national parks we visited, we gestured grandly at the nylon roof and exclaimed, “Honey! Right now, this is our HOUSE!”
We feel as proud as artists whipping the tarpaulin off our marvelous new work, this handcrafted, crazy thing we’ve labored to create: our new nomadic lives.
The stuff is sold off or given away. The U-Box is packed and shipped with the few possessions we still own. Our carry-on suitcases are packed, the house is rented, the friends are hugged, the kids are grown, the two beloved, ancient little dogs have both lived out their long lives.
I tell everyone that I’m not teaching anymore so my husband and I can travel. That is absolutely true, and it is also true that I’m not teaching so I can have more time to write and read. Travel, reading, writing: the triumvirate for happiness. This puts travel writing–such as this collection of essays with a great title by Joan Frank–squarely in my happy place.