Saturday, April 28, 2007


Here’s the thing about living in the moment. You’re never actually in limbo, you’re always simply living your life, the life you’re supposed to be living at any given time. So the fact that you may be breathlessly awaiting confirmation that you’re moving to the other side of the world doesn’t mean that you do nothing but wait—there’s packing to do, people to visit, accounts to put in order, large items to sell, and the usual mundane things as well: dogs to walk, underwear and jeans to wash, apples and bread and peanut butter to buy. So when you find out that you’re not, in fact, moving to the other side of the planet (at least not when you were expecting to), it’s not the end of the world. Because you’ve packed things and sold things and organized things all along, and you’ve kept your clothes clean and you’ve been fed a good balanced diet and your dog is happy and not too chunky, and you find that all your groundwork, and all your living, has prepared you to suddenly accept that the entire world is yours. You’re not limited to just one small (but beautiful) country deep in the ocean on the underside of the earth.

And so you choose (because living in the moment rather than emotionally investing in something you have no control over allows you to see the choices and therefore make them) to have four glorious months of summer nomadism. And you recognize that this summer is an amazing gift—freedom from responsibility, from bills, from adulthood. A time of sun, and romance, and diving deep into a glorious ocean of undefined possibility.

Limbo? Not for me, thank you. Life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Want To Go

I want to go. I want to run away. I want to flee the unnerving knowledge that I’m not in control of my life. That, plan as I might, life happens the way it’s going to happen. I’m lucky if I can react in time to salvage any grace whatsoever, before I fall flat on my face. I want to flee the work I’ve made for the people around me, the chaos I’m leaving in my wake. I don’t want to stay and smooth things over. I want to go.

I want to go. I want to leap into the unknown. I want to revel in the incandescent knowledge that I’m not in control of my life. That, plan as I might, life happens the way it’s going to happen, and I’m lucky if I can react in time to dance away, before I fall flat on my face. I want to leap into whimsy, let my intuition tell me where to experience next, wake each day with the sole expectation of wonder and the thrill of discovery. I want to go.

I want to go.

Monday, April 16, 2007

So, Okay, Not What We Were Expecting

We got word from New Zealand Immigration today that my visa was denied. Seems that recent cancer is an issue for a nation with socialized medicine, no matter how strongly the person who had the cancer believes she’s done. I understand, and Ian understands. We’re in Phoenix at the moment, because when our visas didn’t come through last week, we decided we really needed to leave our house on April 15th no matter what, and by Seattle standards it’s already summer here (although it did rain during lunch today).

I was briefly angry—I mean, how frustrating to have someone declare you can’t do something that you believe you want to do! But then, after a delicious lunch of two large margaritas and some food, I felt better. Because the fact remains that we’ve rented our house, we’ve sold our cars, we’ve sold a bunch of furniture, and we’ve moved virtually everything else into storage, so we have some cash and basically no responsibilities.

And so, with the world our oyster (minus New Zealand, true), we’ve decided to spend the summer in Europe.

We’re leaving April 30th, and planning to return to Seattle August 31st. Where will we be? Who knows! What will I do? Could be anything! What will Ian do? Well, finish his dissertation, of course. He is going to apply for a different type of NZ visa, so it’s not entirely out of the running, but we’re not holding up our adventures waiting.

Life. Crazy, huh.

Friday, April 13, 2007

So on Sunday We’re Going To . . .

Phoenix! To spend some quality time with the sun, and a pool, and of course lovely friends and their adorable daughters. Will New Zealand be next? Only the universe knows . . .

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Calin and Ian Are Moving to New Zealand FAQ

Q: When are you leaving?
A: Well now, this is an excellent question. Our tickets say April 15th. We don’t have our visas yet, but we’re confident we’ll get them in time. Or not. Regardless, we will sleep somewhere other than 3902 Wallingford that night. Even if it’s somewhere else in Seattle. Moving on.

Q: Provided the visa thing works out, where will you be?
A: We’ll be living in Wellington, the capitol city, population 160,000 (420,000 in the region). Wellington is at the southern tip of North Island, and seems to have pretty much the same weather as Seattle, although windier. We’ve heard that, with the combination of Antarctic winds and the local hills, it frequently seems as though the rain is falling up. Calin likes to wear skirts. She may learn not to.

Q: Tell me more about the sheep thing. Are there really that many?
A: For a little perspective, the entire human population of New Zealand is 4,000,000. The entire sheep population is 60,000,000. That’s not a typo. That’s a lot of sheep.

Q: How about Lord of the Rings? How will that mega-blockbuster be affecting your lives?
A: Well, we will be living in a Hobbit Hole.

Q: Okay, so what are you going to be doing there, anyway?
A1: Ian is going to be working as a fish population modeler for NIWA, which, sexy as it sounds, doesn’t actually involve him wearing different outfits and sashaying around on runways. Rather, he’s most likely to be sitting in front of a computer writing statistical programs.
A2: Calin is looking forward to a new career as a kept woman.
A3: Spackle is going to live with Grammy and Grumpy (aka Liz and Marsh), where he will be spoiled rotten and (we hope) won’t notice we’re gone. We’re trying not to think about it too much.

Q: What’s the time difference?
A: Only three hours, although it’s really 21 hours. New Zealand is virtually the first place in the world to experience each new day (there might be a small island nation that insisted on fudging the date line for Y2K), so you can pretty much assume that if you’re calling us from the US, it’s tomorrow where we are. And it’s three hours earlier.

Q: Can we come visit you?
A: Of course! We’re planning to have a couple extra bedrooms to facilitate overlaps. We expect to be that popular.

Q: Uh, how long can I expect to be in a plane for the privilege?
A: 13 hours from San Francisco to Auckland, and another one hour flight to Wellington. It’ll be 20 or 21 hours for us all told. Don’t think about it.