In just about a week, I’ll pull out of the dirt road driveway leading to the place I’ve called home for the last six months, and begin the trek back to Michigan. I’ll be trading the moonlight streaming in through my windows for streetlights, and off-the-grid, solar-powered living for suburban Detroit. Again.
When I graduated college this past spring, I imagined that I’d complete my internship in the fall and land a full-time ranch dream job right away. However, the way we imagine things is rarely the way they actually happen. (That’s a lesson I’d imagine I would have learned by now, but that just goes to prove my point.) I had plenty of options: accept a job offer and work full-time, find something seasonal for the winter, travel, go back to school, etc. When I saw all of these options written down on paper, I realized that there are so many things left that I want to do before I eventually settle down and live the life I really want to be living right now.
I want to go to Iceland. Ireland. Alaska. Heck, maybe even Antarctica if I can make that happen. I want to visit friends and family I haven’t seen in a while. I want to see musicals on Broadway and road trip to places I’ve never been in our own country. So when I saw that “travel” option written down, I knew that if I didn’t take it right now, maybe I never would.
And that’s why I’m leaving this wild land for now. I have no doubt that sometime, hopefully in the very near future, I’ll have my ideal ranch job, with a house and family and commitments that I crave but don’t have right now. But through this tough decision, I’ll be able to fill that house with stories of adventure and exploration and people I meet along the way.
It’s not going to be easy to leave here. My internship has taught me so much, about working horses, cattle, and land, and I am so grateful for the warmth and graciousness shown to me by some of the best people I’ve ever known. Because I’ve also been taught so much about life. I’ll never forget the laughs we’ve been so blessed to share, and the miles we’ve ridden over some of the most beautiful country on earth. And I know that this place will always be a home to me.
That’s the thing about traveling – after a while, everywhere becomes home.
“Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Genesis 28:15
Homecoming – Josh Ritter
Goodbye Colorado – Corb Lund