“Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.”
I have seen this quote many times over the years and it always made me think. I just could not arrive at what that would look like in my mind. My priority over the last 6 years has been seeing as much of the world as I can. I could not imagine anything more important than my freedom, and traveling. How could anyone stay in one place? I certainly could not.
When this pandemic hit and travel was on hold indefinitely, I’ll admit I had a little existential crisis.
I visited the Smoky Mountains 4 times since June. From the moment that first smell of the mountains enters my car window, through all the miles on the trails, I realized that I have felt happier than I ever have when there in the Smoky Mountains. My employer closed our physical office in Georgia and made us fully remote, and I’m actually in a job that I love and want to stay in, so it was within the realm of possibility to move somewhere new. 4 levels of bosses and HR had to approve my relocation and I am so grateful they did. A pet friendly rental house had to appear in the right timing and I’m so grateful it did. I moved in early October.
I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe I’ll want to go back to seeing the world again. Maybe I’ll want to make a more permanent home in the mountains and buy or build something. For now, I have a new home in East Tennessee, about an hour from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with 900 miles of trails to hike and no desire to jet off to another country.
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