on Dragging my Family to the Middle of Nowhere, USA

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My wife, my son, and I departed our house in Colorado on August 6th.  It’s been seven weeks since then…and we still have a couple days until we are home.  I miss my dogs. I miss my family. I miss my bed. I miss my kitchen. I miss the standard routine.  But I also know that going on adventures and taking risks is part of what makes me feel strong as a person.  It’s part of what keeps my marriage strong. And I hope like Hell that it encourages a sense of adventure in my son.  I may miss my old life, but I am so happy that we came.  

Our adventure started off with some fun.  We planned a two week vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  Many of Sofia’s friends gather every year at some big AirBNB.  We hang out all weekend and catch up. This was our second time going.  We were first among everyone present to have a kid. So Henry got to be the center of attention.  Sofia and I got to relax and catch up with everybody. We may not have gotten enough sleep, but it was a great weekend.

We followed the trip up by heading up to Seattle for a few days.  We celebrated our four year anniversary. We hung out and continued to fall in love with a city we hope to end up in one day.  It’s always amazing to go. But it is hard as well–it always reminds us how much the culture of the Pacific Northwest agrees with us.  Don’t get me wrong–I have always considered Colorado to be adopted sibling to the Pacific Northwest. But to be around close friends as people get married and have kids sounds amazing.  It’s a hard thing to find as an adult.

After all this, we would normally head back home.  Instead, we packed the car back up and made our way to Williston, North Dakota.  If you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because you read that one article that went viral about how the oil boom got so out of control here that they were flying strippers in on weekends from Vegas.  Yeah. That city. That’s where I brought my young wife and 8-month old son.

For six weeks.

Was it the right decision?  I’ll probably never be able to answer that question.  Sofia and I have always tried to maintain an attitude that adventures are good for the mind.  Going out of your comfort zone and routine is good for the soul. On a personal level, that is why I said yes to this assignment.  The professional level was even more clear cut. I want to enter management. Showing that I am willing to take on a hardship position that no one else is willing to bodes well for my resume and future interviews.

We arrived in Williston with that philosophical mindset.  We were quickly hit by the reality. A one bedroom hotel room which made Henry’s naps a bit of an adventure.  A town that had so little to do that a real coffee shop was impossible to find. Waitresses who heard my wife say “milk allergy” and rolled their eyes.  And literally nothing to do for a hundred miles in every direction.

It was easy to see the difficulty in everything.  It took us time to find the good. We found a way to watch TV shows on the laptop while Henry slept.  We found a semi-decent coffee shop stowed away inside a bookstore. We found a couple restaurants that accommodate milk allergies and patronize them a little too often.  And weekend trips to far away places–like Regina (the first time any of us had been in Canada) or Sidney, MT (It was the only microbrewery for 100 miles).

It wasn’t easy by any sense.  But we survived. With the wanderlust/adventurelust out of our system, the comfort of home is calling.  We are ready to set up a playpen for Henry (who is now nine months?!?!). We get to once again be in a place with culture and things to do.  But, most importantly, we get to be in the comfort of our own home. I am looking forward to that more than anything.  

I know it won’t  be long before we are gripped again by the thought of adventure.  That is simply who we are–that is how we want to live. But, for now, the comfort of home is calling.