The year that was: 2018

Some years I remember to do this. I think I forgot about last year, and probably the year before, too.


2018 was a fucking horrible year for a lot of people. Politically, things feel like they’re getting worse, not better (especially in the United States and Australia).

We finally left San Francisco. That fucking city stole my heart, and if things were different (politics, disparity, U.S. visas), I’d want to be near her forever. Maybe not living in her, but close enough to pop in now and then. I guess that attitude extends to California – I always say that if California became its own country, I’d be first in line for citizenship. I feel deeply for its culture, its people, its potential. I feel connected to that land: the desert, mountains, beaches, forests, and everywhere in between. California is not home, but it feels like it could be.

But we needed to get away from city life. We needed a break. It was an intense, magical, and revealing six years, but we were ready to just… stop. Take a breath. We found a place that would allow us to do that, so we sent our furniture away on a truck, packed up the car, and drove to where we are now: Cumberland, a small village on Vancouver Island.

We’re surrounded by the most beautiful rainforests I’ve ever seen, and we walk through them nearly every day. We’re always discovering new areas right in our backyard that we haven’t seen before. Jumping in the car opens up even more possibilities: mountains, beaches, rugged alpine terrain, more rainforests, waterfalls… the best of the Pacific Northwest is condensed on this island, and it feels like home. I want to retire here. I want my dead body to feed this island. That much keeps getting more and more obvious. I also want to go further north next time we live here. Something keeps pulling me north.

Over the last couple of months, though, without all the distractions of city life, we’ve been hit hard by the realization that we miss our family. And, no matter how much we wish for it to happen, they’re not going to move up here. So, we started talking about it, and a few weeks ago we decided to head back in the next year or so. I wasn’t ready to go from San Francisco to Melbourne, but I am ready to go from Cumberland to somewhere outside of Melbourne. Somewhere with lots of space, but within an hour or two of our home city. Closer to a large commercial hub, where our business ideas have a better chance of success. Into the arms of family and friends we’ve missed for years, and who have missed us just as much. We probably won’t live in Australia permanently, but we’re ready to be there for a while.

I’m going into 2019 with yet another “let’s hold hands, jump, and see what happens” situation, and I’m fine with that. We’re so lucky to have the privilege and ability to move around like we have, do what we’ve done, live the way we live. I am one of the most fortunate human beings on earth, and I refuse to forget that. It’s been a beautiful year. Not every year will be this good – that’s just how life works. But when it’s good, I acknowledge it whenever I can.

I stop. Breathe it in. Hold on to that feeling.

I’m so fucking thankful, and so happy, and so ready for whatever comes next. We have glorious plans for 2019 – Mexico in January, a final music festival hurrah (or two), more hiking (I’m ready to start multi-day hikes), more exploring. We have big decisions to make, but we’re excited to make them. When Jesse and I are together, anything is possible, everything is hilarious, and we’re safe. I love him so much and can’t imagine life without him.

Who knows what the fuck is going to happen in 2019, and who cares. We’ve got this.

Happy New Year!

Joshua Tree, California, June 2018