I’m Back!

by Kim on April 6, 2015 · 31 comments

It’s been awhile. So much has happened and because of that the blank page has never felt more daunting. But I’m back and armed with a long update.

I’ve really missed the blog.

The last time I wrote I shared two big pieces of news: We’re having a baby! I got a book agent! There was another large change swirling around in the air during that time but I couldn’t risk mentioning it because then I’d have jinxed it: Brian was interviewing for a job back in Cincinnati.

Only two weeks after he started his job search he was offered the job. It seemed like a mini-miracle because I was desperate to get back to the states (three months of non-stop barfing, 98% humidity and no air conditioning will do that to a girl) and we needed health insurance. Of course, we’d been traveling for 3 years so Brian had a toddler-sized gap on his resume and a blog in which he represents himself as a Sasquatch. We knew the job hunt might be more of a marathon than a sprint. And yet, just like everything else that has been happening lately, it all fell into place. Around that time I read a quote, “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” The doors we knocked on were flinging themselves open around us. We took a deep breath, held hands and walked through.

Sunset in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Sunset on our last night in Mexico

We landed in Cincinnati on Thursday. Brian started work the following Monday. In the span of one week we re-bought everything we’d sold in Oregon. We found a house to rent. We bought Brian clothing that does not have holes or OM symbols emblazoned on the front. My agent emailed me to ask how my book is coming. “Yeah, well, see, about that,” I wrote back, “Umm, I haven’t had much time.” We made daily pilgrimages to Target. We navigated the world of cell phone contracts and health insurance sign-ups. Then we plopped down on our (new) couch, cardboard boxes and plastic wrap stacked like kingdoms around us, and said, “HOLY SHIT WHAT HAVE WE DONE?”

New wardrobe

Buried under Brian’s new wardrobe. Despite how it may look he did not take a job as a lumberjack.

I have so many mixed feelings about it all. When I am feeling sunshiny I tell myself that these 15-months (our lease is 15-months and we have latched on to this number, already repeating it like a holy mantra) are a cocoon of calm, a time to write, to reconnect with family, to have a baby and learn what life will be like as parents. When I am mature enough to tap into my Buddha brain I remind myself that everything is impermanent. I tell myself to enjoy this mellow water.


Ahem, so it goes.

A few things are for sure. Brian and I need to live in the mountains. It’s where we belong. My heart physically aches for Oregon but it also pings for the beauty of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge range. Cincinnati does not, unfortunately, have mountains (Yes mom, Cincinnati has hills. No mom, hills and mountains are not basically the same thing).

But our wandering hearts also call out for all of the places we have not been. Brian texts me travel itineraries throughout the day. We plot our adventures, this time imagining a child on our hip, because we are three now. I pat my belly and tell our baby, “You picked us kid, I hope you like what we’ve got in store for you.”

17 weeks pregnant

17 weeks pregnant. Yeah, yeah I don’t look pregnant but I feel huge. 

It’s a strange time. Not just because we are living in Cincinnati. Not just because Brian is back at work. But because we are going to have a baby. And because if I would just force myself down to write I might one day have a book. If I take the long view I can see how everything is coming together and yet in the short view it feels a bit like things are falling apart. I suppose I’m reminded once again that the road is not arrow straight. If I blink into the distance I can see that it curves, 15-months in the future, into the beautiful unknown.



{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Blai April 6, 2015 at 9:54 am

You are employed! You have a book to write and a baby to birth. Kinda like you are having twins…LOL. Congratulations on all the amazing and wonderful changes in your life.


Joanne Joseph April 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

Kim, how I miss you when you are not posting! This is such an exciting, scary, exhausting, changing, challenging, adventurous time for you. Nothing has changed, yet everything has changed. Wondering which you will birth first – a brand spanking (not literally please) new baby or a best seller. Hoping by now the all-day “morning sickness” has ended. I’m thrilled and beyond happy for you and Brian. And just FYI, this native Oregonian understands…
Joanne Joseph recently posted..Yosemite Falls and Ahwahnee Hotel


Angie Stegall April 6, 2015 at 10:21 am

This is such an exciting new chapter in your lives! Can’t wait to hear about your progress on the book, how Brian will like (or hate) heading back to the 9-to-5 grind, and the miracle growing in your womb. I’m not big on kids, but I am always struck dumb by the miracle of my friends actually getting pregnant and growing full formed (though tiny) human beings inside them. Blessings to you and Brian!
Angie Stegall recently posted..One step closer to the tiny living lifestyle


Maria April 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

congratulations on your new adventures!


Micamyx|Senyorita April 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

Best of luck on this new chapter! <3
Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..Captivated by the charm of Hanoi, Vietnam


Tracey April 6, 2015 at 10:51 am

So, so exciting!!!!!!! I am so happy for you guys:) The universe is in your corner and the best is most certainly yet to come.
Tracey recently posted..5 Skills Kids Learn Traveling That Make Them More Likely to be Successful


Gillian April 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Welcome back. And welcome ‘home’. I love that even though you (and I) are not currently traveling we always have a sense of impermanence; that nothing HAS to be forever. That (among so many other things) is what travel has brought to me. I hope that we can see you very soon.
Gillian recently posted..Cover Songs and Shiny Object Syndrome


Rhonda April 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

And so begins another emotional crossroad! I’m sure, 6 months ago, you didn’t envision life back in a 15-month lease, owning a couch, and being pregnant. But I LOVE the quote “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door”… how very true. If only it was easier to sit back and manage the calm that allows that thought to sink in 🙂 As always, you guys will muddle through and come out strong on the other side. Enjoy this quieter time!
Rhonda recently posted..Finding Color in El Fuerte


Sara April 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Everything comes in due season. One of my favorite quotes from Bob Marley:
‘Cause just like a tree planted – planted by the rivers of water
That bringeth forth fruits – bringeth forth fruits in due season;
Everything in life got its purpose,
Find its reason in every season,
Forever, yeah!
So in this winding road of life, this is just a bend, a stop along the way, and you are where you are supposed to be in this time.
When I returned from Tanzania back to my childhood home, in the dead of winter in Montana, I felt exactly the same way. I took a job at the local grocery store of all places, had NO car and we had to walk in sometimes -22 degree below zero weather. I look back at that time, and somehow know that it was all in a bigger scheme of sorts. I needed to be walking at that time, and I needed to be nesting in my old home, which was sitting there empty through an inheritance (and shortly later sold, which I needed to experience some sort of closure on) but for the time being, was where I needed to be. So use this magical time as a blessing, (you are growing an amazing baby inside of you) which is a journey in itself. And dream of all of the cool places you one day will be able to share with them!

I love this mantra:

Take a minute. Pause. Stop doing, and simply be…This moment. Think, here, now. This moment will never occur again. This moment is unlike any other, and you are of its essence. You are not a river, but a pond. A still, relaxed pond. You are not late for anything, nor due to anyone…You are perfect. Look to your right, what do you see? Look to your left. Close your eyes, and breathe through your nose…count each breath, for nothing else matters but now, here, you. This is life, and you need not worry, for you are exactly where you need to be.
A D Kruk quotes | added by: A.D.Kruk


Karyn @ Not Done Travelling April 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

How exciting! I think you have earned some down time.

I know it can be tempting to focus on what’s happening 15 months from now but the truth is you really don’t know. Just take it one day at a time and do what you can.


Laura April 6, 2015 at 2:53 pm

I don’t know if it is your life or how you write – but I love reading it all. Great news on Brian’s job, but I imagine a huge adjustment for him (and for you after 24/7 companionship!) You look great!


Kristine April 7, 2015 at 12:24 am

Yeah!! Congrats!! It’s been so fun to follow along on your adventures over the years- enjoy this new adventure of motherhood!
Kristine recently posted..Sandstorming


Aurora April 7, 2015 at 7:22 am

What a wonderful new adventure…. and you know – you KNOW – that so much of travel is about the mindset. And you and Brian embrace that mindset – of adventure, of wonder, and of seeing beauty and joy all around you. And that doesn’t need to change – even without mountains (and let me tell you, I know that one) – though, it does help to have mountains around you — but I hope that you are able to be present, to not be counting down the 15 months (but know that nothing is permanent), and to enjoy this whole adventure!
Aurora recently posted..So many reason


Dustin@WeGoRTW April 7, 2015 at 7:57 am

Welcome back! Ain’t it scary how quickly we re accumulate possessions? We forewent the cell phone plans thanks to jobs that provided phones, but two lease renewals later I keep saying to EmSue “come January (when our next lease is up) we head to Colorado”, not sure what it is about mountains that stir wanderlust.

Here is to hoping you continue on y’all’s path of following your wants wherever they may lead you.
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..New Year New Movie


Vanessa D April 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

Just wondering if you still have Sam the dog? He was such a cutie!


Renee April 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

Welcome back! So many congratulations are in order! Congrats on the baby, the book, your hubby’s new job and your new life back in the States! The 15 months will fly and by then you’ll have been parents for a few months and will have a better feel for where you want and need to be, whether that is Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina or somewhere abroad. Enjoy your new adventure! I look forward to reading your updates as you are able to post them. Best wishes to you both!


Jen April 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

Welcome back to the O-H-I-O!! So excited for you and Brian and Baby Sasquatch as you three embark on the latest adventure. I love your reference to entering calm waters.. this is a time for the three of you to grow and nurture the comfort part of your souls before embarking on unforeseen adventures.

Best of luck to you! Happy writings!


Archana April 7, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Congrats on all the big changes in your life Kim. I am sure its overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. I have been a long time follower of your blog and have been prepping myself up for the Annapurna and the El Camino walk in 2016, precisely by reading your accounts of them over and over. And now, that you guys have actually picked Cincinnati, where I live, as a home base, it feels like its all coming together for ME :D. Sorry, if I read like an excited 4 yr old on Christmas morning, but if ever you want to get coffee with me, I would love it. Take care and enjoy the baby 🙂


Janet April 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

WOW! I’ve been patiently checking for you to again appear in my mailbox but didn’t anticipate this news. Talk about adventure! What is coming will pale all you’ve experienced. Can’t wait to hear about developments and the reflection they generate. A rich life ahead.


acrosstheneversky April 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm

This will be the adventure of a lifetime! I thought nothing could be more rewarding, more enlightening, than traveling… But parenting has it beat by a mile. And now that I have a kiddo? Traveling is even more interesting, I meet so many people I never would have without a kid, and see so many places I wouldn’t have gone to before!
acrosstheneversky recently posted..Sprechen zie Deutch?


Tessa April 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Beautiful, honest blog full of wonderful quotes. Your writing is so wonderful! Your story needs to be told 🙂 Think of that when you are forcing yourself to write, that you are doingI say service by writing and we need to hear it. Congratulations on both the baby and the book!


Sasha April 8, 2015 at 6:55 am

HOLY COW that is a lot of major change in a very short amount of time! Welcome back to Americaland. I hear you on Ohio …. I moved just up the road (literally, I’m an hour north) last fall and my heart kind of died. It soars every time I get on a plane to go anywhere else, and it turns to stone as soon as I board the last leg back into my new home airport. I know there are tons of people that love Ohio (it really is not an awful place!!!), but it is not a place where my spirit can breathe, let alone thrive. No offense, Ohio. I’m also trying to keep the long view that this is not permanent and will be less than one handful of years.


Ashlie April 8, 2015 at 7:48 am

I have slowly acquired things (kitchen knives, a small side table, a lamp) and each time I feel a little cringe… what will I do with this when we leave? We are leaving again, right? 🙂 So I can imagine filling a house and what that might be like. Like everything else, it’ll pass.
Ashlie recently posted..I’m Ready


Patti April 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

So incredibly happy for you, Kim, Brian and sweet baby girl. It will all come together and your little girl will go with you and she’ll know the life you lead because she won’t know the difference. She will be loved, cherished and cared for wherever the three of you happen to be in the moment.

“If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” Love, Love, Love this quote as it is basically how I’ve lived my life. If it is supposed to happen, it will.

I had to laugh about your mountains/hills comparison. After we moved to the east coast, just outside of Washington, D.C., someone asked me what I thought about the area and I said, well, you don’t have mountains and you don’t have trees. Those that understood laughed, those who didn’t know what CA and the pacific northwest hold secret, didn’t laugh so much. 🙂
Patti recently posted..Three Weeks in Iran ~


Gilda Baxter April 10, 2015 at 12:46 am

Welcome back, I am glad you and Brian are settling down well back in the USA or at least trying hard to. You look great at 17 weeks, are you still doing your running? I loved being pregnant and feeling the baby moving inside me, it is very special, enjoy this lovely time.
Gilda Baxter recently posted..Tobago – Hello Old Friend!


Robbie April 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm

WOW, I was amazed and felt totally connected when I read this post. After 5 years travelling and living abroad, we too, have just landed back home (Australia) and also signed a lease on a gorgeous little place for 12 months. All very impromptu. Like you needed the mountains, we needed the ocean, and some calm, and family, and just a little normality. So … here we are, being kinda normal. I also have moments of ‘what HAVE I done’ but they are quickly followed by the gratitude for this little pocket of time, just knowing that we’ll be in one place for a period of time is very calming. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, it’s such a special time, enjoy every second. And, thank you for your writing, I enjoy it enormously!


Andy Ramkal April 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Welcome back! We very miss you and your writing. We hope you will always give us other unique articles again.


Britnee April 17, 2015 at 7:32 am

Love this. What a new awesome adventure you guys are on with all your life changes. Congrats again, and keep up the blog, I still love reading about what you and Brian are up to!
Britnee recently posted..SCRATCH MAP GIVEAWAY!


Terry at TerryTreks April 23, 2015 at 12:10 am

You guys have been an inspiration to me, and I always enjoy checking in. Congratulations on all the big news, and enjoy the break from traveling. You earned it!
Terry at TerryTreks recently posted..TerryTreks Is On Hiatus… But I’m Not!


Kara May 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

I stumbled upon your blog after googling “USA National Park Road Trips.” This summer, my fiance and I are getting married and taking a few months off to travel across the USA and visit National Parks. Your blog posts have been incredibly informative as we compile a rough itinerary, and have gotten us SO excited! Thank you for writing about this.

I felt compelled to leave you a comment after reading this post – particularly the line about how your heart aches for NC’s Blue Ridge Mountains. My fiance is an Asheville, NC native and we have spent dozens of weekends in this sweet town. I don’t know you, but after reading your blog I feel like your family belongs in Asheville!! There are so many outdoorsy things to do, the cost of living is very affordable, the people are friendly and weird, the public schools are good, the change of seasons are striking, and you will never run out of new things to explore. I wish you the best of luck during this wonderful time in your life no matter where you go!


Juliana Telleria May 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Love your blog very inspiring! Congrats on the soon to be baby and book!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge