A beautiful blast of cool mountain wind invades the cabin as I open the window. My lumbar spine is sore from sitting so long. I feel my stomach draping over the seatbelt from snacking all day. The hair dancing around my face tangles around itself in a big nest. Sometimes I wish we were just there already. Betty, our truck, doesn’t care. She sings as she moves along, embracing this radical adventure.
One year ago, I left sunny San Diego for the uncertainty of the Rocky Mountains. My amazing and adventurous aunt, uncle, and cousins offered to share their home so I could explore Bozeman—a place I dreamt of moving to since I first visited in 2004.
Before I left, people would ask me, why? They assumed I got a great job or fell in love with a cowboy, but I assured that this was an adventure—beauty, possibility, excitement, uncertainty. I’ve been talking about this faith thing for a while now, but before this, I didn’t really act on it.
I wanted to more openly welcome the unknown and embrace the chaos of struggle—but I wanted to be in control.
I wanted to thrive off of being dirty and hungry—but I wanted to be comfortable.
Each day I wanted to try something new—but I was scared to take the first step.
I wanted a life of simplicity.I needed a life of simplicity. But each day I spent more energy complicating my life, increasing my to-dos and possessions.
But in taking this first step, I realized I couldn’t control my surroundings. I saw that I could be comfortably uncomfortable. Making this move was the third most important decision I’ve ever made.
It was a quest that I felt called to go on since I was a child. And when I arrived and began “living my dream,” I realized that no matter where I am, no matter where I go, I will always be here, faced with the same trials that I was in the last place. I left to seek the treasure I thought would be in Montana, and found that it was with me all along.
So, what were the first two important decisions I’ve made?
- Deciding to let Jesus be my adventure guide
- Deciding to marry my husband
I ended up back, a year later, at the place where it began. To the place where my fears grew into faith. In Joshua Tree, we committed our lives, surrounded by family and towering rock giants. We prepared for the next part of this adventure—together.
Bernard and I are on the road now, embracing the destinations and the journey as we prepare to guide in Vietnam for 6 months starting in July.
It was the journey that taught us that wild places and unparalleled adventure can be found everywhere around us, and everywhere within us. On the way, we found bread to sustain our bodies and spirits. In our movement, we found support and discovered our strength to let go of the past and embrace the beautiful uncertainty to come.
I’ll let these winds tangle my hair because the same breeze that brought me from California to Montana is taking me on a wonderful journey. And I only sometimes feel homeless.