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They say you can’t go home again. Or is it that you can? And where is home anyway?

I have several.

I’m at one now. Corolla, NC. I was not born here, I have no family here, I never even visited until I was in my mid 20s – yet I grew up here.

I raised my babies here. I sought refuge in the sound of the surf. I walked the same 3 miles of this shoreline an infinite number of times – seeing something new at every vista. I laughed here. I cried here. I struggled and I revived.

I haven’t been here in about 5 years. A far cry from monthly jaunts and hoa meetings for the better part of 2 decades .

I didn’t know I would be mere blocks from my home, until I was.

Tears well up repeatedly. Memories, fond and fragile pour in.

I say I used to have my shit together. And maybe I did. What does it freaking matter anyway? That was yesterday, a lifetime ago that feels like it never happened. Was it a dream? Did I treasure it like I should have?

Again, irrelevant. I only have this moment. The now. This decision, right this second, where I choose to explore my memories through words.

Tears well up again.

I am grateful. I am sad. I show Dylan all of the places his brothers know so well. I remember his first Easter here, as a baby, and a family of five. I recall naming him in a local restaurant. I look for the wild boar I have yet to find. I fixate on the surf and question the universe too much. I cry for what never will be, what once was, and the missing pieces of hopes and dreams that I seem to have misplaced.

This is home. A safe place to explore and grow – full of history and possibilities.

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Black Friday 

So the average shopper spent around $403 on Black Friday in 2015 – I’m assuming it’s a similar amount for last year.  

I spent $526 on this famed day and didn’t wait in any lines overnight, get trampled, or wind up with an outdated electronic 6 months later.

I wound up here instead:

I’m on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, Terceira, surrounded by some of the most amazing sights I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve met some fabulous people, learned a wee bit of Portuguese, repelled down a canyon, hiked a lava tube, fell off a bike, took selfies with cows, watched the sun rise and set, and made a humongous deposit of life points in my memory bank. 

Travel isn’t expensive, it isn’t prohibitive,  it’s a choice. 

This entire trip will cost me about $1200 when all is said and done – to me, it’s priceless. 

The new friends who are so close in such a short period of time they shoot right to framily status, the culture, and the week long view into another way of life will mold my future far beyond a new phone, gift, or outfit ever could. 

Go ahead, skip the latest and greatest and go old school….making photographs your priceless keepsakes and raising your lid, expanding your horizons, while living your life with passion and meaning. 

To save 1200 in 4 months is a mere 300/month. Cancel your cable and skip the trade in of your car/phone/whatever and you can find yourself here too….

Filled with awe, wonder, and love. 

What are you waiting for? Go make some memories. Expand your horizons. Lift your lid – live the life of your dreams. 

XO