Shangra-la

Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions. We’ve all heard it. I’ve always believe in the power of intention. Being clear about what you want and then going for it. So, as we re-enter our Galician home search I though I would get clear with myself on what I”m looking for.

Originally, when we started our hunt last fall we had other priorities. But like everyone else in the world, those priorities have changed a bit. Good thing the houses we put offers on fell through, after their elderly owners died. Well, it’s not good the owners died. I’m not saying that. But that we didn’t purchase one of them, and now that we’ve evolved our needs it seems there was something in the universe looking out for us.

The entire time I was growing up I would lay in bed at night and look at the shadows on the ceiling and dream of far off, exotic locations having likely seen some National Geographic Special on TV about digging in the Sahara or climbing a mountain in Nepal. I was going to see the world. And I have. Throughout my life I’ve traveled a lot. It’s been great and I was able to learn about other cultures and perspectives first hand with my feet on the soil. Cultural priorities expressed via language, architecture, religion and cuisine.

I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I saw a woman’s one line statement – God, I could use a Holiday. And a light went on. I totally understand the sentiment. After the first 6 months of 2020 have kicked the entire world in twig and berries, most of us can use a break. But, for me, that wouldn’t entail a holiday.

I just want to get back to normal – physically and mentally. It’s been a long road in our house after having Covid as our unwanted, unshaven house guest who refused to leave. But it made me realize what I want in a house now. And it’s the only thing I want in a house. I’ll know it when I feel it. I want to buy a house I don’t want to leave. Ever.

When we lived in the US, we were always planning the next trip. And we lived our working life hopping from one vacation, to a long weekend, to a Christmas break, and on and on. We had a house in the mountains with a pool. We didn’t stay home and have a stay-cation – ever. In summer, when you could swim in the Northwest, we’d go to Greece or the UK or France. Even Canada. We were always looking to get away. People actually come to Seattle/WA State on vacation from around the world. We were always planning trips to leave it.

So in this last house – the house we’ll stay in until we’re too old and tired to take care of each other – I want it to be a house I don’t want to leave to go on holiday. I want to wake up every day and look out the window and think to myself ‘I’m so happy to be here.’ And then make another coffee (or Jeff will)

Sure – I’ve said I want a place I wouldn’t mind riding out a pandemic or WWII (I shouldn’t say that because we’re in 2020 so I’ll promptly find some wood to knock or some salt to throw over my left shoulder). But it’s more than just enduring our existence under a survival scenario. I want to look at travel emails from Expedia, Travelzoo and Kayak. all trying to entice me with amazing deals to places I’ve always wanted to see. Then I want to look around my house and say ‘Nah. Let someone else go drink eco-friendly artisinal tea in the mountains of Bhutan. I’ll stay here and drink it on the terrace.’ Listening to the birds who’ve migrated back for another season. Maybe even watching the snow fall.

We’re only a few weeks away and I can’t wait to begin. To move from the stage where we sit in cafes – or in el Compartimento during quarantine – to actually finding this mythical place called HOME. It’s close. I can feel it.