As I write this, Sandy and I are a few hours away from catching a bus from Austin to San Antonio, and from there a train West. From there … well, we don’t really know.
For years we’ve had half-formed plans of taking a train trip up the Pacific coast, but life — and the responsibilities that come with it — being what they are, they never went very far beyond the daydreaming stage. But in the last two years we steadily lost the three kitties we gladly gave priority to over anything else, and that combined with the freedom of working freelance got us thinking more seriously about taking the trip.
There was a lot of planning that went on before and during the last few months — including taking care of our baby Pancho, packing most of our stuff into storage, moving into an apartment that would let us go month-to-month — and it’s essentially come to this:
We’re taking a 45-day train trip around the country, and then we’re coming back to Austin. But maybe not.
We love Austin, so much that when we originally moved here our plan was to stay for two years; that was 12 years ago. But we’ve always been restless, and having lived in the Southwest and then Central Texas for most of our lives, Sandy and I are always curious about this thing we’ve heard of called “seasons.” So we’re combining two dreams into one, and then we’ll see what happens. As we make our way around, we’ll be keeping an open mind to see if any of the cities or areas we visit call out to us. If one does, we’ll seriously consider moving there; if not, we won’t. Essentially, we’ve planned on not having any solid plans.
Yeah, we know — crazy.
We’re going to take the train from Texas to L.A., and then up the coast to San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. From there we’ll cross to Minneapolis, and then down into towns in Wisconsin and Ohio to visit friends. Then it’ll be on to Chicago, D.C. and New York City before heading on to Toronto and Montreal. After that we’ll wind things up in Boston, which is currently fighting it out with Austin and where we plan to spend about a month to see how it fits. All of this is subject to change as we go, but that’s the plan today.
The idea of leaving Austin is pretty hard, and harder as it gets closer to the time we need to catch that train. We have a lot of people we love in this city, and this is genuinely home to both of us. But we also know those same people would encourage us to at least try, and honestly, who knows when we’ll get another chance? We’re nervous, but excited. But nervous. But excited!
We’ll let you all know how things are going (we’re going to blog about it, as soon as I can get one set up), and we’ll still be in contact in all the usual ways. Mostly we hope that, in some way, we can take you all with us. No matter where that ends up being.
(Personally, I’m looking forward to hitting lots of comic book shops and eating lots of good food.)