Extra Passport Pages and The Instability of Stability

I scurried out to the mailbox and there it was, my new passport and all of the potential in its blank pages. This book would become my travel companion and confidant for the next 10 years. When I ponder 10 years from now, I hope to stare back at a book filled with decorated stamps and stories. As I submitted my renewal application, I had the option to automatically add more pages to my book. I checked the box casually, but this was in fact a grand decision. In those extra pages was a hope of travel. And the day my passport arrived in the mail, my life seemed to change with it.

After getting married in August, my husband and I spent the majority of September island hopping around Greece. We saw so much in a short span of time that I am still writing and recalling each experience. By the middle of October, I tearfully said goodbye to Colorado, a place I had always called home. We set out on an open road for Arkansas.

 Arkansas open road

Just a few states away, I might as well have been placed on the moon. The language was the same, but it certainly didn’t sound similar. Suddenly, 60 degrees and sunshine was frigid compared to dry Colorado. Liquor stores would close on Sundays and the Walmarts seemed to expand with each mile behind me.  The Razorbacks were a religion. I began to see that even within 800 miles, you could be living a very different life. We were stationary.

When we arrived to Arkansas, we dressed up our house. As soon as we hung things up on the walls and bought furniture to fill each room, it seemed like it was time to go. My husband was going to start a business here, but it just wasn’t in the cards. The stress of going it alone in a business and realizing travel was his passion swayed the pendulum in a different direction. He could sense how much I missed Colorado and how it seemed that to reach anywhere from this tiny corner of northwest Arkansas, it required a 10 hour drive or a very expensive plane ride. The day my passport arrived, it became clear. We had these newly bound books telling us to go somewhere and yet we were stuck living a stationary life. After almost of year of wedding planning and living out of suitcases, I missed those days of splendid instability just as soon as they vanished.

 IMG_4539

We both have careers that merely require an Internet connection. He translates German into English all day and I try and come up with sentences to string together. With each passing day of stability, of having a nice place to call home, we realized we were wasting an opportunity. To have two people with no commitments to a location, we could go anywhere. And yet we were grounded. When our passports arrived, we made a decision, one that will no doubt seem foolish in some eyes but a decision nonetheless. We decided to move, again.

We will head back to Colorado in April with a much better perch to launch our travels. The move will cost money, energy and time, but we will both be happy in the end. I tell this deeply personal story for two people in two different positions. Those in stationary lives, where little travel is possible, there is always the passport book with extra pages. There is always the hope that you will travel. Only you can make that happen. And for the person lamenting being on the road, of not having stability and walls decorated, the grass is always greener. There is a quiet instability in stability, one not often heard until you are truly grounded. Over the next few months, you’ll find me packing up again, moving and flipping through the pages of my passport, speculating on where we’ll go.

 Welcome to Colorful Colorado

Have you ever experienced such stability only to want to be unstable again?

Comments

  1. says

    I totally understand what you mean. I’m almost afraid of getting into too much of a routine anywhere… The words “settling down” terrify me at this point and although it’s something I can see myself doing in the future, it’s still a long ways off. I’m fortunate to live near LAX so it’s easy to fly almost anywhere, especially with my mom’s benefits at American Airlines. Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck with the move and happy travels :)

    • Suzy Guese says

      Thanks! LAX would certainly be ideal to live next too. I envy you there and all those stationed on the East Coast snagging flights to Europe for next to nothing.

  2. says

    Arkansas would be a difficult transition, but props to you both for taking the leap to begin with. To me, it isn’t failure when plans don’t succeed…it’s merely part of the adventure.

    Best of luck to you both on the new journey. :)

    • says

      I absolutely agree with this! It’s easy to see something like this as a failure, but you can learn so much if you treat it as part of your journey! Life isn’t about reaching a destination! It’s imperative that you enjoy the ride! Best of luck on your adventures :)

      • Suzy Guese says

        I couldn’t agree more Emily! What’s the point to each day if you don’t enjoy where the ride takes you.

  3. says

    Good for you guys for following your hearts and not settling for less than happiness. I can’t imagine the transition from Colorado to Arkansas… You two are definitely fortunate to have jobs where you’re not tied somewhere though, glad to see you’re taking advantage of it!

  4. says

    Im sure the move is the right one. Some people are too afraid to do anything that they become paralyzed. Well done on taking the opportunity

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