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Tom on bike
That’s not a typo. The saddle in question is Buzz’s saddle. Buzz is my (electric) bike. You sit on bike saddles, not in them. And Buzz is in Portland — which is as close as we come to having a home. So you see, I’m back in (and on) the saddle again, both figuratively and literally.

I’ve been thinking about what that means to me.

To me — a native Oregonian — being in Portland is like bathing in a pool of amniotic fluid. It’s comfortable, familiar, and convenient. I have good friends here, and my good friends have been asking, “Are you ready to settle down now? Are you going to stay?”

No, we’re not. At the moment (and at this stage of life, everything is at the moment), adventure trumps comfort. We’ve been here a little over a week and already we’re feeling anxious, eager for travel.

Being here in Portland, with friends probing my motives, provokes me to consider that word — travel. In fact, Louise and I may not be travelers at all. We’re learning that while travel is exciting, the rewards of travel seem to be found in living more than traveling. Living in one place for three, four, five or more months provides the time to make new friends, to become familiar with the language, to embrace customs, to de-stress, and to move beyond being just visitors. Living in far-away lands, rather than traveling to them, is where we’re finding our adventure.

Are we ready to settle down? Are we going to stay? Not yet, my friends. There’s still adventure out there, and we gotta live it.

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