"Oh, you know... Just driving across America."
"Why? Oh, because I just left what was my dream career, sold all my furniture, sold my car, bought a truck, packed it full with all my remaining belongings and decided to move to Montana to a town I have never been to before to take a job with people I've never met."
"Ya... So, uh... what are you up to?"
I had a couple of those conversations this week with friends and family who didn't get the inside scoop as my life spun through a whirlwind of new directions over the past couple weeks. Admittedly, I should have made a few more explanatory phone calls that would have prevented those awkward "You're doing WHAT?!" conversations, but heck, let's be honest... the youngest child in me kinda likes the shock factor of it all.
But my favorite road trip conversation was somewhere on a never-ending stretch of I-90, as my co-pilot and I each ended phone calls with mutual friends.
Darci, the co-pilot from heaven and most wonderful road trip passenger ever, said, "Isn't it funny that a girl from Texas and another from Wyoming who met during two brief stints living in Ohio are driving across South Dakota on their way to move to Montana while one talks on the phone with a friend from Michigan who lives in Ohio and the other talks to a California girl living in Missouri?"
"Besides being the longest run-on sentence ever? Yes, that is funny. We are somewhat of an eclectic little band of gypsies."
It was hard to say goodbye to all of them, but I know many of their little gypsy hearts will eventually scatter, too. Our paths seem just as likely to cross in national transit as they were living and working in the same town.
My Twitter handle describes me as a "Husker by birth, Wyomingite at heart, Ohioan by career choice." Now, I'll add Montanan by lifestyle choice and couldn't be more excited about it.
I'll be a bit more grounded here - less airports, less frequent hotel stay points, less six-states-in-five-days hectic work trips. Less conference calls, calendar updates and meeting requests; more appreciating the people, places and circumstances that surround the present moment. More interest in making a geographical location into a home, more writing and photography, more time with family and friends, more scenery that has never seen concrete.
Speaking of living more in the moment...
No iPhones allowed in Yellowstone National Park. 'Cause that's where I'm at right now. It's a sweet hour and a half from my new home. Talk about making intangible job benefits more tangible...