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Second Thoughts in Vermont

by Going Slowly

Burrs and sweat clinging to our clothes, we bid our land goodbye and head into town for a bite to eat. As we drive together in silence, evening falls, smothering the landscape in a misty blackness. For reasons unspoken, our triumphant mood is darkening by the minute. By the time we've parked and put our names on the waiting list at Kevin's Sports Pub, we're both feeling very out of sorts.

As we wait, we try to put words to our sudden, unwelcome change of heart. For the first time since we since we found our land, a shred of doubt has burrowed its way into our minds. Suddenly, we're both feeling very small, very alone, and very far from home. The foggy, pitch-black night feels ominous.

It's not long before we've gotten to the heart of the matter: it's beginning to sink in, perhaps for the first time, just how difficult moving here will be. Leaving our family and friends and everything we know behind is no small thing. Until now, we've brushed off the emotional cost of our adventure, thinking it'll be easier than it was last time.

Instead of recognizing our move across the country for the huge upheaval it will be, we've been saying "It's not like we're not going to live in Mongolia! We'll only be a few days drive from the Midwest!" But obviously, it won't be the same. Soon, spontaneous get-togethers with friends and family will be a thing of the past.

Pangs of intense, wrenching sadness pass over us as we think about saying goodbye to our families, and to Dan and Julia, Megan and Alex, and Mary and Jack. Somehow, the places that felt so foreign to us when we returned from our bicycle tour have become home again. In this moment, staying in the Midwest doesn't seem as unappealing as it once did.

Talking it out lessens the heaviness of our mood. Thankfully, we've made enough scary decisions to know that a little gut churn is an integral part of any big project. We're not actually worried we've made a terrible mistake—a little fear is nothing compared to the regret we'd live with if we weren't pursuing our dreams.

Even though we won't be heeding our fears, the emotions are important to recognize. Realizing how deeply we're going to miss our loved ones will make the time we spend with them all the more special. It is our aim to cherish our friends and family as much as we can, fully appreciating the time we have together before we move into this next phase of our lives.

Dusk Driving in Vermont

If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.

Lowell Lundstrum