Point Reyes National Seashore, California

The Long Road

I’ve recently started looking into getting my B.C. driver’s license, and it got me nostalgic for the days I used to spend on the road with my family. The trips I took my partner on when we first started dating. But mainly, I miss the quiet and narrow of the highway lanes, and the sense of peace that washed over me when all other distractions melted away.

Things have been rough lately, for a multitude of reasons. After so many years of being able to see the path clearly, it feels now like I’m driving in a dense fog on unpaved and unmapped terrain, and I crave some sense of normalcy again. For the first time in my adult life, I’ve really been at the mercy of kindness and compassion from strangers and friends and family, and it’s been deeply humbling.

But, with so many forces out there working hard to get us out of this ditch, I’m starting to see the fog clear a bit.

Nicky's First Trip to Cali-164

The old Landrover at Pt. Reyes. I loved this car. One year, I rode shotgun for 10,000 miles on a road trip with my father and siblings.

NJ and I recently found a new apartment, and we get to move in the first week of August. It’s quirky and sweet, in a quiet neighborhood, and will afford us some much-needed recoup time before school starts. It’s also, strangely, reminiscent of the English school we taught at in Japan. Perhaps with gaily-colored rooms, even more of the fog we feel mired in will dissipate. (Even if the shower is red as crimson, and showering will feel like being deep inside a jugular vein.)


Fire engine red shower not pictured, because it needs a deep clean…

All of this to say that moving, likeย all good things in life, is a long road. There’s a certain loss of identity, now that I’m not in Japan, whichย I’m coping with slowly, but I didn’t necessarily expect upon leaving that part of the world. But I am driven to evolve, and discover new parts of myself, here on this blog, and in the real world.

If I had to say the fumble came from anywhere, it came from going backwards, instead of forging a new road. The new apartment, in a different town (and unconnected to old nostalgia), will provide us a new road going forward; one I’m confident we can navigate.

While we didn’t necessarily expect to be moving again so soon, the good news is that we’re still basically packed from Japan. I guess we were having trouble settling because we just felt it wasn’t going to happen where we are now.

In any case, I need to get back to my driver’s manual…. B.C. has a crazy-complicated tiered-driving system, which I am glad to learn I am exempt from, since I have a clean driving record in California, even though my license is expired. If I can get my license by August 1st, NJ and I will basically be able to move ourselves!

That would be a pleasant, self-sufficient win for the summer.

29 thoughts on “The Long Road

  1. strangepegs says:

    I have nothing intelligent to say at the moment. Or profound.
    I’m just wonder what could be so complicated about driving.
    I’m ready for robot cars, anyway.


  2. childofaslan says:

    What’s the saying? Don’t just do something–stand there? ๐Ÿ™‚ Or the other one that I keep having to remind myself of–just do the next important thing. It sounds as though you have the “next thing” in your sights. I have no doubt the fog will lift, when it’s time. And don’t forget that our work reflects us but our work is not us. Sometimes we’re just meant to recharge. I hope you’ll find ways to enjoy the journey in your current foggy corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. saraletourneau says:

    Yikes. Even though you’re still packed from Japan, moving is always an overwhelming endeavor. But I’m glad you and NJ have found a new place, and one where you think you’ll be happy and can create a strong “moving forward” mindset. Best of luck with the new apartment!

    The bathroom, though… I’d feel like I’m living the Scream films if I had a bathroom with red walls. *cringes*

    Love the new template for your blog, btw! Especially how it emphasizes the beach photo at the top of this post. (Then again, I love beaches and the ocean anyways… )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks! The picture was supposed to be an allegory for the “long road” since I moved across an ocean, haha. But I love the Pacific. So beautiful. I hope to one day live near water again. (I kinda do now, but lakes you can’t see aren’t quite the same thing, haha.) And yeah, that shower is intense…. it’s a standing shower, enamel, and blood red. I haven’t taken a shower in it yet, but I bet even the water will look red in there…. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks a bunch. I think the red shower is actually growing on me, in one of those…. “in 10 years, that’ll be the way you described the quirky little apartment in grad school, and it’ll dredge up pleasant memories” way. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Feeling better and better by the day, so thank you!


  4. Denise says:

    When I think back to some of the road trips I’ve made, I wonder how I ever thought it was a good idea. Can’t imagine doing one now. That being said, if I lived where you do, I’d be driving all over the place. Such beautiful country. Good luck getting your license.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thank you, Denise! I really hope I get a chance to drive around BC. There are rental car places everywhere, and I really want to see the coast and mountains as much as I can.


  5. shoreacres says:

    I’m wondering if a time traveler from the 1950s painted your bath. There was a time when gray, chartreuse, maroon, forest green, and chocolate brown were the “in” colors, and for some childhood years I bathed in a chartreuse and maroon bathroom. There were dishes, too. Today, nostalgic baby boomers collect them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m a drive-to-be-happy sort, too. That driver’s license is going to be your get-out-of-jail-free card. I’m sure of it.


    • Alex Hurst says:

      Hahaha. Oh man, those dishes are something else. But yeah, that red plate is the red of our shower. Holy moly, RED! Of course, I do love chartreuse green…. but I prefer it as an accent color. ๐Ÿ˜›


  6. D. Wallace Peach says:

    A new phase of your journey. Stay in your heart, notice the small joys, and seek opportunities to grow. You’ll do well. Congrats on your new home and good luck with getting your license! Make sure to celebrate with a little drive ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      We moved quite a bit too, but not for military reasons…. just a too-large family and a very picky standard for houses, lol. Thank you. I’m feeling so much better now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Thanks, Jean. ๐Ÿ™‚ No, in Coquitlam now. Very, very suburban, as in just houses…. but it’s a nice area, and we’ve been able to regroup. I feel so much happier here.


  7. joannesisco says:

    Since I’m reading this late and tomorrow is August 1st, I assume it will be moving day. Hope you have your license and everything moves smoothly! You’ll be in my thoughts all day tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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