The past year has been such an extensive treat as I was able to really spread my wings and travel to the corners of North America near-continuously for eight months from May through December. I am ever-cognizant of the privilege I enjoy and grateful for the friends I have made along the way who help make such undertakings possible. As much of a dream as it is, too, it is exhausting. It is unmooring. So many of my writings here have been on the subject of home - where and what it is and what it means - and, in the process of discovering and defining my home, I, too, have let it slip through my fingers. If anywhere is home, everywhere is home, and, so, nowhere is home.
As my travel has become more intense, my time in the closest approximations of home has grown less frequent and shorter in duration. My vacation dreams haven't been for any grand travel but to simply sleep in the same bed for more than two days, to sit on a couch watching film, and to have a kitchen in which to cook. My greatest desire has become gathering produce at the farmers market. As those dreams grew, so, too, did the touring become harder. I worked, in one form or another, every single day for more than eight months to make up for a large chunk of sick-time I had to take as well as to replace the luggage stole in January. Some of those months I lost large sums of money to the expenses of all this travel, and, in October, I seriously considered disavowing touring and less-seriously, the industry all-together. Those close to me worried as they saw the strain developing behind my eyes. The road has wearied me nearly to the point of breaking.
Of course, it wasn't all nearly so bad. For all the bad times, there were good times. For the shortfalls, there were winfalls. For the displacement, there was place-making. For the erosion of my homesteads, there were new sanctuaries being built in hearts across the land. I will ever be grateful for the places my travels have taken me over the past months and, indeed, years, but, for now, I must roost.
Winter is always a difficult time to exist. It is difficult to survive the cold, to bundle up three layers deep before venturing a block away, to find space on a bicycle between the traffic and the snowdrifts now iced-over with road sludge, to make do on the root vegetables and canned foods one has saved up over the months of plenty. Christmastime credit card statements come due, and as one’s own expenses must tighten, so, too, does one’s income. Winter is always hard, so I have previously sought to escape, to migrate south as the other birds do. This year, though, other plans have found me in that way life seems to override any designs of our own. For the next few months, somewhat joyously, my wings have been clipped and I will be largely remaining around Detroit through April.
What happened? Most succinctly: school. After nine-and-a-half years out of college, I’ve decided there are a few things I want to go back for which I’m either unable or unmotivated to find online or via distance-learning. Namely, photography. After nine months without a camera, I settled back into shooting and editing pretty quickly, but I am feeling a bit limited in my own skills in a way I’ve not before - the joys of studying the masters, I suppose. Anyway, I’ll be in school for the winter and, likely, fall semesters. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, then, that no matter how much I might want to travel, my previous habits are impossible to sustain.
So, for the next few months the simplest and most promising way to to see me is to swing on through ol’ Motown for a customized tour enjoyed by guest and provider alike - I’ll even tell you where to book us a Frank Lloyd Wright. Truly, I’m going to miss the lot of you during my self-imposed isolation, so, please, feel free to get in touch about scheduling time here in Michigan. My arms and my bed are open.
Despite a full-time course load, I still hope to travel in limited bursts. Seeing me in Detroit will suddenly be a lot easier, but, honestly, so will seeing me abroad as I’ll be doing near-exclusively fly-me-to-you dates. If you want me to come to your town, nearly every single weekend for the rest of the year is an opportunity. I will seriously consider any proposition of 3 hours or greater Thursday through Sunday, though, obviously, overnight dates and longer are much more likely to draw me out. I miss the road already. Please, won’t you make a home for me.