No constraints. No limitations. No reason to go somewhere…or not go somewhere.

How do we choose where to go? When there are no limitations on where to go, how do we choose?

My first instinct is to choose somewhere warm. I mean, really, wouldn’t you? I love being warm. In fact, we don’t pay for heat in our current apartment and I will share with you that we keep it a balmy 22.5 C most of the time.

I actually think I’m rebelling from when I was a kid and my dad would insist that the bathroom window stay open; in fact, it froze open a lot of the time in the winter and me and my sister would have showers only after he left for work so that we could use our blow dryers to thaw the window and close it…but I digress.

Jason says that we shouldn’t choose somewhere based on the negatives of other options but because of its own positives.

I mean it’s cold here in Calgary but I have  been quite enjoying it. I even got to plug my car in last week. Yes, here in the Great White North we have to plug our cars in from time to time when the mercury dips below -15C so that the poor things will start in the morning.

I was excited to have to wear my scarf, and mittens, and toque, and parka and boots all together. I was excited that my nose hairs froze. And that I got to plug my car in.

People live everywhere; there are always positives. Right?

Wait a minute. Maybe there are some parameters. Some criteria to consider.

It should be urban rather than rural. I’ve always said that I either want to live in the middle of it all or be away from it all. As much as I like the idea of growing my own food, chopping firewood for warmth and raising water from a well; I fully realize that I truly am an urbanite. I like to visit the country and marvel over how they do it but, really, I like having a local pub, a barista who knows my order and a plethora of local restaurants to choose from. I love the great outdoors and marvel at the majesty of the nearby mountains but I love coming home and simply turning the heater up and ordering take-out.

I want to live in a culture that it different from my own. How much different I’m not sure yet. I’m drawn to Asian countries in varying degrees. I’ve never been to Africa and, quite frankly, it scares the pants off me. Europe. Maybe. Although at first blush that seems easy. Australia or New Zealand? Not likely. England? From whence I came originally; probably not. Chile? Bolivia? Argentina? We really liked South America. Definitely on the table. Antarctica? I know I said that I am enjoying the cold but I think this might be pushing it!

Crazily, I want to be challenged. I don’t want it to be easy. I don’t want to like it all the time. Overall, I want to enjoy the experience, but I don’t need to be happy every day. I want to be happy that I’m doing it. I want to be learning something overall. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking to be miserable but I get that, often, great experiences are had through trial and tribulation. Although, I’ll admit that I’m not sure what tribulation entails.

We need to be employed in some fashion. This ain’t no trust fund dream and, although our Responsibly Irresponsible plan does have a savings portion to it, it won’t be enough to sustain until we’re old just, hopefully, once we’re old. Although that plan is also open to interpretation…I mean, how much do we really need? Should we just be nicer to our nieces and nephews? Get used to living in a cardboard box? Okay, okay…maybe the savings plan should stay. So, we’ll need to work. Either remotely, or in country, or by commuting, or time here and time there, or…what other possibilities are there?

Slowly, slowly, a vague framework is revealing itself. I was worried when, at the beginning of this year, we hadn’t really put any work into this whole plan and it seemed as though we didn’t know where to start. But now it feels like the fog has lifted ever so slightly. Just enough to let me glimpse the other side and that there might be a path there.

Photo Credit: Judy van der Velden