When I wake up in the airport hotel I feel a bit lost. It’s Christmas morning, but it doesn’t feel like that. I get on my computer and post the blog about last weekend. Like I wrote yesterday, I don’t feel so much like going back to Vancouver but I also don’t feel like going home yet. I look up flights to San Diego, the idea of a sunnier destination is tempting.
A friend calls me and we talk about life and traveling. She asks me why I decided to go to Vancouver in the first place. I know the answer to that: it was to experience how it is to live in a different city. Remembering the goal of the adventure encourages me a bit to keep going. I’ve made a few friends in Vancouver now and have a place to live there, so except from the weather most things will be fine. Still it might have been easier in South California where the sun almost always shines. I realise that this trip wasn’t just about being comfortable. Maybe the exact opposite. I knew it was going to be challenging. I chose to be uncomfortable, to go on an adventure. I think what makes it hard is that I have work to finish, but now that I’m traveling I am not so productive and that stresses me a bit. The other day I was talking with another entrepreneur and we agreed: it gives a lot of freedom, but it can also be stressful to work for yourself. I love working for myself, but I have to also find a way to deal with the challenges of it.
I eat breakfast in the hotel and then take the shuttle to the airport. Checking in and security goes very smoothly fortunately. Seattle airport used to be very beautiful with a huge window with rocking chairs, but it’s in construction now so that’s gone. Fortunately I find a nice seat with a view not far from the main area. I have about two hours before my flight goes, so I go online and do some writing. I see planes coming and going in front of me and I realise how much freedom I have. Right now I could go anywhere in the world. That’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately. If you can live everywhere in the world, how do you decide where to go? I think in the end it all comes down to the people you want to be close with. Most of my family and friends live in the Netherlands. Here in America I also have some close family and friends as well, but moving here is quite impossible. Staying for a while though is one of the options. I checked the stamp in my passport the other day and it says I can stay in America until March, so that is nice. I think I’ll go back to Vancouver in January to meet with my travel friend who is visiting me and decide from there where to go. I will first start the new year in America with my grandparents in Montana. My flight will depart in less than an hour, so it’s time to slowly walk to the gate.
The flight is quite fast and we arrive in less than two hours. I watch some funny comedies during the flight and forget my worries from the morning. As I walk into the little airport of Helena, my grandparents are waiting there for me with a big smile on their face. Grandpa is wearing reindeer antlers and it makes me laugh. For a moment it feels so unreal to be here with them again, but quickly everything is back to normal. We get my baggage and walk to the car. Last month they moved to a different house, so we’re driving to an other part of town. The house is really big and, just like the old house, has a nice view over the valley. There is Christmas music playing all through the house, I like it. Since it’s still light outside, I ask if they’re up for a short walk through the snowy hills and they like that. It’s nice to breath in the fresh Montana air again. It’s cold outside, but because of the dry mountain climate it’s not the kind of coldness that gets into your body. When we’re back at the house, grandma starts making a Christmas dinner. Not much later their other granddaughter Alyssa and her husband Brian and two children show up to join us for dinner. It’s very nice to see them again as well. The dinner is delicious. We enjoy good food and good company. After dinner we sit down in the living room while Brian starts playing with their son Ian. I’m impressed by how much energy Brian has and how much patience they have with the children. I wonder if I would ever be able to do that. When the children get too tired though it’s time for them to go home and we stay behind with the three of us. Grandma walks to the fireplace and comes back with the big stocking that was hanging there. It’s filled with presents for me. I feel spoiled, but that’s what grandparents are also for, isn’t it? One of the gifts are movie tickets. We plan to see the new Mary Poppins later this week. I’ve been looking forward to see that movie since the beginning of the year when it was announced and grandma happened to have the same idea. Fortunately I brought also some small gifts for them too, so it’s a party of giving and receiving. It’s not late in the evening yet, but I feel very tired. I think it’s probably the combination of flying and all the impressions. It was a nice Christmas Day. I’m happy to have had a white Christmas again. That doesn’t happen every year. I’m mostly happy about staying with my grandparents in Montana the coming days.
Wednesday morning I start with a couple hours of work before my grandparents wake up. When they get up we have breakfast together and go to their furniture store to meet more of the family. We do groceries, have dinner together and watch a Christmas movie. For me it can be challenging to relax, because there is always work to do, but today I manage to also sit at the couch for a while with a good book. In the last couple of years my grandma has thought me more about living in the moment and that’s what I’m doing more here. I think I won’t be writing much in the coming days, because I’m just gonna enjoy my time here with my grandparents. It’s great to be home with them in Montana again.