Southern Migration (by Nathan)
Finally this day has come- the day where my feet leave the ground in California and touch down on the other side of the world. Today I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It has been a migratory event in some sense, a need down through my core to get out of town and see the world. Not just the travel itch, but a gnawing at my inner being to grab a hold of some culture and consume it, devour it until I was satisfied. This must be what birds feel too, a calling and a deep need to fly south, a need to voraciously flap their wings for weeks straight to be there to consume the ripest fruit. This year the world would not ripen without me being there to eat it.
I was quite lucky that Carmen felt this too. No wings, but this year you will find us walking and eating our way around the world. Not physically walking around the world, but our 4 feet and 2 mouths will travel to destinations that our inner being wants us to explore.
Berkeley was an amazing place to live. There were so many aspects to Berkeley that touched my core values in architecture, food and the outdoors. The Bay Area allowed me to design amazing buildings, hike in beautiful mountains and enjoy farm-to-table meals everyday and all year. But…in many ways the lacking public transit and small ethnic neighborhoods were not enough. There are only so many times that a Bart ride to the Mission or Chinatown would satisfy my desires to travel. And there were those times that while eating dim sum at Dol Ho where I experienced the crazy cart-driven yelling that I enjoyed so much in Hong Kong. If I liked it so much then why not go back to Hong Kong?
And friends! I have some truly amazing friends in the Bay Area. I have friends that like me, think a perfect day is a farmer’s market, shared bottle of wine and a Cheeseboard pizza. I have friends that time and time again feed me, educate me, entertain me (sometimes a little to much), and even nurse me back to health. I drool thinking of our dinner parties– potlucks to an unprecedented gourmet level. I will miss all of these friends and they know that they are always welcome to visit and stay with us at our home. That is, when we finally get a home somewhere.
That’s right, we are homeless. Carmen and I gave up 70% of our stuff and moved out of Berkeley. It is a crazy feeling purging everything you own to the last morsels of what you think is important. The sentiment is the worst for me- both getting rid of things that emotionally tug at me and the things that I think have some actual value. The end result: I sold a few things on Craigslist, gave away a lot of stuff and trashed quite a bit too. No turning back now, I’m glad I did it. I’m still impressed that I fit all that 30% in my little Nissan truck.
Stepping onto the Buenos Aires streets created such a fantastic sensation throughout my body. It was as if my soul was tingling- reminding me that this is happening, this is really happening. No job, no apartment, no bills, just Carmen and I, a camera and our backpacks and four months to explore South America. The rest of the year we’re traveling too. Where should we go?