After a couple of stops on the eastern seaboard to visit family and friends for the first time in a long, long while, we prepare to both physically and mentally back away.
Physically, from the US and our familiar pandemic routines and what we know to be expectations of what we can and cannot do.
Mentally, ultimately, from relatively busy work schedules again and towards a country, city and continent where pandemic requirements are unfamiliar and where we hope our eighteen months of Portuguese study will assist us with understanding despite masked mouths.
We had settled back into routines of working from home and only just recently began to reunite with our families and friends, in person, and now, here we are leaving again towards a place that’s physically distant and mentally far away from where we’ve been.
It’s a complicated wildfire cauldron mix of emotions. Anticipation, for what’s to come in our adopted home in Europe and for new things. Worry, that the pandemic will continue to surge anew and new variants could break through creating a wave of vaccine defeating illness or that Portugal will go back into severely strict lockdowns. Excitement, to see our friends there, our apartment, our town and the Portugal coast again. Anxiety, of leaving our jobs all over again. Loss, because, let’s be honest, despite the fact that we were socially distant, our friendships are more solid and emotionally connected after a screwed up year and a half of COVID acceptance than they were going into it and yet, now we leave it and them behind. Exhilaration, to be (hopefully) finally on this path we’ve spent so many years planning.
It’s good to mix it up and good to shake it up. And, yes, it will be good to back away, yet again.