Before leaving Southern Oregon for Mongolia in 2009, I felt the need to adorn my inner left wrist with a symbolic representation of some of my life desires; stability, home and commitment. Why these ideas manifested in a chicken is a bit of a mystery and one may wonder why I chose to leave the stability of my childhood home in the Rogue Valley for the coldest capitol city in the world where I only knew one person, the man that hired me for a teaching job. True, my move was born in-part from necessity. I needed a job- my teaching position was ending soon due to budget cuts and a district reshuffle. Substitute teaching was simply not on my list of possible options, I’d rather sell everything: house, car and most of my possessions than substitute. No, what I really needed was to put myself back out there, to explore, to push and to grow. I had lived in Egypt for a few years during and after college and I keenly missed the expat lifestyle. Yes, I craved stability, home, and commitment but I also missed adventure and I refused to believe that the two are mutually exclusive categories. With the right attitude and the right partner (I found mine on the way to Mongolia) home is where and what you make of it.
Fast forward four and a half years. Greg and I have been married two and a half years, together since the day I landed in Mongolia…yes, he was the one that hired me to teach in Mongolia and I haven’t looked back since. We are quite comfortable with the idea of moving to a foreign location where we know nary a soul and settling in for a year or three or more. A comfortable flat, a decent corner coffee shop and the opportunity to experience life together fulfilled all that I desired; through our commitment I have found my stability and home with Greg. Dorothy was right, there is no place like home, and I can make mine just about anywhere in the world. I find the day just a little bit sweeter when the language is foreign, the street food is of questionable origin and we’re living somewhere most people don’t want to go.
Miss Chicken’s adventures is my way of breaking out the the protective inner sanctum of an easy American life. The places and situations Miss Chicken experiences have not always been fun, but it is, always, an adventure that I will be able to look back on with fondness and a certain wistfulness once we’re ready for our passports to spend more time in the drawer than in our carry-on. Not to say that Miss Chicken won’t continue to have adventures in the US! I’m pretty sure that learning to fly, traveling the US, possibly living in Alaska for a while and maybe even getting her very own motorcycle are on her things to do list. Here’s to you creating your own life’s adventure.