About this time last year I was adjusting to life back in the states. I had just finished living a few months in Spain and had grown accustomed to life there. I miss the food, the rhythm, and the time to think and day dream.
But, alas, ultimately one has to get back to work. My day job is I am a professor at UW. I am in the engineering school. What this means is I spend about a third of my time educating undergraduate students on circuits and bits, a third working with graduate students imparting a sense of taste for research and zest for life -- the latter is more important--, and a third raising money and handling minutia. Somewhere in there I'm supposed to actually think for a living, but usually I have to rely on my graduate students to do that for me.
Last summer I crossed the country on my motorcycle. Starting from Vermont I headed north into Quebec and then across into Ontario, down into Michigan, across Wisconsin, Minnesota and into the northern high planes, through the Rockies, back into Canada and finally dropping back down into Seattle. ~3600 miles in the saddle, 11 days, all except for about ~50 miles was done on small two lane highways. Most nights I camped in the dirt. I've crossed the country before, and will do so again. I enjoy the tales it brings and the people I meet. Being on a motorcycle connects you to the world in a way that a car cannot.
Recently I just finished ten days of ice fishing in Vermont (my primary partner is from there and we go back often to visit). Originally I'm from L.A. so I really have no built in sense of extreme cold. It all looks like how Hollywood told me it should in Fargo. Minus thirty is fun in a crazy sort of way. Ice fishing is very, how shall we say, meditative? I'm sure there was a wood chipper somewhere nearby.
Travel plans coming up in the next few months include San Diego, the Bay, DC and Israel. All work related, although I'll probably take a few extra days to backpack / wander about Israel again.
This summer I'll also be riding my motorcycle across the country again. My sister in law is getting married back in Vermont and might as well make a journey of it. I miss the road. I miss sleeping in farm fields and abandoned houses. Scaring locals with my riding gear. Randomly finding that amazing gastropub in the middle of fly over country. Meeting people, sharing stories, exchanging impromptu gifts, and generally experiencing americana (and Canada eh) in a way that you really can't if you fly across it.
I'll also be doing some more sailing and fishing. My Clipper-Ketch rests on a mooring buoy outside my house in the summer time (too rough in the winter). A few years ago some crew and I moved it from Los Angeles -- quite a tale of sorrow, fear, and triumph, and an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. In Seattle, I live along the water's edge and the smells, the sights, the feel of the ocean envelops my daily life. I love the wind. The way the air feels alive when it moves. I also love the cold (although laying about on a sunny beach is awesome too). The cold feels crisp against your skin, reminding you that the earth touches your full body, not just your feet.
My primary partner and I are very busy raising our beautiful young daughter. Yes, you read that correctly. I am very happily coupled (married actually in everything but the law). But we hold space in our relationship for us to embrace other loves. Many people call this polyamorous or poly while others call it "open". My partner and I don't date as a couple and to be clear, I (not us) am looking to build a romantic relationship with you. But, this is honest and open non-manogamy here. Ideally (although by no means required) you'd be comfortable having a (platonic) dinner with my primary partner once a month or so, just to keep communication open between everyone. (And note to other polyamorous folks, I am obviously happy to meet your partners and work on building friendships with them).
While almost all of the remaining time I have in my life is filled up raising my amazing daughter, I do manage to squeeze in a few other pursuits, including house construction, making children's toys, boat maintenance, and photography. On our house I've built various things, the kitchen, the bathroom, the workshop, etc. On my boats, well, they are boats, they require constant maintenance to prevent them from turning into sinking hulks of rust and dry rot. As for photography, I consider myself just an enthusiast. I'm working on a project of low-contrast abstracts. I have recently gone back to Tri-X, and I'm enjoying developing my own film in my kitchen sink and shooting my rangefinders again. Digital is easier and of better quality. But film is more random and pleasurable really.
Longer term there's many adventures I've queued up. I want to hike the Wonderland trail around Mt Rainier. I'm going to take my ketch around Vancouver island with my daughter. Oh and I'm going to head back to Alaska, but this time on my motorcycle. I also want to take my bike up to Hudson Bay one of these days. As for abroad, perhaps another trip to the UK to see some friends, and a trip to Nicaragua so my primary partner can see some of her old buds.