I never, ever expected to live in one place for TEN YEARS. My younger self would have been horrified to even contemplate it. Life is so short, and there is so much to see. But it looks as though I am in one place to stay.
When I start to get mildly panicked by this notion, I remind myself that the bargain I've made in return for staying put is that I get to travel. My personal travel has involved putting one foot in front of another on a trail, but the work travel has been a little more wide-ranging. Through it, I have gotten to go to some pretty nice spots, which I evaluate in terms of, could I live here?
Okay, I can hear you now saying, of course you can physically live anywhere! And I know that's true. I mean, I lived in South Florida. IN THE SUMMER. But what I hope you realize I mean is, live happily. I haven't found too many places that measure up to where I live now. There are places I'd love to live happily for a month (I'm looking at you, Puerto Rico) or even longer (Central Oregon) but in the end I've always thought I live in the best place possible.
But I still evaluate. Because I will always be a wanderer at heart. This week, I found a place where I think I could happily live! I traveled to Northern Idaho to work on a forest project. Most of the time was spent bumping along on incredibly rough roads, but I managed to spend some time swimming and running along a short but sweet trail by the bay. There's so much I didn't get to see, but I saw enough to know that it is a special place.
We got to go out on the boat to take in the Green Monarchs…Just the name sounded cool. There's a trail along top of the ridge.

And high up in the deserted forest to look at tree stands…
And walk along a motorized trail that needs some restoration. My feet wouldn't fit in the ruts!

And I saw some nice sunsets.

And sailboats.

The mountains aren't as dramatic as where I live but the water! There's so much water! I miss big water. I miss my fiberglass kayak. The lake is twenty miles in length! Twenty miles!
Of course, I just scratched the surface and it's presumptive to think that all would be perfect there. The poor little town is getting overrun by people who think it would be a pretty great place to live. I'm sure if I talked to the locals they would have plenty to say about this. So I'm not going to move there. I'll just dream about all of the water and realize I have it pretty good, regardless.