would you ever go back?


Farrell’s company is going through some major changes and there’s a small but terrifying (but not end-of-the-world terrifying, and it’s a small chance, so any family emails related to this sentence will be ignored) chance that maybe Farrell could lose his job (but it’s small, probably unlikely, but you never know). This all made me think:

Where would we go then?

Sure, we could stay in Ghent, but Europe is expensive. Personally, I think the chances of finding a job for one or two non-Dutch, non-French speakers in less than the amount of time it takes for our savings to run out is slim, but that’s always a possibility.

If Farrell were to lose his job today, the first thing I would do is cry; I don’t think I have the mental strength to deal with another move. But this is just a hypothetical exercise, so I can calm down. Realistically, I think our first options would be Philadelphia or Denver, squatting in the spare rooms of various family members’ houses until we figured out something permanent, in exchange for letting them chew on Darwin’s cheeks (those things are gold).

In a worry-free world, the one where Fearless Kirstin see challenges as exciting opportunities and not as headaches, she might want to spin the globe and go somewhere entirely new, just for kicks. Somewhere warm? Thailand has such excellent street food, and it’s best to introduce Darwin to a tough tonal language while he’s still young and can easily soak it up. Somewhere a bit familiar? Lebanon has always seemed just a bit out of reach for me (we were banned from traveling there when I studied abroad in Jordan), but Farrell and I both have some Arabic skills left. Somewhere on my dream list? I’ve had an obsession with South Korea ever since getting hooked on Korean soap operas in Bishkek and following Naomi’s adventures when she lived there. Somewhere from Farrell’s dream list? I know South America has been on his mind for years.


Then I thought, we do still have a company in Bishkek. We could find a house easily with our connections and passable Russian. We have friends (although they’re dwindling), we know where stuff is, and like I recently wrote about, at one point I had thought through a more extended time period there. Before Farrell received his job offer in Ghent, job opportunities in the US were looking sparse and we had started mentally preparing ourselves for another year or so in Bishkek. Who knows what the reality would actually be like, but I think we could’ve expanded the business and made a comfortable living for ourselves.

I’m not saying that I miss Bishkek or that I’m itching to get back to a steamy bowl of lagman, but it’s an option in a highly unlikely situation. Plus, there’s a certain special someone I’d be happy to see.


Even just for traveling, have you ever thought of whether or not you would visit a place again? It’s such a big world (and we’re not all Gunnar Garfors), would you rather return to a beloved location or see what else is out there for you?

(If I could, I’d go back to visit Iceland and Thailand before I’d go to a lot of other places.)

4 replies on “would you ever go back?”

  1. I’m actually going through that right now – during my two years in Paris I always knew I’d come back to Asia, and it was a small safety blanket when things were tough (“I’ll be back in Asia someday; there’s always Asia”). But I arrived in Singapore three weeks ago and it was not at all what I expected – it was a chapter I closed and now I feel like I’m surrounded by ghosts, even when I’m making new friends and going to new places and hardly visiting my old haunts. Now I’m facing a move to Hong Kong, or possibly back to Shanghai, and I don’t know if I can actually go through with it. Sometimes you can’t go home again. (which then leads to the bigger crisis of ‘where do I move next?? where do I belongggg?!’)

    1. I definitely get what you mean about a chapter being closed. The more I think about it, I don’t think I would be happy moving back to Bishkek. I just caught up on your blog and WOW, your life. Paris! Italy! Singapore! Sochi! I can’t even imagine what that’s all like. Exciting, yes, but the uncertainty would drive me bonkers. I left a music recommendation on your blog, you should check it out!

  2. We’re in the same boat too, Kirstin. It’s kind of exciting and kind of time-to-start-freaking-out. Sometimes I feel there are more places I don’t want to go than places I do want to go to… you’d think this would make the decision easier but nope! Plus I’d rather go forward to the unknown and my guy would rather go back to the known, so who knows what will happen this year.

    Hope this moment of uncertainty passes or turns into an even better opportunity for you and your family!

    1. It’s so weird that we can all relate to each other so well, but we’re never in the same place to actually hang out! Oh well. It’s exciting and stressful to figure out the next step. Best of luck figuring it all out and stay safe in Ukraine!

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