“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of my in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” — Jack London
The great American distance runner, my college friend Steve Prefontaine, long ago counseled me: “Don’t be afraid to give up something good for something great.” That’s where I am in my life right now. On the eve of my 69th birthday, no longer a young man, I am preparing to leave behind everything that has become familiar to me during my past 15+ years in Oregon.
In just a month, I will be leaving behind everything that has become familiar to me during my life in Oregon.
I am moving to Vietnam. I will begin training in early November for a teaching position. I will fly from Portland to Osaka, Japan, where my brother lives, on October 21, and continue to Ho Chi Minh City on October 29.
I’m excited. I’m terrified. My entire life is about to change dramatically, in ways that I cannot predict nor comprehend.
There are many reasons why I am making this move. Arguments that might lead me to stay in Oregon are outweighed by signals that point in a different direction. If I’m going to make a move, this is the time to do it.
Barb Gonzalez, my partner for over 11 years, will stay in Oregon and continue to contribute her photos and words to this site. I hope she chooses to join me at some point.
Economics, family, academic studies and national politics all motivate me to make this change. Perhaps most of all, I am driven by adventure. Life in Bend, Oregon, is wonderful, but I am no longer challenged here. That’s important for me. I am seeking a new “discomfort zone” where I might grow and learn. I’m excited by the opportunity to immerse myself in a new career and a new culture.
I hope my friends will continue to read my work as I share my exploits on this website.