from nomad to city-dweller

the identity of nomad is a tough one to give up.

can i get an amen?! i’ve been transitioning from nomad to city dweller for the last 3 years and let me tell you, it’s been a tough one!

i call myself a “feral” cat because sitting still has always been difficult for me. I’ve always moved from place to place. i was made for the outdoors and i also promised myself that i’d only live in beautiful places. those two things led me to move to 3 different states (although i don’t generally count northern Nevada…), led me to guide tours at both Grand Canyon National Park & in Key West. just a minuscule sampling of all the beautiful places one could go.

but, a boy called my heart and i now find myself in the middle of Phoenix, with its grimy, noisy streets, insane traffic, and giant homeless population. coming from rural Idaho, the solitude of the Canyon and the laid back atmosphere of the islands, this move was a culture shock to say the least! everything moves so fast and, from my experience so far, this city is definitely less than friendly.

love of my life & the cat’s meow. 
taken by me in Puerto Penasco, Mexico

i’ve been in the city now for about 3 years and i’ve basically been a shut-in; too intimidated to go out into the streets and appreciate the city for what it is. because of that, i’ve noticed myself getting a little fluffy around the middle and falling into depression – brought on by my filthy habit of comparison: this city is nothing like my home-town and nothing like the glory of the places i’ve been AND i now have to find a “career” because who lives in a giant city without getting one of those? plus, i’d like to not have to eat cat-food when i retire.

but i do love the sonoran desert that surrounds this behemoth of a city, and as my husband, Teddy Roosevelt, said:

so i’ve created this blog as a prompt to help me appreciate my city for who it is.

why do this?

  • to get me out of my house
  • to help me feel connected to the community
  • to discover cool shit in and around the city

since i don’t believe that you can discover much from the seat of a car, i want to do as much by bike or on foot as i can. that may be a little tough considering phoenix’s issue with automobile related pedestrian deaths and the surface-of-the-sun heat in the summer time. but i feel like taking side streets and canal paths to my destinations will greatly reduce my chances of a run-in with the ubiquitous speeding-metal-death-traps (it just boggles my mind that phoenix doesn’t lead the country in outdoor recreation. it has beautiful weather 9 months out of the year, yet everybody drives everywhere!). and in the summer, there just may be more personal posts and posts of activities outside of phoenix.

i’m thinking of doing a “city parks challenge” where i visit a new city park every day and/or a “phoenix trails challenge” where i hike a new trail every day. i’m also eyeballing the bouldering gym and, even though i have a touch of social anxiety, i’m thinking of joining a running group and maybe a hiking group – although i tend to like the solo hike better than group hikes. i’m also thinking about taking this photography class from one of my favorite bloggers (not an affiliate) so i can share & reflect on whatever beauty i happen to find.

but i want to know, have you ever had to move to and settle into a place that didn’t sing to your heart at first? what did you do to help your relationship with your new city to blossom?

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