It’s a funny thing; I’d been looking forward to spending a year traveling around the US for so long that it’s a bit of a let-down that we may not do it after all. On the other hand, I find it much easier to envision the good parts of living and working in Portland. Maybe that’s because it’s a much more familiar situation, even though I don’t know the city well. (What I know of it, I like a lot, though on the other hand we’d actually be out in a ‘burb).

Choosing and setting up a house is fun. We’d want something on the smaller and lower-maintenance side, but nice – a townhouse maybe. Since most of our furniture will stay in the lake house, we’ll need to buy lots more stuff – at least something to sleep on and something to sit on immediately, and probably a TV pretty quickly. (An alternative is to move our bedroom set there and get a new one for the lake house – the stuff we have doesn’t fit very well.) We have so many duplicates, since we had to buy stuff for Taiwan, that we won’t need much in the way of kitchen stuff or linens. (Except towels; most of ours are getting on in age and showing it.) We’ll probably need a washer and dryer and maybe a fridge, depending on what the place has already. We can pick colors and styles and everything from scratch; it’s exciting to think about!

If we go on the road, we’d probably buy a new RV, because there just aren’t that many used ones in the type we want (fifth-wheel toyhauler, but with the living quarters geared to full-timers rather than weekends getting drunk and riding ATVs). We wouldn’t do much redecorating; some of them come with exceedingly ugly upholstery, but I think it’s probably far easier to live with it than to redo it all. We have sheets, towels, plates, pans and so on; unless we decide on lighter or unbreakable ones we won’t need much householdy stuff. There are a few models to choose between, but the two brands that suit us best (Heartland Cyclone, Dutchman Voltage) seem to be pretty equivalent so it’s mostly down to details, like whether you want the bed in front of the fifth wheel or with its head to the side, or how exactly the kitchen should be configured. The fun in that case will be route planning, deciding on all the things we want to see and the people we want to meet, and the projects we want to work on en route.

Either way, pretty exciting. With a lot of luck, we might know next week. I have only about 36 work days remaining here, so it’s all very close!

(In fact, excuse the exclamation points in this post, but I sort of feel like my head is full of them and needs a vent. !!! !!!! !!!!!!!!)

It’s always possible things could go terribly wrong, of course, and such things do happen, but barring unexpected (low-probability) disasters, we seem to be well on track for one of those.