Place Where You Live:

Ravangla, India

Keeping an eye out for tigers in the Terai

I’m currently sitting next to a fireplace in Ravangla, Sikkim, India. It’s taken three months traveling by bicycle through northern India and Nepal to get here. By the time I reach a computer to type this up our bike trip will be over. It’s that time of year we start getting excited about our more responsible lives. Going back to work in a month or two to spend the summer backpacking through the Sierras. Corie as a botanist for the National Park Service and myself as a Wilderness ranger for the Forest Service.

The clear alpine lakes and shiny white granite peaks. The smell of freshly cut red fir as the 100-year-old crosscut saw helps us clear the trail. Most people we find traveling quit their jobs and hope to find another line of work. We look forward to the coming season. Come October we’ll be looking forward to our next adventure. Our friends and family have quit asking when we’re going to get real jobs.

In living seasonally we sacrifice something most consider sacred: home. We dream about having one some day: the garden, the dogs, the homebrew. Every year we tell ourselves, “In five years we should settle down more.” In the meantime we carry our home on our backs or our bikes and have our mail sent to our parents.

In a few days we’ll load our bikes onto a train Kolkata bound. Flying stateside we’ll visit friends and family before finishing another winter traveling abroad. For what we lack in possessions and stability, we’ve gained through experiences and people we’ve met. There is no better way than traveling to be reminded that ultimately we all share the same home.