Traveling, Bad Weather, and the Adventure of it All

Andreas and I love to travel. To explore a place neither of us have seen before, to share with each other a personal favorite. It is an exquisite joy to see something old made new through fresh eyes, or something entirely foreign multiplied in beauty by our shared unknowing, or to see the joy in the other’s eyes and to know a deeper part of their soul when we take that first sip of their favorite chai, which you can only get one place, and it’s the best place.

I love seeing him light up as he shares childhood places with me for the first time, or when I get to reminisce about my own childhood and show him all my favorite places.

We have done a lot of traveling. All over New England, we found new places and shared old favorites. The bagel shop in my hometown, the cafe at his university, the trails behind our first apartment, the park where we’d meet for lunch before we were married, the riverbank where we got engaged, the seaside town where we shared our first kiss, the lake he grew up going to every summer, the park I went to every summer…it was all beautiful, green, snowy, salty, and certainly humid. It was all ours and it was all lovely.

Then we branched out. We explored the city that never sleeps while no one was there, we found the fountain from every movie, we took the ferry, we ate the bagels, we sat in the park. It was glorious perfection.

We explored and we snapped the photos and we took the videos. Then, we went even further. A trip across the country to explore a job opportunity, both knowing the West was calling and had been for a while. We decided to uproot our entire lives that one night in front of the hotel patio fire. It somehow all just clicked. The job was maybe not the purpose to move, but more like as good a reason as we needed. So we went. To where the mountains were taller, the city in the valley was higher up than we were used to being on the daily. The sky was always blue, even when it snowed.

There is so much to get used to here. I never thought much about how deeply the religious culture would affect where one lives, especially when it’s not my religion. But going from a predominantly Catholic (even “dead” Creaster-Catholics) to a predominantly Mormon state was strange, to say the least. We have learned a lot, but that’s another post.

Remembering that just as much as this is a valley full of college towns, it is also a valley just barely leaving its religion behind is actually kind of hard. No, your favorite coffee shop is not open on Sunday, and it’s certainly not open past 6. Why are you out past 6? But a few years ago, there weren’t any coffee shops so let’s take the wins where we can. It’s a different culture, and it is fascinating and a beautiful struggle to adjust to. Not that we are changing ourselves to fit the mold by any means, just learning to navigate the land. I could and should write an entire post about the strangeness of moving to Utah, but that is not this post.

Shortly after moving to Utah, we got to visit Andreas’ grandpa in California. Sunny and clear, a perfect 70-80 degrees in the depths of November. California is (sometimes) a dream.

The biggest trip yet was still to come. Germany for Christmas, Bear Lake for the 4th, the Grand Canyon in a hailstorm and then nearly overnight, watching the sunset and staying til the stars came out, the last two souls on the edge of the rainbow rocks like I had always wanted. Realizing I don’t entirely hate Las Vegas and it can be a lot of fun, finding art and coffee higher in the mountains than the top of New Hampshire’s highest mountain…this year and a half has been a trip in all the best ways.

I guess I just needed to write it all down. It has been beautiful.

I’ll sort out the Grand Canyon, my 30th birthday, and of course Christmas in Germany in a later, hopefully far less convoluted post.

Bad weather has followed a lot of our adventures, but only made them better, I think. I love the rain. To explore the Grand Canyon while you are painfully pelted with giant pieces of hail is something not many people can claim, so that’s something.

My thoughts are more jumbled now, but there’s so much more of them to get out. I guess that’s a good thing, so enjoy this very mixed up cup of tea.

4 responses to “Traveling, Bad Weather, and the Adventure of it All”

  1. Andreas Reif Avatar
    Andreas Reif

    Looking back on it all, it really does make me appreciate how much we’ve done and that we’ve gotten to do it, at all, and together.

    1. Moriah Reif Avatar
      Moriah Reif

      I agree 🥰

  2. Dsn Avatar

    Boy, this is good writing. Keep it up.

    1. Moriah Reif Avatar
      Moriah Reif

      Thank you!

Leave a Reply