In the gloaming – farewell to DC

As I write this, sitting in a 10th-floor hotel room looking out over a crowded street in Bethesda, Maryland, I am counting down my days left in the United States.*

After five years in the greater DC area, our family is on the move again. My husband’s work is taking us to the Middle East. Soon, we’ll be a family of three in a city of three million: Kuwait City, Kuwait.

This move, like so many for us, wasn’t exactly planned: Uncle Sam’s bony finger flicked a game wheel and when it stopped spinning, we saw the destination we’d next call home. We thought the wheel was populated with geographic choices much closer to here for hubby’s next assignment, but surprise! We’ve won a two-year-most-expenses-paid trip only 6,500 miles away.

That’s not to say we’re unhappy with the prize. Surprise quickly turned to excitement, then trepidation, then curiosity, then resignation, then anticipation. It’s absolutely a case of ‘all the feels.’ Staying put means comfort and familiarity. Moving on means adventure and growth. I am a homebody by nature, but previous moves to Scotland, England and Japan have shown me that living abroad provides a day-to-day thrill that is addicting. I am eager again to see and experience up close another sliver of this beautiful globe.

It’s been a quiet five years. After posting often during our three years in Japan, this space has been mostly neglected, apart from announcing my book’s publication in 2018. There are multiple reasons for that—including my extreme homebody-ness during the pandemic, my return to full-time employment, my hesitation to weigh in when the world has been so heavy—but I’m hopeful I’ll find my voice here again.

We’ve been in the gloaming—the twilight days—of our DC life for several months, including a move out of our home into a local Air B&B two months ago. There has been a lot of waiting for paperwork to come through, a lot of decisions made in a vacuum, a lot of uncertainty in general, including postponements for our departure. I have learned yet again the hard lessons of being patient and trusting that all the shifting beneath our feet will settle again into solid ground. I am grateful to the friends and family, both near and far, who have supported us through this awkward period of limbo.

Since we learned we’d be moving to Kuwait, to a part of the world I’ve never even visited, let alone lived in, my mind has kept reminding me of a favorite quote. When I was 20 and living abroad for the first time—the flights to Aberdeen, Scotland from Cleveland, Ohio were the first I’d ever taken—I enrolled in a course which examined works by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In Ulysses, I found a quote that spoke to my youthful heart: “Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ / Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades / For ever and forever when I move.”

I’ve moved quite a bit since that time and am considerably more “travell’d” now, but my more seasoned heart happily beats a bit faster knowing I’ll soon be on the move again, with margins fading in every direction that I look.

*We’ve now arrived overseas safe and sound. I’ll post more soon…

3 thoughts

  1. Hi Susan, What a fantastic new adventure for you all!  I’m so envious.  Make the most of every moment. love  Deborah


  2. I will be looking forward to your postings. My prayers go with you all on this next adventure! Love, Aunt Jan

    Sent from my iPad



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