The Big Move

Cover photo credit: Jonathan Sims, 2016

If you’ve kept up with me personally, or followed me on social media, you likely know by now that I’ve been on the move for most of the past year (or my whole life, depending on how you look at it).

I left my home of several years in Louisville, Kentucky in September 2015 to embark on a cross-country trip. I snaked across the American West and desert southwest, visiting friends and all the National Parks I could cram in with my elderly but very adventurous camping cat, Honey. I even made some visits to a few anthropology departments at some top universities and had some great conversations about career development and graduate degrees. I ended up in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California for a few months on a CRM archaeology project. It was great for so many reasons, but I decided it was time for a big change.

So I packed up what little belongings I had left after several thousands of miles on the road, and shipped them to New Zealand with the intention of living there permanently with my partner at the time. I’d planned to keep doing archaeology, raise a puppy, and settle in the Auckland area. Well, life takes some really weird paths and mine didn’t end up taking a path that involved any of those things.

I’ve been back in the states for a few months, in the first place I’ve been excited to call “home” my whole life – Louisville, Kentucky. I chose it because, as things were rapidly unraveling in New Zealand, I reached out to my friends and former employers and within minutes I had a pretty good living and working situation sorted out for me. Much to the credit of all the people in Louisville who have supported me in some form or another, I’ve been able to keep rolling on various archaeological projects and made some really productive moves for myself personally. I’ve remained active on the Archaeology Podcast Network – regularly co-hosting the ArchaeoTech podcast, and occasionally appearing on the CRM Archaeology podcast, as well as working to revive the Go Dig a Hole podcast with a new co-host, Katie Miller. It’s been incredibly rewarding and has kept me in touch with some really inspiring archaeologists (as well as researchers from other fields).

In about a month, I return to Belize to continue working with the AFAR field school program at the major Classic Maya site, Cahal Pech. After that, I’ll also be making a return to the West – to move to Portland, Oregon. I hope to call it home permanently, but I have some personal and professional goals that have to be satisfied in order for me to call any one place my permanent home. It’s a gift in that I have incredible freedom to go anywhere and do anything; I’m also truly fortunate to be surrounded by people near and far who love and support and empathize with my nomadic lifestyle.

There’s much more to come soon.

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