No cleaning rotation chart hung on the fridge, yet dishes were always washed before mold set in. Not once did someone forget to restock toilet paper, though we resorted to paper towel scraps a few times. Nobody ever missed a communal meal, scrounging together impromptu creations from whatever could be found in the unmarked cupboards. It is the act of sharing, honestly and without agenda, that organizes five strangers into a family unit. That, and a few friendly games of Monopoly.
But there is a lucky warmth that awaits the nomad who can adopt, adjust and create those familial bonds and relationships with other people, in other places. Are we not at our most open on the road, eagerly hoping for unknown faces to fill the vulnerable positions in our lives?
Alex, Rich and Sal – by letting me take long showers and keeping my cup of tea constantly full – reminded me of home’s every comfort and blessing. My relatives might be a 16-hour crow flight southeast, but in Revelstoke, I found their closest non-genetic replacements.
New Year’s Resolution #5: Worried about breaking this? While it’s important to remind family and friends that your distance does not negate your devotion, it’s also essential to make yourself available to new and positive interactions with strangers. Take the advice of Crosby, Stills and Nash: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one(s) you’re with.”