So I moved again. Nothing surprising here, no one thought I would last in the Yukon anyways right? Though I definitely could have lasted a lot longer there. I loved it. I miss the mountains. And my friends. I didn’t need to leave there specifically, I just needed something new again. I am constantly searching for the next adventure. It’s not about hating the place I am living and needing to get out of there. It’s this feeling I get inside that makes me want to just flip my life on it’s head and change things up. It is not easy, this constant need for change. I spent the week before I left to come here crying. Not the whole week, obviously, but I was an emotional basket case. It was hard. Saying goodbye to my family was difficult. My nieces already have grown so much while I was gone last time. I can’t even imagine how big they will be the next time I see them. Saying goodbye to my friends, was easy and hard. For some people it was hard because we don’t keep in touch as much while I am gone. Not for lack of wanting to, but because life happens, people are busy. And I wish we could talk more but we don’t. Then there are those people. The ones who make you want to cling to something at home. They make it the hardest. I wish I could sit here and tell you that my best friend in the whole world made it so hard to leave, or that it was someone in my family that made it an emotional roller coaster when I left. But it’s always the people you don’t really prepare for. Or the people you don’t want to admit you will miss. But you miss them as soon as you leave.
Anyways, enough about that. I live in Majuro, Marshall Islands. I am sure some of you are still asking where? It’s funny when you decide to move somewhere and no one has any idea where it is. And I have some pretty well travelled and geographically inclined friends, so you’d think a few of them would know. But alas, as I told people where I was going, I got many reactions. I would say 95% of the people I told I was moving to the Marshall Islands had no idea where it was. I always liked hearing people’s guesses though. “Oh isn’t that near Florida?” For some reason, a few people had thought that. I do enjoy the fact that many people googled it once they found out. That makes me happy. The curiosity of where I was going and what it was like. Though some found out a lot more information than others, it was interesting to talk to those people who were telling me all kinds of things they now know of the Marshall Islands. That made me smile.
But what I did find the most interesting were the people who did know of the Marshall Islands when I told them. I was getting a stone chip fixed on my windshield in the Yukon a couple months before I left, and the man at the counter asked me if I wanted a frequent customer card, and I said that I was moving and wouldn’t be needing one. He asked where I was headed. When I told him the Marshall Islands, he got really excited and proceeded to tell me all about the World War 2 history and the ability to see that stuff under the water here. He was super excited for me. And that is basically the kinds of people who were aware of the Marshall Islands, the World War 2 buffs. The history lovers. Not the geography lovers. It blew my mind.
Even after I told people where the islands were, and people were googling and figuring out stuff on their own, there were many miscommunicated moments. Like when I went to visit my friend on the East Coast (of Canada) and she said that she had been telling all her friends that I was moving to the Magadallen Islands (I think that’s what she said) and that she thinks it’s near South Africa. Those don’t exist, and I am no where near South Africa. Or I told people, I wrote it on social media, it’s in my blog, but when I spoke to them I had to remind them where I was moving to. All the time. No one could remember. I found that amusing. It’s not spelt weird. It’s not tricky to say. It’s not a long name. It’s pretty straightforward, but so many people forgot what they were called, because they had never heard of them.
So here is a brief geography/history lesson for you all. First go to a map or a globe, find the equator. Got it? Now find the International Date Line. Found it? Look at the North West corner of where they intersect. See the Marshall Islands right there? That’s where the Marshall Islands are located. They are a group of reefs/atolls located in the Pacific Ocean.
Now as for the history, they gained independence in 1986 after being under US administration for four decades. We use US dollars here. US Postal Service. Some atolls are off limits to tourists, as there is still a strong military presence here. Nuclear testing was done on some of the atolls over 50 years ago, which has led to many issues ever since, that I don’t care to get into at this time. But google it, there is a lot of interesting information about these islands.
So now I live on an island that most people I know had never heard of, and it’s pretty amazing. But I’ll get into more of that over the next two years of living here.