Newcastle in Hindsight, and What Comes Next

I left Newcastle on September 1, 2015.

Five months ago.

I don’t normally cry when I leave a place because I’ve done so much leaving in my life. It’s not that I’m not sad about leaving–I am sad. I love people and places so completely that every goodbye is excruciating if I let myself dwell on it long enough to cry about it.

So I just put it in the rock tumbler I store in the back room of my mind and let it process for a little while until all the edges are sanded smooth and I can admire the memories without risking injury.

But I cried when I left Newcastle.

I’m sure the taxi driver who took me to the airport thought I was nuts. I’m sure the ticket agent thought I was flying out of England to attend a funeral. I’m sure the person sitting between me and the plane window thought I was annoying as I leaned forward to catch one last glimpse of the city I’ve grown to love so much.

And even now, two continents and five months later, I’m still feeling that pang of homesickness I’ve only ever felt for two other places before this: the Wesel cabin in Ontario, Canada, and Philmont. I have loved other places and other people in between, of course, but only these three have truly become home.

Which is probably why it was bittersweet to post about my last adventure in Newcastle (well, Durham, actually), and even more so to put together this video of a few of the people and places that I loved during my year abroad.

(I wish I could have put everyone in this video, but alas, I didn’t have usable videos of all of you. So if you’re not in it, please don’t fret. I love you, too. 😉 )

And now that I’m home, what’s next? Well, I got a job doing inspections for organic certification. I’m probably moving in the near future. (See? I told you I do a lot of leaving…) I am trying to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible so I can save up for a farm of my own. I’m squeezing my poor cat every single day. (Don’t let him fool you—he loves it.) I’m writing. I’m reading for fun. I’m planning another big adventure.

And speaking of all that, things are going to change a bit around here. Now that I don’t have a 365 Project and school assignments keeping me busy, I have some things I’d like to try on the blog. I still have lots (LOTS) of travel posts to write about my whirlwind adventure around Europe with Leslie, but I’ve also got lots of newfound knowledge and resources about organic and sustainable agriculture that I’m going to share. I’d also like to share some of my other creative endeavors (writing and art) a bit more, and I’ve got some guest bloggers prepared to shake things up a little.

I know there may be some among you who aren’t interested in some of the things I’ll be writing about, so once I get a little housekeeping done on the back end of the blog, you’ll be able to subscribe to just the topics you like. Or you can subscribe to all of them, which is awesome. But I won’t be offended if you tailor your Jest Kept Secret experience to suit your interests.

Is there anything specific you’d like to see covered on Jest Kept Secret? Any burning questions about organic farming and food production?

And what places have become home in your life?

6 Comments

    1. Where is your job, Jess?! Where are you moving to?? Any chance you will be coming through Iowa on your way? We’d sure love to see you.

      The place I miss the most is Yosemite where I spent summers while growing up since my mom was a ranger. That is my spirit home. I will always miss it and I will always be joyful on the rare occasions I get to visit. I also missed Columbus, OH intensely when we first moved here to IA. It was home for 11 years so I missed the people and also the place. I still miss it sometimes. I think I miss people more than places in general, but some places are very special. And some places just become part of you.

      1. Awww, no. I wish I was going through Iowa. I’m staying in Idaho, but probably moving to the eastern (*cough snowy*) side of the state. I’m working in Boise for now and just waiting for the green light on the transfer.

    1. I love love love the video! It made me cry and I didn’t even go to Newcastle!

      The cabin is always home in my heart and do you know, I always felt at home in your house in Marysville!

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who cried. 😉 I loved that house in Marysville, too. We’ve sure been blessed to live in some great places!

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