Finding a Home, by Alexander Friedman
What is a home? For some it is a physical space. For others it is the people they are surrounded by. For me, for the last fifteen years, it has been an idea.
I have lived in a lot of different places in my life: New York, DC, Chicago, Seattle, Zurich, and London. For a while, I traveled so much I would get hand-written notes on my birthday from airline CEOs – I knew it was a bad sign.
Through all of these ‘homes,’ I always found myself coming to Wyoming when I had time off. First it was the Wind River Range, and then the Tetons. I had a dream that one day, maybe I could live here with a family I did not yet have. Like a lot of life, how I got here is a reminder of just how serendipitous our journeys may be.
In 1996, I shared a tent in a remote region of Kazahkstan with climber from Jackson name Christian Beckwith.
Over the next decade, even as my professional life took me from one ‘home’ to another, I kept coming back to Jackson to climb in the Tetons with Christian. His extra bedroom became more of a home than any other place I knew, except for maybe Lupine Meadows. Every year when we would start on that trail, I had that warm feeling of being where I really belonged.
Life often takes us down unusual paths. For me it was an unintended decade in Europe, with regular commuting to Jackson Hole. A few years ago, my wife and I got pregnant. We looked at each other and asked ourselves where we wanted to raise this miracle baby we had hoped might one day come. It did not take long for us to both leave our jobs, pack up our belongings, put our red Labrador in his crate, and fly half way around the world.
Alex recently co-authored The Big Thing, a children’s book about finding the silver linings in a changed world. The Big Thing can be downloaded in English, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese from thebigthing.org or purchased as a hardcopy from Amazon. All proceeds will go towards COVID-19 charities.