Day 317 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 8-12

 

Trains carrying coal are everywhere.

Trains carrying coal are everywhere.

We continue through the countryside heading North to Mongolia and spent time hanging out with Dan and Krick.

We feel very lucky we ran into them because they were great travel partners and a joy to hang out with during the time.

They work, according to factual evidence, in “the most isolated spot in the world.”

Their job entails making sure that the fuel and energy systems in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, keep running at all time.  They work 6 days a week, about 12 hours a day, and it is not an easy job.

They are both in great physical shape since they are constantly on the move, carrying heavy equipment and doing hard labor.

They seem to love their job, especially the peace and quiet they get and time together.

This sounds isolated enough but it is, excuse my pun, just the tip of the iceberg.

The job they did this year included them staying 500 miles away from McMurdo Station and running some type of outpost on their own.

They said it was amazing and interesting and that there would be groups that would come in and do research but that they were alone, in the middle of frozen nature, for much of the time.

I wondered about cabin fever, since they are married and out there almost entirely with each other, and they said they didn’t really get it.  They seemed to love the quiet, solitude and time together to really enjoy each other.

We seemed to have a lot in common and hanging with them made the 12 hour train ride fly by in seconds.

They are both in the mid-30s and also thinking about what they want to do for their lives.

In this way, they are sort of different than Jill and me.  We are looking to keep moving and keep traveling all over the world.  I actually want to touch all seven continents before I die and hopefully can achieve that within the next 10 years.  I have a feeling Jill would be more than happy to do the same.  Our plan, once her websites really take off, and my contract ends, is to travel the world for the next umpteen years and live in each place for 6 months at a time.  This will allow us to find friends, see the sights, and then move on and see what else is out there in this huge world of ours.

Dan and Krick, on the other hand, are starting to think of settling down.  They have been traveling for the last 10 years or so, and want to have a place to call their own.

Krick told us that they basically haven’t even had a closet to put their jackets in when they come home because of their jobs and their traveling.  I could see how this would get quite tiring just living out of boxes and not having a place to ground yourself.

We had long discussions about the type of lifestyles we all lead and how this affects us in regards to relationships, family, and our ways of thinking about reality.  My mom, and Jill’s parents, have told us that if we ever want to come “home” we can stay with them.  I think having that peace of mind is very helpful and allows us to roam more freely and openly because we know that, if something happened, we have a place to go.  That being said, I doubt that I will want to live in the USA again unless something changes drastically.  I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new places, and myself, when traveling that I don’t want to give this up.

It is one of the reasons that I choose not to have kids.  I want the freedom to move around, travel, and not be tied down to anything other than what I carry with me at that moment.  Jill is the same way.  Many people I know tell me that they couldn’t imagine their lives without their kids and I’m glad for them.  I just know I couldn’t imagine my life with kids.  I like my choices and I’m glad Jill does also.

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