Auckland, New Zealand

January 15, 2017

Expect the Unexpected

I knew that at some point in these travels, this day might come. On some level, I even knew it might be without warning, without really putting myself into the riskiest spots for it, and when it did, it might change everything.

But here in New Zealand, it found me.

I fell in love.

My journeys around the globe have always been solitary ones - I don't generally date or worry about relationships because honestly, what person in their right mind would get into a relationship with a guy who lives all over the world?

So the plan was simple. Stay single. And it was great plan, and though it created its fair share of amazingly awkward encounters, it also kept me at arms length from potential suitors, focused on writing, traveling, living deeply.

And like all plans, it did not survive actual first contact. And I am so, so grateful. :)

You might be wondering, What does this mean for the letters and traveling and...?

It's a great question, and because I'm always honest with you, I have no idea.

I know that the letters are going to continue, and they're going to grow and change as I do. They'll continue to stay true to who I am and what they've always been about: Humanity. Authenticity. Each of us and all of us.

I'll also still be traveling throughout this year, though the shape may change - as I'll have the (pretty mindblowing) opportunity to travel with my person. They live a similarly globally engaged life, but in new corners of the world to me. I have no idea how that's going to play out, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fun, and take us (and all of you) places nobody saw coming.

But most of all, I just had to tell you.

This letter is and has always been straight from the heart. I sit down every week without any planning, open up my email app, and just write you what comes out.

Some folks have been reading these letters for more than two years, and though we haven't met in person, I feel connected to you and everyone else who reads - whether you write back, read every week, or catch every sixth email between the errands and work and the kids.

In a community like that, there was no way I was going to keep this a secret very much longer. :)

So that's where you find me this week. Unfolding a country where people are genuine, friendly, and kind. Unfolding a new map of the year and the future. Unfolding myself - parts I'd given up on engaging with years ago.

This is how unexpected can strike us, sometimes.

Sometimes it's good news. Sometimes it's bad news.

But there in the resulting chaos, is always an opportunity -

To carve out a new path.

See you next week. :)

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week is kind of mind-blowing, especially once you think it through. In 2022, it turns out we might get to watch the birth of a star.

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