Written July 30, 2015. Tent, creek side, FS Rd. 2329 Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Traveling is the coolest thing ever….and…there is a price to pay for choosing the road less traveled. I travel to learn about people, places, and myself. Traveling opens my mind and leaves me more accepting of people who live and believe differently than me. I begin to see more clearly that we’re all in it together and ultimately want the same things in life. As Maya Angelou once said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” The bigot in me needs to hear that from time to time.
We’re often asked if we worry about strangers while we travel. We’re even asked if we carry a gun! No, and definitely no. We’ve chosen the path of trust, not fear. Not one single person in our year of traveling has been unkind to us. Not one! Quite the opposite. People have opened their homes to us, fed us, rescued us, and even let us use their cars. My trust in the goodness of people is stronger than ever. We don’t have to trust everyone…sometimes our intuition tells us to move on. There doesn’t have to be a story to justify moving on, just a healthy respect for that inner voice.
And, as a traveler I have no fewer struggles as I do in my non-traveling life. Traveling as we have for over a year definitely has its exotic side, and it certainly has its mundane and challenging side. Daily life has its exciting moments, and its shitty moments. The excitements and challenges just take different form.
Traveling, we fall into routine. We have our camp chores…cooking, cleaning, unpacking, inflating our air mattresses, packing, cleaning chains, setting up the tent, breaking down the tent, doing laundry, taking care of finances, Facebooking, and so on. I have to admit that this routine helps me feel grounded…at least until I get bored. I’m drawn to the excitement of the unknown and newness that traveling brings yet I can feel a little lost at times without a sense of place and “normalcy.”
The adventure in its current form is winding down. With just weeks left I find myself giving in to the worry of not knowing where we’ll live and what we’ll do. Coming off one of the most transient, exciting, and challenging years of my life leaves me grateful for all I’ve seen and done…and…it leaves me questioning where I belong. I traveled for a year once before and it all worked out so you’d think I’d know better than to worry. It’s unnerving for me to not have a house or apartment to go home to. Shal has a nice 5th wheel trailer that we could park and live in while we look for just the right space to call home. Friends from all over the country have offered us space in their homes until we find a place of our own. So much to be grateful for…and…I’m yearning for HOME – a warm, bright, and pretty space to be with friends and family. A space to utilize my nesting instincts. A place my daughters can come home to when they need respite from their daily lives, and the comfort of Mom.