It was just over one year ago today that we traded our 2400 square foot home in a nice, comfortable neighborhood with all of the typical suburban experiences for a hotel rooms, airbnb and a Class A Winnebago Sightseer. The nomadic life seems so antiquated. Visions of gypsies or of pioneers traveling through rough terrain into uncharted territory is what normally would come to mind as I thought about the idea of living in our RV.
I figured there would be a lot of adjustments and I was really unsure whether or not this lifestyle would be a good fit for us. But I also knew the stirring inside was pushing us outside of our safe borders that we had thought was the way we were supposed to do life. We gave it a go for a few months; and due to a work trip that Tom was called to, in Australia, we brought the motorhome back after just three states so that we could join him in Sydney.
Thinking back to where we started a year ago to where we are today, I wonder what life would have been back in our house. We surely would have not seen the Sydney Opera House or the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada. There would be no Blue Mountain adventure or the tales of 3 different sets of the Three Sisters around the world. There wouldn't be the memory of burning out our brakes en route from Arkansas to Missouri or the challenge of not meeting friends for several months as we seemed to follow the retiree crowd on all of our journey. There wouldn't be as insatiable of an appetite to see this gorgeous country and to meet all of the amazing people we have met along the journey.
I know we would have grown either way. Another year older for each one of us. Another birthday passed. But, would we have grown further apart? A home used to be the idea of stability. But now, it seems it is all too often a monument of status and of the debt that keeps us as indentured servants working for what I can't even remember. The endless activities we would be tied up doing often kept us further apart from one another and often wondering why we were so lonely in our life full of people and things.
Instead of looking back at what could have been, we choose to look at all that was gained. Are we further along financially? No, but we are continuing to work towards complete financial independence. Are we further along as a married couple. Absolutely. We've had to learn our different roles in setting up and tearing down our RV at campsites. We've had to learn how to get work done as a team to build the foundations of our businesses on the road. We've had to work through the tough times together because there's nowhere to escape.
The kids have learned to play outside! Yay! They've learned that there's more out there than what is at the end of the neighborhood. They've learned to adapt to their surroundings, ask millions of questions to anyone who will listen to them and they have built friendships with both older folks and kids their own ages. They've been disappointed by the "weekender" kids at RV parks who have their own set of friends and aren't open to meeting new friends. They've been lonely and they've been content. They've explored and hiked and have learned about banana slugs and elk and moose and deer and pronghorns. They know what a morraine is and the difference between a sheet of ice and a glacier. They've tasted glacier water while running on a 10,000 year old glacier.
The experiences we have had have differed in every state and in every circumstance. We've learned to be more relaxed and flexible. We've also learned that there still needs to be some structure to the day to ensure some sense of stability. We've learned the importance of staying on track with homeschool lessons and with daily reading for everyone in the family.
I was never a huge camping type of gal, and would have never pictured that I would go for this type of lifestyle. We were comfortable in our life. But that comfort was making us miserable and that comfort was creating a longing inside for something more. Our family is closer than ever because of this adventure. We know we can rely on each other no matter what and we know that whether times are easy or are tough, that change is a 'comin and that change doesn't necessarily mean anything negative. Change can be a catalyst for something greater and something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good. We are thankful that we can look back and see that God has given us this time, this opportunity and this experience to teach us about others and about ourselves and most importantly about Him!