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Nomads in Search of a Home

No one ever told me that this was going to be easy.  The first nine or ten months of living on the road, traveling as we pleased, and living out of a backpacking tent were, more or less, amazing.  Yes, we left our van on the side of the road in Memphis, but overall, our trip had many more ups than downs.  But what we didn’t have was an exit plan.  Well, we sort of did.  Our exit plan was to travel, find a place we loved, move there, and then find jobs and figure it out.

We did part one – travel – but the rest has not been nearly as straightforward.  We found lots of places that we liked, but no one place called to us and whispered “I am home” as we drifted off to sleep.  Lesson learned – there is no perfect place.  There are really great places and really lousy places, and you make one of those really great places your perfect (or as close to perfect as you can get) home over the course of time.  So, back to the drawing board.  We made lots of lists (we’ve been doing that for years), weighed the pros and cons, and thought we had come up with a location – Western Massachusetts.  Okay, so now part two was checked off, or so we thought.

Now it was time to move there, find jobs, and figure it out.  And this is when things got real.  Or rather, when we really began digging deep and figuring out what we really want out of this short time we have in this beautiful, ragged world.  We spent several months in Western Massachusetts trying to figure it out – half of which was spent in an artist’s unfinished, musty basement that leaked when it rained.  If that wasn’t motivation to figure something out, I don’t know what would be.

We figured out a lot.  We realized that we didn’t just want to find any job, we wanted to do something that was meaningful and that we were good at.  And I wanted to stay home for a few years until the little guy is in school.  And so we began anew on a journey for Alan to focus on his talents and his passions.  And so, the last year has found us bouncing around from place to place while we figure things out and while Alan completes coursework and studies to pass a certification exam for his new career.

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life.  Which, when I look at it in perspective, means that I’ve been an inordinately lucky lady.  Yes, the past year has seen more than my fair share of tears.  It has been hard to not have a home for so long.  It has been hard to feel unmoored and to deal with drama that is unnecessary and defeating.  But we have our health, we have each other, we have amazing people in our lives, and we have learned more about ourselves than we ever would have if we had not decided to jump into certain adventure.  But the challenges have made it difficult to share openly on this blog, which is why posts for the past year have been sparse.  I’ve been struggling with what to share and what to keep close.  By not sharing, I realize that I have become guilty of airbrushing this nomadic lifestyle. And so, with renewed attention, I plan to begin sharing again.

We have decisions to be made over this next month or so.  Big decisions.  Decisions that will hopefully allow me to announce that we found a place to call our (for now) home.  And I have so many plans.  Plans for us, for the little guy, and for continuing to share our adventures as we gulp down the moonlight.  Bear with me as I dip back into the blogging world and try to wipe off any veneers of perfection.


7 thoughts on “Nomads in Search of a Home

  1. I love you and Alan and Van so very much and I am so proud of your travels. Wherever you do choose to settle, those neighbors will be the lucky ones. Give Van a hug and kiss from Gran. I love you.
    Love, Mom

  2. Hey Stacey,
    I really love to read your posts. I’m so glad to hear that you are following your heart.
    Please keep writing your posts good an bad, that helps everyone in the world.
    Maybe it’s heart to find your new home because you always have your home with you.
    To have 2 men that love you unconditionally, it’s the best thing ever.
    And if this place doesn’t turn out what you wanted you can always move again.
    Europe is reaaly cool…

    • It’s so good to hear from you, Saskia! And you’re absolutely right. We can pick a place for now and make a change if it doesn’t feel right. One day I hope to do something similar to this in Europe. You’ll be first on my list of people to come and visit. But hopefully I’ll see you before then – It’s been way too long!

  3. Stacey, what an incredible journey! Many of us wonder if the grass is greener elsewhere, and I think it’s amazing that you took action and decided on a family adventure (which you can only do when your kids are young!). I applaud your choice. I’m sure your gut is leading you in the right direction, even when it seems like you haven’t accomplished what you set out to, and in the long run you’ll be better off for it…

    Also–as someone who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but sometimes fantasizes about moving, I loved reading and living vicariously through you, if only for a few minutes… Thanks for posting! 🙂

    • Thanks, Traci! I’m so happy to know that our journey has resonated with others. And yes, yes, yes about wondering if the grass is greener. Such a great point – and now I have a new post brewing in my mind about this point.

      Following my gut has helped me to make my most important decisions. I’ll continue to heed its call.

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