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.