After my latest post about materialism vs experiences I´ve of course managed to lose one of my best shoes and then break my expensive and highly loved camera lens. Maybe someone thought that I was a bit too sacred in my sayings and wanted to test me for my veracity? Well, I´ve lost some stuff on the way through the US, that´s for sure.
To be really honest I managed to lose two pair of shoes (really nice ones), one credit card (which I miraculously got back 4 weeks later) and one t-shirt – besides breaking my several hundred dollar worth camera lens during this trip. Now, those who already know me might be laughing a bit already. Let´s say, that this is not the first time in my life that I left something behind. For a person who like to make the impression that I´m always on top it is a bit embarrassing to admit that I am pretty clumsy. I put stuff in the weirdest spots and I suffer from sudden amnesia, where I have no idea that I lost them, nor the less how the things ended up where they did.
One pair of my shoes I left in a parking lot in Vegas and the other ones probably flew off the roof of our Van somewhere on the way from Moab in Utah to Boulder, Colorado. To my defense (except admitting that I have clumsy genes) I can easily say that my mind is pretty scattered from having to move around with two little kids, pack and unpack and then repack again for three months. There´s simply no room for everything in my mind. At least I only manage to throw away my own stuff. Which might be the typical situation for a mom, always looking out for others but forgetting their own stuff.
Now, with only a few days left on our trip I am not the only one who is tired. Everyone is more or less edgy, have close to tears and talk in a bit too loud voice all the time. Maybe it would have been different if we would have known that we were going to go on for another three months but at the moment it feels like our energy for new things is pretty leached. We left Broni in Denver on Tuesday and took a flight to Los Angeles. Here we went up the coast to Oxnard to spend our last five days in an Airbnb by the lovely Pacific Ocean. After having spent the last month in a campervan without toilet or shower we are amazed to discover that we here have TWO toilets, one shower and even a washing machine in our flat. All this luxury, it is crazy! It´s good that we have these days in a normal apartment to acclimatize to normal living before we go home. Otherwise it will be a culture shock to get home to our 135 square meter house, I´m telling you ;-).
So, how does it feels to go home? This is a question we´ve gotten from a lot of people during the last couple of days. I´ve always have problems with the grand finale. Books, movies or endpoints in real life. It has this melancholic ring to it. Something that you´ve been a part of for a while, which has meant a lot to you emotionally, is suddenly closing the door on you.
On one hand change is for me something necessary in life and something that I look upon with anticipation. I love new beginnings, meeting new people, learning new things and starting new chapters. Chapters that bring possibilities and open doors to unknown destinations. But as much as I love to not know where I am going I dread the feeling of closing a door behind me. I´m scared of losing all of the good feelings that my experiences have brought me. And all the good intentions we´ve created on the way. Memories will last you a life time they say right, but is that really true? I´ve had so many memories fading on me and get fuzzy over the years. Memories are sweet, but the real benefit is the capacity to hold on to and pursue the learnings you´ve done together. If you do that the memories will come along.
When we landed the idea of being three months on the road with our little family we had no idea how we would feel about traveling so long, and far away, together. What if it would be a disaster? What if we would realize that we couldn’t cope with all the practical issues on the way or what if the children would cry and be homesick every day. As you´ve probably understood by following this blog, none of our misgivings about this trip ended up being true. Yes, some days has been a real challenge and we´ve all come to our limits several times during these past months. This has been hard and on the other hand it has made us understand our limits better and try to work out a way around them together.
I´m not saying that we as a family have got it all figured out by now, haha, I wish! We have so much stuff to deal with together every day. And my flaws are so much more obvious after this trip. I know that I need to be better at keeping my calm and not become angry at the children. Whenever I raise my voice I damn myself that I lost my temper once again. I know that kids don’t mean harm when they are not listening to what I say. And I know that you can´t treat and expect the same things from them as from grown ups, because they are not. But it is so hard to convert theory into common practice. And it doesn´t get easier on a trip like this, when you have so little own time to recover and charge your batteries. But at least I want to believe that I got a little bit more aware of myself and my own mechanisms.
So, what happens now with the blog as we leave our adventure in the States? I´ve thought a bit about it during the past weeks. A natural thing would maybe be to take a break or close it down, since our actual travel adventure is soon to be over (for now). But, in my mind our real journey has just begun. The purpose with this trip was to make a fresh start, experience a different family life style and, in the end, build a life that suits us. And this with all our scattered roots and our love for exploring in mind. How we will pursue this after returning to our home in Sweden is still an open road. And this is what I will continue blogging about when we get back. How can we unite our will to go for long travels with our daily lives? What will be our next steps in our careers having quit our jobs before going on this journey? What fears and possibilities lies in the decision to quit something without knowing your next step? Is it possible to do this during a very busy and demanding part of your life with small kids? Stay tuned and find out.
I want to send a big thank you to all of you who have followed us during our three months long journey overseas. Thank you for all your support and encouraging words on the way. It has meant a lot to know that you´ve had our backs and that we might have inspired one or two or maybe even scared off some off you with our experiences ;-).
You are very welcome to stay tuned for part two in the story of the four backpacks and a teddybear.