How does it feel to be back home?
It feels good.
This is probably an unexpected answer from a vagabond like me. I got burned on the road, this is the short of it. We traveled ravenously, taking as much as we could take. The harder and the more challenging a destination was, the more alluring it seemed. Walking in Nepal for a month? Bring it on. India in the insane heat of summer? The hotter, the better! Bolivia on buses that are about to tumble into ravines? Heck yes. And then… I am blanking out… There was more, so much more, but it is all starting to blur together and I am not sure if I have dreamed it or lived it.
So yes, I wouldn’t call our travels a sustainable lifestyle.
What feeds our family right now is nestling in our little wooded retreat. Well, technically we are still not ‘home’ as we are camping underneath our house, which is still rented. We pop in and out between renters to clean, look around, touch things and sit on the couch trying to imagine us having the space to ourselves. 5 more nights and Kuba and I will have a ‘master bedroom’. Crazy! Even though camping has been just fine, I am excited to have a proper house, invite friends for dinner and line my intimidating collection of t-shirts on hangers.
As far as travel goes, these days I don’t experience lust looking at travel photos or glancing at the adventures of others. I feel satiated whereas before the trip I would feel physical pain reading stories of far away lands. Not any more. If you hand us free airplane tickets to anywhere we would politely refuse them. For now, we got travel out of our system and are perfectly content to find adventure in our backyard.
For B it has been making trails in our tiny forest with Henry, but more importantly taking the school bus every morning and navigating the world of a 7th grader. R goes to a new school too and has a whole new set of friends while embracing her old buddies as if they never parted. I get many questions about the kids’ transition back to school – it has been smooth, almost uneventful. They both love school and wake up every morning happy about the day ahead. As far as Kuba and I – we are finally embarking on a work collaboration together.
There is so much to be excited about these days ~
We can see our friends as often as we want to! Fall is about to come and the leaves will change from green to gold -pure magic. The air will soon be crisp and fresh, sweater times! Winter will bring snow, the first one for us in a long long time. We are surrounded by giant old trees, yet we can walk to everywhere. The sound of cicadas at night is like a lullaby. Our kids’ have plenty of friends who come over all the time to play. The neighborhood is full of amazing people who give the best hugs and are the best of cooks. We are happy to have our community back.
All that love around us makes the transition easier but we haven’t had time to process everything that has happened to us in the past year and a half. I am still in a daze. Some days I feel like the trip never happened. I flip through photos and I feel even more lost. It doesn’t help talking about our experiences, where do you begin? Not talking about it though makes me feel weightless and airy, as if a part of me is missing. When by myself I am drawn to silence. I can’t yet listen to podcasts and news. FB makes me irritable and doesn’t make much sense, there is so much noise there. The only thing that does make sense are moments spent in nature and with friends. I am even postponing starting work which is slowing piling up on me. Next week, I tell myself, I will shake my head, plant my feet on the ground and begin this new chapter of my life.
At the moment though I am satisfied to live in this state of in between. Not yet here but not anywhere else.