Making the descent into the unknown is a scary ride. We are currently working our way out of this wonderful home that has been our comfort for over 8 years. I love this house. It makes me feel good. But it has become clear that it no longer serves us. We were different people than when we moved in. We wanted to live in a neighbourhood so that our future children would be able to play with their classmates. We now homeschool our three little ones. We wanted a large property where we could grow our own vegetables and fruits, but not too big. It is no longer big enough to hold our vision. I hold such gratitude for the deep and meaningful ways this home has held us.
We recently returned from a three week ‘vacation’ to Florida, where we were trying our hand at a transient lifestyle. We thought we might be able to sell the house and hit the road for a while, becoming ‘roadschoolers.’ It was a fantastic trip and brought us a lot of clarity. Having a napping baby in the mix made it really difficult to do much, especially since our children don’t sleep in the car. What ended up happening is that she missed her naps for nearly the entire trip! This resulted in some undesirable behaviour, and really got us questioning this as a longer term solution.
Two days before the end of the trip, as Rob and I sat around the campfire together after putting the kids to bed, we reviewed the pros and cons of life in an Airstream. We could easily identify the challenges, since we were living them moment to moment. But the benefits were abundant as well. Living minimally was such a breath of fresh air! We have been trying to push into reducing our stuff for a really long time, so experiencing life with few belongings was refreshing and inspiring. It was so meaningful to take the children places to learn things first hand. They were able to experience so much more than is possible in one place…it was incredible. We tried not to do a lot of ‘attractions,’ but went to a Titanic exhibition and saw Winter the dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Even the day we hunted for seashells along the ocean shore was amazing for the children! They have grown in so many unexpected ways as a result of our travels.
By the end of the campfire conversation, we had decided that as difficult as it was to live this way, things would be different if we stayed in one place for much longer periods of time. Changing how often we moved ourselves would allow us to set better boundaries for the children, fall into a nap routine for the baby, find better food to eat in each location, and generally make it plausible to find enough creative solutions to make our dream into a reality.
That night after we went to bed, there was a huge rainstorm. We had been blessed with precipitation-free travels up until then, so sleeping through a rainstorm in the Airstream was a new experience for us all. The dream we had created the night before were swirling around like the puddles in the children’s bedroom! The trailer was leaking (badly) in several places and a mildew smell came to join the party. As much as we were ready to make the jump, the rain had made it clear that this was not the right time. Now that we’ve returned the trailer to the dealership and our lives to our version of routine, we have decided that traveling with thee children five and under is not ideal. It seems that our family isn’t quite old enough for this type of lifestyle…yet. We’ve filed this idea away for a few years down the road.
We did come home with clarity on a few other things as well. It became clear while away from our routines that things in our life were no longer serving us as we had assumed they were. We decided that in order to move forward, we needed to let go of the things that are no longer serving us. We need to cut the ropes which tether us to the shore. We identified that our mortgage/house and the number of hours that Rob is working outside the home needed attention. We have a beautiful vision of where we want to end up…living debt free on a rural property somewhere with gardens, fruit trees, livestock, and joy. The trouble has always been what steps we should take to get us there. So, we are cutting the tethers in order to take a first few uncomfortable steps toward something new. Toward the unknown. The house will be listed shortly. The hours of work are being negotiated. We would rather choose to make an uncomfortable change from a place of security than to wait for it to be imposed upon us. I also believe our finest human creativity is born of necessity. So it is with courage and determination that we begin to drift from this beautiful life we know and continue watching for shadows dancing upon the horizon to guide our journey.