Reflections from the Road – Episode 2
We are wrapping up our last of four weeks in Coos Bay, Oregon, and feeling refreshed and ready for the road ahead.
I am deep in the throws of planning our fall adventures. Cary and I went back and forth on two options: 1) Stay in the West and enjoy our travels at a slower pace, or 2) head cross-country to the Northeast for the Fall. To be honest, we were divided on this one. After some thorough research and hot debate, we decided on the Northeast. Where specifically? We have a few more details to confirm in our plans, but it’s looking like it’ll be an incredible adventure!
But before we drive 3,500 miles to finish up our year-long journey, back to our reflections from life on the road.
The truth is that we’ve learned a ton in the past eight months.
There are too many of these smaller lessons to list here. The bigger lessons though, they seem to teach themselves over time. Little by little, they sink into our bones and become part of the way we see the world.
Living with Less
Prior to making a 35-foot fifth-wheel our home, we owned a cozy 860 square-foot, two bedroom, one bath home in Nashville, TN. We spent 4 great years in the Historic Belmont neighborhood with parks, restaurants, and coffee shops all within walking distance. Because we had a small space, we tried to keep the amount of things we acquired to a minimum.
For me, removing unnecessary “possessions” is like dusting the cobwebs from my psyche. It clears space for the present. I find myself enjoying today instead of thinking about what I want to get in the not-so-distant future. I’ve discovered the space to live in the now. There is a power that comes in saying “No, I don’t need that.”
I look back and see how much my choices were (and still are in some ways) influenced by societal pressures and marketing shenanigans. The desire to quench that insatiable thirst for more is a real bugger. I’m grateful for the awareness and ability to identify when it rears its ugly head. I’m sick and tired of it robbing me of the ability to revel in the now by instilling an obsession with things or the anticipated happiness of an unpromised future. I’m hoping, no matter what lifestyle we choose to live going forward, that I do not forget the power in living with less.
Now, if I could just crush the monster that makes me feel like ALL my dreams would come true if I had an Oru Kayak. Ugh… it’s relentless! Ha!
This one is a battle in progress. Let me give you a couple of examples of what this one looks like:
Desire: Selling our house, living on the road for a year sounds invigorating, challenging, and dreamy.
Mental Limitation: Have you lost your mind? Why in the world would you sell your house–an investment that is skyrocketing in value. And live in a camper? That’s ludicrous! Are you even sure you have what it takes to live on the road for a year? What if you fail? What if this idyllic dream you have isn’t doable? You will have to quit and come home. And you’ll no longer have a home!
Desire: Making an income working remotely would be an excellent way to support the lifestyle we desire.
Mental Limitation: Who are you kidding? Only folks with specific skill sets have this luxury, and surprise, your skill set isn’t one of them. Now that you mention it, what exactly is your skill set? You might want to figure it out, because you are way too old to begin learning a new career.
Can you relate? Do you have these battles or is it just me? The ones where you tear yourself down or dismiss ideas due to your false mental constructs and/or beliefs. These limitations are far too often accepted as the norm and even truth. In reality, they snuff the tiniest spark of possibility before it even has a chance to burn inside of you.
One of my biggest limitations is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of heights. Fear of the unknown. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of sticking my hand down in a murky hole in the sand. Fear is real. However, I believe our ability to face those fears is more powerful than we often believe. Facing some of my fears, specifically over the last eight months has shed a new light on life.
“Can you imagine the power we have within us? I’m not talking about physical power, but mental power. I live these extreme situations with such fascination for our being, body and spirit. Each of us has, at the base a perfect machine, capable of so many things. Let’s not limit ourselves! Let’s go on an adventure to find the unexplored regions, right here inside us – we, ourselves are a destination of choice!” – Sarah Marquis, Wild by Nature