On How I Really Feel

I'm longing for October. The October I've always known, where leaves begin to crunch underfoot and I pad across the cold hardwood floor to the kettle, and with a flick of my wrist the flame appears. I miss the patter of raindrops on the window as the breeze ushers in a crisper air. I find myself dreaming of the known, although the thought of returning to Kentucky fills me with dread. Instead, I am longing for home, home somewhere - a home I've never known physically, but in my heart I know every bit of it, every street, every line of our residence, the way it should feel and smell and how a roast in the oven would fill the rooms with a savory warmth. I've loved the beauty of travel these last five months...but if I'm being truly honest with myself and all of you: I'm not cut out for this, yet I am grateful for the time spent out here, even if short. The knowledge that we worked so hard to get here was making me feel guilty...guilty for what, I'm not sure. I'm afraid that...in posting this, of sharing my truth...of what that may mean to all of you out there. I shared our story, our desire to travel - a desire that was so strong we sold everything we owned - our house, our cars, most all of our possessions...and now, now I'm saying that I don't want this? That I don't want it at all. I'm terrified to share this, but I need to. I'm honest, right? That's who I am, it's what I do. There are things I'm ready to start working toward. Some of those I've started from the road, others will take some settling down to sort through.

We attribute much to Alaska. We went there spontaneously, deciding one morning over coffee in Portland that we wanted to make the crazy drive up, and we are so thankful that we did...on the return trip, we listened to the same album by Ben Sollee over and over, stared out the windows at the unbelievable scenery before us, and talked...and talked...and talked. We felt changed somehow. Changed by the beauty we'd witnessed, and yet...despite all that we'd seen and the incredulous wonder that it was always there for us, waiting for us - we talked about our goals for the future, none of which included traveling. We talked about creative careers, finances, having more children, educational goals for ourselves and our daughter, and how travel would fit into a normal life, not how normal life would fit into traveling. This was truly awakening for us - we'd seen the transformative power of natural beauty, yet instead of wanting more of it, we found that we were longing for normalcy. Familiarity. Daily showers and a grocery store that we know like the backs of our hands.

I've struggled in sharing these things with you all - I wanted to save face. We never expected that so many people would be interested in what we are doing, yet we've found that people are. To admit that this isn't right for me, for us, for our family - is feeling very much like I'm failing everyone out there who has written in, saying how inspired they've been. How they've started working toward their own goals and dreams because of what we did - yet I realized something very important this morning. We did do this. We worked tirelessly for a year and half to reach our traveling goal. We renovated our Airstream and did it well. We sold our house. We did sell everything we owned. We did leave a life in Kentucky that was making us both so terribly sad - a life without close relationships, jobs that drained us, a place where we were barely tolerated, let alone accepted. We got out. We get to start fresh. We did travel. We may still - we may finish out the year. Perhaps we won't. I believe firmly that if we hadn't worked for this, hadn't done this at all - we'd still be in Kentucky, miserably hoping that something would change - yet instead, we made change happen.

So here we are, sitting in one spot and letting five months of travel catch up with us...the emotions have been thick for me, crashing into me with a startling clarity. I am looking forward now, working toward what's next - ready for the next phase. I am ready for so much. I miss so much. I am open to all of the beautiful possibility before us - the beauty of starting fresh, of having nothing waiting for us to return to, of having little - gives us the gift of new, of a life that can be whatever we want it to be. It gives me hope - I came from nothing and I can, with hard work and my wife and daughter by my side, have everything I need and want...and if nothing else, we drove to Alaska and back and saw the kind of beauty that takes your breath away. The kind of beauty that makes you cry at the sight of it.