We have now been traveling for four weeks, so I thought it would be a good chance to write a bit about how we are all doing. I have to say, so far this trip has given me more than I ever dreamed of. I feel a peace in me that I haven’t felt for a long time. Of course, there is bickering among the girls, and Steffen and I lose our temper too often, but that happens at home, too. Being on the road, figuring things out together, finding “home” together both in the camper and in new locations, it just feels right. There is a calm that comes over me when I look around and see all of us together in the camper, playing games, reading, doing school work, eating all our meals together. Or off on an adventure together, laughing, exploring, learning. It really feels like a precious gift.
A friend asked the other day if it is hard to enjoy our current place because of the anticipation of what’s to come and it made me pause. In previous trips, I have definitely felt that way, always looking to what’s next. Actually, in all aspects of life. I’m a planner; I guess you would say I enjoy having control but after a lot of reflection and therapy the last 8+ months, I think that desire to control was much deeper and developed out of difficult living situations. I’m actually loving not having a clear plan and no places booked ahead of time. I feel free and relaxed (most of the time). I find myself really enjoying the places we are, soaking it in, and then being excited about the next place we decide to go, wherever and whenever that may be. I do have to stop myself from getting sad that one day it will be over, but we are just at the beginning so that is a ways off.
The girls are also enjoying it, for the most part. Of course there is bickering, and sometimes the long days in the car can wear on them, but I’m so proud of them. They are getting closer, learning how to solve problems together (both solving problems amongst themselves and solving problems that arise). They are sharing some incredible experiences together as well as sharing some homesickness (Olivia is especially missing her friends, as she did when we sheltered-in-place for the coronavirus), which is definitely bringing them together. They used to go to school all day and then go to various after school activities or friends’ houses, meaning that during the week they didn’t spend a lot of time together. We have always been a close family (and they have all shared a room for a few years), so it’s not totally foreign, but I do think it’s bringing their relationship to the next level, which brings me a lot of happiness.