After 6 months on the road and a trip back to California, we are starting to feel it. A new perspective. We felt it when we landed at SFO. We marveled at how clean everything looked and we had a huge appreciation for strangers speaking English. We salivated at the organic restaurants (and a wine bar??) in an airport, and oh, the bathrooms. So clean..with toilet paper AND seats.
We see things a little differently here now. The traffic is orderly (no 3 abreast in 2 lanes), dogs are all on leashes (!), and grocery stores leave me in awe with so much goodness to choose from. The beauty of the Bay Area has come back to us. Little things like hiking our friends' dog in the Marin Headlands feels somehow more peaceful and scenic. We have a new appreciation for living here. Driving through Mexico for 6 months will do that. Before we left I felt rushed, frequently annoyed with the excess of Marin, and a feeling that the "to do's" would suffocate me. With 6 a month absence, life here seems appealing again. It's really nice here. Granted, we are here without the heavy obligations (work and family) we had before we left, so I'm sure that makes us feel lighter. Life in the States is easier but somehow so much more complicated too. We had to have big jobs to afford living here. Our life on the road is more difficult in some respects, but simple. Our only worry is where to get our basic needs met - food, water, a safe place to sleep. And of course, where to go. A break from the constant decisions we have to make every day has been nice. On the road sometimes I feel John and I are on an endless episode of The Amazing Race. But with our road life comes the anticipation and wonder of exploration. It's certainly not an easy life but we get to take one day at a time, and we love that.
We also have a new appreciation for our family and friends, and wish we could have seen many more of them. We came back sooner than anticipated for our nephew Matt's wedding - so pleased we were there with them for such a beautiful day. We went wine tasting with my parents. We spent many hours (over many drinks!) talking and laughing with friends. Being back felt strange but familar, sort of like we were trying on our old lives for a little while even though they didn't quite fit us anymore. It felt good. I think I have let go of some...stuff. I know John has. We are becoming a kinder, gentler version of our corporate selves. John says he finally got to enjoy where we lived without being perpetually exhausted. We extended our stay so he could enjoy it a little longer.
Wine tasting with the P's
Congrats, Matt & Jack! Hope we see you in Patagonia.
Sidenote: Photos with our friends were all taken after waaaaaaay too many cocktails and binge eating, so I'll spare us all the indiginity. John and I are still trying get back to normal.
Our definition of home has morphed. In the camper getting ready to come back we referred to Mill Valley as home, but as our flight to Cancun got closer we started calling the camper "home". Perhaps for now we can have both. Gratitude can be a fleeting concept. But as I sit on this plane headed back to Mexico to resume our life as nomads, it's all I can think about. Grateful to be able to have one foot in this beautiful place, and the other on a walkabout.