Gratitude. My attitude about gratitude is different now. It’s for different things and in different degrees of magnitude. I used to think I was grateful before, but I seem to reflect on it more now. Or maybe I just feel it more intrinsically. Not just for the amazing opportunity we have to not work for a while, but our life on the road this past year gave us simple pleasures that brought me joy. On many an evening we swam in oceans and rivers and lakes until dark. We practiced yoga together often, and in such unexpected and beautiful places. We coexisted with animals all the time. We dodged them on the roads, camped under their trees and in their pastures, we fed the starving ones and observed the exotic ones in their natural habitat. We started every morning with the slow ritual of French press coffee that for some reason I believed took too much time at home. We met amazing people and took the time to get to know their story. We struggled through really low points – together. Our days unfolded unexpectedly, and we often didn’t know where they would end.
The ever-present, low grade and sometimes crippling stress John and I lived under the year before we left is gone. For that I’m extremely grateful. We traveled back to the San Francsico Bay Area for the holidays, and our three weeks zipped by in a flurry of appointments, errands, parties, and visits with friends & family. When we are back, my appreciation for little luxuries like sushi, long hot showers, and yes English, is heightened. Our time spent with friends and family is more treasured now. We squeeeeeze in every moment we can with those we love. The saying goes, "live every day like it’s your last" and when we only have a few weeks with friends and family we sort of do that. We exhaust ourselves seeing people every day and night when we are home because we don’t know when we’ll see them again.
(most of these photos are poor quality - either the fault of the device used or the holiday cheer in the person using the device)
Our trip home gave us some clarity too. We are in between renters, so we stayed in our house and that was weird. The first night in our old bed was familiar and strange at the same time. It was our house but we didn’t live there any more. After a few days we slipped into old habits and felt that old frenetic energy come back. And we didn’t like it. It brought back the same feelings that precipitated our move into the camper. So we made the decision to sell the house at some point down the road. We aren't sure when but it now feels too big , too much work, and just not right anymore. We plan to look for a more simple “back to the land” kind of life when we return. Who knows what that will look like, but it feels good to have some resolution. It's a little sad but it feels like the right decision.
As we close out 2015, we say goodbye to Central America and an incredible year on the move. Here are snippets of random video stiched together, taken mostly from the view through our windshield, of our 2015 road life. We are excited (and grateful!) to get back to our rig and continue our exploration of South America.
I hear a voice calling Calling out for me These shackles I've made in an attempt to be free Be it for reason, be it for love I won't take the easy road
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on