One year ago today, perhaps one year ago this moment, I looked up from my tea and said, “It sure would be cheaper to live if we didn’t have a house to take care of.” And the other responsible mature adult in the family, rather than laughing at my insanity or rolling her eyes at my immaturity, looked down at her tea and said, “We can’t leave today, but we could go for a nice long drive and talk about it.”
One year later we’ve realized that we’re barely getting started. There’s so much to see and do. We’ve certainly seen and done a lot already. But just counting the predominantly English-speaking portions of North America we have passed through only 21/63 of the states, provinces and territories (which you mathematicians know can be reduced to 1/3; hey, we’re homeschoolers, we’re always teaching.) And that doesn’t even acknowledge the original goal of sharing a meal in each state, province and territory. That probably requires a complete recount which may reduce the number significantly.
Another Year—At Least
One year from now we hope to be 63 for 63.
That’s going to take planning and occasionally pushing just a little. So far we’ve let our travels take us wherever there was a place to go. During the coming year we might make choices instead of drifting on the wind.
It does not yet feel like work. We don’t feel unstable. As the bumper sticker in Taos New Mexico said, ‘all who wander are not lost.’ We wander, but not lost.
Not Settling Down
We’ve talked about moving our World HQ from Northern California to the frigid wasteland of Wisconsin in order to be close to my mom as much as possible. We’ve taken a few preliminary steps but it’s nothing like settling down.
That process though raised thoughts of settling down. We realized as we drove and talked that we no longer need to travel. Now we want to travel. We’re not sure we’ve seen any change in our finances. What we have seen is a great long list of changes in us.
Lessons. Friends. Wealth.
After knowing each other nearly four decades we’ve managed to learn new things about each other during the past year, even during the past month. Sue has developed greater faith that things will work out, that we will sleep indoors, eat regularly and have the things we need for our simple life. I’ve developed greater faith that I can advance confidently in the direction of my dreams. Our little one has learned that not all heights are dangerous and that outside is better than inside.
We’ve made dozens of connections and half a dozen lifelong friends. We’ve realized the power of asking and the nearly universal presence of generosity and kindness.
There are still challenges almost every day. Being a nomad doesn’t mean leaving challenges behind. It means doing battle with the challenges on our own terms. We have learned to measure our wealth not in dollars but in time spent doing what we choose.
We are rich beyond belief.