My heart is full. A 3,000 mile tent camping road trip with a 3 year old and a 1 year old may sound like hell to some, but it put me back in my happy place. For the hubby and I it felt like we had been on a hamster wheel for a year. New baby, new town, work, school, apartment living. This is extremely difficult for two people that have hiked across the country a couple times and tasted freedom in every sense of the word. We knew something had to give and we had to find a way to get back out there and do the things that make us happy. We seriously considered selling everything, buying a cargo van and hitting the road for good! We decided to first pack up the truck and immerse ourselves and our kids in the outdoors for a bit.
So for one month we have lived out of our truck, traveling 3,000 miles through Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. A destination wedding took us to Colorado, we just decided to take a long time to get there and a long time to return to our box of an apartment.
I am still processing it all. We’ve been asked numerous times, “So have you found a place in your travels that you want to land next?” I stumble over words for a “correct” response. No. All this trip has done for us is open a million doors and has been completely freeing! It makes us want to live a life without walls. We just spent a month watching our kids adjust to living outside 24-7 and they thrived. We went to bed when we were tired and woke when rested. Eric taught Lukas (almost 3) to gather wood and built and tend to a fire and he was amazing at it! We saw the Strawberry Moon come up over the horizon as we sat in awe and roasted marshmallows. Lukas fed ants to antlions, we watched a spider tend to her eggs, went fishing, watched storms roll in, ate ice that fell from the sky as tiny hail balls bounced off of us, identified flowers, made mud pies…the list goes on.
Our days were full, some were completely exhausting, there were toddler meltdowns, teething, a few sick days and a times when we all ended up sleeping on a queens size air mattress. There was a lot of laughter. Mostly there was this feeling that we were nailing it as parents! haha. Our kids weren’t cozy and comfortable 100% of the time. There was weather and mosquitoes and elements that we all had to adjust to. Lukas learned to dig his own hole to poop in and Lilah ate her fair share of mud and rocks.
I would wake in the morning to the sounds of the woods and for the first time in what feels like forever my soul was completely alive. I felt a new appreciation for all of it and we got to experience even the most basic things through the curious eyes of our children.
We are back in our apartment now. I wouldn’t say it feels like home. We felt at home when we were “out there”. So what now? I don’t know. We’ve always lived a little differently than most. Sometimes we need roots and sometimes wings. Right now the wings seem to be taking over. Stay tuned.