Tim and I have been busy in England. Tim's been working on a podcast with his brother, and also planning his new business (announcement coming soon!). Because of this he's spent less time writing about our travels, and more time following other passions. Although Tim tends to do most of the writing I wanted to jump in with some thoughts.
We went to a barbecue party at a friends house a few weekends ago. Having last seen them over a year an a half ago, right at the start of our Abroad Life adventure they asked questions about our travels and it brought me back to the emotions I was experiencing when we last saw them.
We had just “jumped” into our trip, ready and uncertain for what the future had in store. We had rough plans that weren’t finalized.
Over the year our plans evolved into this:
Fall 2015: England, Switzerland, France, Portugal and Belgium.
Winter 2015: Maine, New Jersey, and Florida to visit family for the holidays.
Winter/Spring 2016: Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Summer 2016: Maine, then New Jersey, taking care of our pets while my own parents (current pet sitters) were traveling. Oh, and we bought a house.
Fall 2016: We moved into our new house in Maine, then got it set up for renters and ready for us to return this coming June.
Winter/Spring 2017: Based in England, with trips to Wales, Portugal, Italy, Malta, and Germany.
My headspace a year and a half ago was much different than now. Tim quitting his job as an architect to be a “stay at home” dad while we traveled the world. Me packing up our house frantically over three months so that it would be ready for tenants to move in. I had moments of being terrified and uncertain. This life change seemed so massive and daring, and open ended. It also felt freeing at the same time. Open with possibilities, and endless adventures. The freedom made my heart leap with excitement.
20 months later, with four weeks left of our travels, we have become accustomed to a lifestyle that is more fluid, learning lessons along the way. I again have conflicted emotions of excitement and terror of what our life will be when we return home.
I am excited to be going back to a new home, albeit one in need of renovations. I’m eager to get my hands dirty. I stay awake at night daydreaming about projects, and improvements; how I can change it, what I will prioritize.
I also worry that we will easily fall back into a routine of too much structure, where every weekend is planned and every moment is booked. Free time is spent doing hard labor on the house, and not enough time is spent laying in the meadows, watching the boats drift by and staring at the clouds.
I need to remind myself to leave our schedule open so that we can go places last minute. We want to enjoy our new community and not have every weekend filled with birthday parties, sports, and activities.
We have found a balance during our travels that suits our family right now, and ultimately we need to find a balance when we return home that works for us.
What I do know now is that if we mess up, changing our life won’t be as hard as it seemed two years ago. That decision was one of the best decisions we’ve made and I will be dreaming of our next trip the second my feet hit the ground.