Here it is…the end of the year. We spent most of the year on the road, living in our 80 square foot travel trailer hitched up to our trusty and dusty old Tundra with three cats in tow. It was INCREDIBLE. It was everything I ever dreamed and so much more. The more part was the part I didn’t expect, how difficult all of that would become and how changed I am for it. We lived in mountains, deserts, near rivers and lakes…we saw deer, elk, grizzly and mountain goat, we met friend after friend and not a single foe. We grew and loved and never felt more like a family of our own out there on the road.
For me, this season is the end and the beginning of big chapters in my life. I feel rushed as usual to put together some sort of nostalgic recap of everything I’ve done or seen this year and that just couldn’t be possible. My journal pages are filled with the bitter and sweet details but I’ll spare readers the time. We left Ohio on December 28 for a full year of travel. We ended up driving back and forth 6 times. We spent time in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Northern Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota….too many amazing places and experiences to even try to calculate. So, this is it, the haphazard, out of order, thrown together photo recap of one of the most amazing and simultaneously difficult years of my life. Much like life itself which I find to be haphazard, out of order most of the time and thrown together on the daily.
2019 brought us loss and heart ache, it brought tears of joy and endless adventure. It brought me to my knees more times that I’d like to recount but it also took me to more mountain tops and cliff edges than any other year prior. I’m sad to see it go but also glad it’s over. The turn of the decade seems like it should be a big deal but I just feel ready for the beginning of this new chapter. The last few months have been a whirlwood of long-in-the-works changes. We are settled into a new home base, not living full time on the road or in a camper anymore and it feels refreshing. Our travel plans are few and far between but they’re still plans and that’s all that matters right now. We found a way to live the life we want in the way that we want. We did it. The road life chapter came to an unintentionally abrupt end at the end of our wedding season and it’s probably for the best. We didn’t simmer in the sauce. We just let things go and moved on. Of course, it’s bittersweet but we’re doing what’s best for us. In the end, we did the thing we set out to do. We did it (the hard way) for almost 4 years and we gave it ALL. WE. HAD. But, if I’m being honest, we could have kept going and continued giving it more than all we had and we’d have come out the other end beaten and battered and incredibly bitter because of it. I’m glad we didn’t choose that…this time.
In thinking about the new year, I wanted to give 2020 a word, a mantra. It’s a toss up between ‘nourish’, ‘cultivate’, and ‘breathe’. I think all are timely notions as to what this changing decade signifies for many of us road travelers and millennials alike. This is our time. This is the season to focus on our hearts and our own needs, our goals and what brings us joy…and damn it, we’re doing it!
Happy New Year, ya’ll!