Monday, May 12, 2014

On Traveling light

"What do you pack to pursue a dream and what do you leave behind?"
That my friend is the big question...and I don't have the complete answer today. 
One thing we have learned in this short amount of time is...
don't take anything with you that you cannot carry yourself! lol
We have now taken this to heart, literally. 

a few backpacks, cameras, personal items, and only one carry on rolling luggage each...that's it. 
oh and 2 cats, lol.
If you are going to pursue an cannot take your heavy baggage with you. Period. You have to let it all go...and that means mental as well as physical.
For many years we lived the perfect American Dream of owning a large home...but really the house owned us. We have never been ones to have a lot of stuff and sometimes people would visit our home and be surprised how very little we had accumulated. I never liked clutter anyway and with my poor memory I couldn't be left searching for the "pink electric bill" lost somewhere on the years ago I organized and paired everything way way down. This indeed prepared us for our minimal lifestyle and I mean minimal, but much more had to go. Everything we carry with us fits in our jeep. If it does not fit, we can't take it with us. That is just the truth of the matter. So, once the house sold, we released most of our worldly stuff through garage sales, Ebay and Craigslist and honestly, it felt good. I then dispersed personal keepsakes items to my kids, packed sentimental items up and rented a very small storage for the time being,(I just couldn't part with my printed pictures and some handmade gifts). We blessed so many people during those days and we in turn were blessed with a lighter load...physically and mentally.  The rest of it, I shredded and threw away...I will never forget sitting on the edge of the bed with the shredder and trashcan...shredding a lifetime of negative correspondence, meaningless bill receipts and threatening paperwork. As I released each box I saw our past painful life vanish...and with it the sadness associated with our failed hopes and dreams disappeared, too. It felt so good, really good. I felt a peace that I had not felt in years, wow! My only question now...what took us so long? 
Now we can pack just the necessities of life.
What is necessary? honestly...What do I really need? Very Very little, my friends. The longer we are on the road, the less we carry...the less we find we need. 

When we originally left Deer Park, in Sept 2013, we had a car top carrier. However since living on the lam we have reduced down even more to the barest of necessities. 
So, there's no need for it anymore. 

It's tight, I admit. But we are talking about a 2008 jeep patriot.

One cat sits next to Spencer and one is in the black mesh carrier in his lap! 

The rest is in the back. 
The longer we travel and unload and reload...our baggage gets smaller and lighter. As we let go of more stuff, we are changed for the better. As time goes on we are getting better at this travel gig. 
 The future is still an uncharted place for and exciting and scary.  We have new hopes and dreams of where we will travel with Steve's career as a nurse, but what do I pack for this new life, a life I know nothing about? As we travel more our physical needs change frequently according to location and climate and I have new needs that my past life didn't require. So what about the mental side to the whole thing?  This life challenges us like nothing we have ever experienced before...I have to empty my mental luggage frequently and make room for the good stuff like faith, compassion, love, patience, kindness, wisdom, even laughter. There's nothing to hide behind now... everyday reveals a new layer of ourselves...and we are still so vulnerable and seemingly lost at times as we adapt to new housing, eat weird food and just live among strangers, but on the flip side, our spiritual vision is becoming clearer every day. In these fleeting moments, as we are forced to face our fears, we seek God's guidance, we learn, we grow.  Life still sends us hard days and instead of reaching for the checkbook to fix a 1st world problem...we reach for our bible. We are still in the letting go stage...we still need to rid ourselves of more baggage...physical and mental. Therefore we pray like never before, we seek God's guidance and we live according to his will each day,
and we travel light. 

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