We said our last “See you later’s” to the Conscious Caravan on Monday. After traveling together for the better part of this year, it’s time for us to go our own way.
Let me back up.
If you remember we started traveling with this band of wild nomads back in March after first connecting in January. It was a serendipitous connection of many dots that brought us together and met the needs of our family in such deep and meaningful ways.
Mostly, it was a traveling village…actually dubbed “The Village” between us. It was friends, a network of support and a lot of love. Some split off in the spring to head up further north for the summer, but even then they were in our hearts. The rest of us traveled up the coast and into Maine together.
I’m trying to find words that describe the experience – the love, the stretching, the learning, the trust, the fun, the growth – in all of us.
But I can’t.
So I’ll just skip ahead to now.
Right now, we’re visiting friends in Ithaca, NY. Angela and Clint and their kids spent several weeks here with us before they went out to Vermont on Monday to meet up with other members.
We made the choice to stay behind. Partially, we wanted to avoid going any further north this time of year. Partially, the truck needed some more work before we hit the road. Partially, we weren’t ready to leave Ithaca and wanted to squeeze one more week out of the fall here.
It didn’t hurt to say goodbye to Angela, who feels so much like my spirit sister. I wasn’t sad or worried. I felt comfortable, certain that it wasn’t goodbye. That it was just another “See you later down the road.”
Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet. Or maybe I’m just not afraid of losing her. Ever.
Now after several days, I think I can also say we stayed behind because we needed the space to transition into the next phase.
When Justin, Zeb, and I made the decision to hit the road (exactly three years this month!) we made the choice together. We talked together about the pros and cons, the needs we each had, what we wanted out of it, what our concerns were, how we would handle those things.
It was a cohesive decision between the three of us. Which felt good, knowing we were all heard and honored and on board together.
For the past few weeks Justin and I have been sorting out our new needs, how we’re feeling and what we desire for the future and have both been feeling the same thing:
We’re ready for roots again.
We’re ready to find a community we want to stay. We’re ready for library cards and local meetups and chickens and a full-size oven and fridge, for goodness sake. We’re ready for ground beneath our feet and a treehouse and cable internet.
We’re NOT ready to quit traveling completely, but we like the idea of snowbirds (traveling south for the cold months). And we like the idea of world travel with an official home base.
We have been mulling these things around in our head without talking to Zeb yet, until he came to us Wednesday night and asked if we could all talk.
What came out: he’s ready to stop traveling too.
(Damn, I love when we’re all on the same page at the same time!)
He wants more community (instead of warming up to people just as we or they leave again), and the ability to delve into his interests easier (computers, which requires more reliable internet than we can always find). He wants more space of his own.
He wants roots, just as we do.
So together we talked about our needs again, the things we’re ready for, and how we might make another transition.
And this is what we concluded with and what we sense we’ll be moving toward:
We are still heading to Florida and white sand beaches for the winter, because I miss Mama Ocean like whoa and we’re just not prepared to be anywhere colder. After that we’ll start making our way north again, coming back to Ithaca. We’ll be staying on our friends’ land, helping them build out their property, and exploring the area more. If we still feel drawn to the area come fall, we’ll try staying over the winter (to see if I can handle it and all).
Anything can change – and I’m sure something will – between now and then.
But after three years it feels like this is it.
Life on the road has changed us. It was the most amazing guru we could have had, allowing us to explore not just the country but our understanding of Life. It’s opened us up to possibilities for experiencing the world that have freed us, spiritually and otherwise.
And after all that – all the adventure, all the examination of ourselves, all the liberation we found – it’s nearing the time to take what we’ve gained and plant it somewhere, plant ourselves somewhere.
Life might show us another direction, but either way…all roads are leading home.