One year has passed since we first left our home town. We have spent roughly half of it on the road. We had time off in Gettysburg (10 days), about a month in Port Orange, Florida, another 3 weeks in Albany, Georgia after the Twister, and 4 months parked back in our Home town of Brooklin, Ontario.
I think as new full time travellers it was essential to both Cynthia and I that we did take those breaks at certain times. It made it easier to long for the road again.
So how has it been for me this past year?
Well, I see no end in sight just yet. We’ve done one US leg, and one Canadian leg (each leg is 6 months), and I’m not aching to settle down. Quite to the contrary, I’m excited to move on. Maybe that is because we’ve spent the last 4 months parked in one place, a familiar place only minutes from our old home.
Last week was the first time we moved the trailer. We shifted to our friends property 2 hours from where we used to live and all the feeling of being back on the road came to me. Good feelings of exploring, but also some bad feeling of uncertainty that accompanies rouge travel, like the where and how. Even though we knew where our friends lived, parking on the lot would be a challenge. All the hooks ups had to sorted out as well. These were the things I got used to eventually when on the road, but now they seemed new again.
We will be parked here till November, at which time we are going to visit Hawaii for 6 months, leaving the trailer and truck parked somewhere safe. We don’t know where just yet, but that will be another 6 months of not trailer-travelling. I’m sure when we return we’ll be hankering to get on the road again.
If you read some of my older blogs you will have learned about the challenges I encountered early on in our journey, like being the kids all the time, losing my identity and rebuilding it in these new circumstance, something that could be very positive. Cynthia says I am more involved as a father and I seek my hobbies and interests less and less over things we can all do together. I have a lot more work to do to get the right balance here but I have come to some important revelations along the way.
I realized that it’s hard for me to know what I’m supposed to be doing once this journey is over in regards to job/career. I’ve been in multimedia for a couple of decades and it defined me and my work. I had to drop my main client when I left for this journey but I retained a smaller one to keep some income, but I was mostly living off savings we had for this journey. There was a problem though. Although I had severed the lines that bound me to this vocation I found little purpose and satisfaction in, this one small client was a safety line that was not cut. This little line, although seen as a safe bet, ended up preventing me from moving on to the open seas to discover something new. The client was too small to bring in any significant monetary benefit while it’s pull to the counter was strongly felt each time a project request was made. It was a chore to me, there was no love in it, my work was not the best it could be, so I passed the client onto a friend after my return to home soil. The last thread was severed and I am no longer a multimedia man. I felt free from definition. It was a good move so far.
Since I started this journey I have thought about what I may end up doing for a job when all the travelling is done. I have always had an interest in the outdoors and equipment for hiking, camping, personal road trips, etc. I have a good size arsenal of gear and am always looking at new ways to lighten or improve my kit. I started taking some audioless videos of the gear I own, imagining a voiceover I would do to explain why it was good. I did this at the many beautiful, natural places we visited because I thought that maybe I would vlog about these things on my own outdoor channel and it would lead into making my own gear one day, and I didn’t want to waste these outdoor locations I was already visiting. I thought that if the good Lord said to me “I want you to do this” then it would be great to already have the shots. I collected hundreds of clips over the last year but most of them at the expense of spending time with my family enjoying those beautiful locations fully, or by getting frustrated when the time was limited to get my shots or things were not going my way. When parked at my friends for the last 4 months I was making such a video and my frustration boiled over for whatever reason. I started thinking about how long it would take to make these videos and edit them in the end, and that turned me right off. It seemed wrong. It seemed like I was trying to take the reins from God on this. What started off as a few clips and a “maybe I’ll do this” turned into a full blown commitment I wasn’t willing to make, yet I was stressed like I already made it. It would be something that would swallow my time from my family and cloud my mind from discovery. I planned on editing the footage in Hawaii. The though made me cringe. I would waste Hawaii indoors editing? I made the decision to stop taking the clips and stored the files away. It felt right, I felt back on on track, and I learned that I have an anger issue.
I discovered long ago that frustration and anger usually come from something I am not getting. It can be unrelated to the moment of anger but walking around with this sense that I am being let down or something is unfair or a sense of entitlement to one thing or another moves me to react angrily with those around me. I have to change this. I must work actively on it and pray for a change to my heart. I wasn’t always like this but I had it in me for decades. It reared it’s ugly head a few times. My parents seemed like angry people to me and I didn’t want that in myself, but it was there, loud and clear.
What am I not getting that makes me so angry? I’m not sure, but this uncertainty in my life currently doesn’t help. But that is life, It is uncertain for everyone. I believe a great portion of this journey will be to learn to avoid anger in tough and uncertain situations.
This leads me to my final thoughts for this post: refocusing myself on God. I honestly thought I would drift closer to God as I figured some things out on this journey but that didn’t really happen. I got lazy, I stopped studying His Word, I made compromised, and I lead myself.
It’s funny buy I just noticed the slogan we chose for this blog “We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps” Psalm 16:9. It sounds so great for a family wanting to be led by God as they travel, but to live it out is extremely difficult, I found. I need to restore my commitment to that verse and let the Lord actually determine the steps I take, no matter what plans I make. Perhaps stopping the the vlog clips were a part of doing that. Either way, He must come first, He must be the object of my affections and He must lead me to new pastures from which I am to drink. I must stop trying to control what I clearly cannot.
I am currently writing this from my mom’s cottage up in Manitoulin Island. We are with her for a month or so. I’m hoping to get some time to reflect up here and do some good reading. A good detox of all sorts would benefit me greatly.