Just about a year ago, my husband Jeremy and I gave up having a static home. We did so for many reasons: to travel, to have more and varied experiences, to live lives that felt more exciting, and to get to know ourselves better. By those metrics, we’re succeeding, and we’re happier than we were when we were living in just one spot. Besides having a year’s worth of interesting and life changing experiences, we’re learned some valuable life lessons. Today I’m sharing my top three lessons learned from the last year (you’ll have to ask Jeremy for his!):
Home is where we make it… If I’ve learned nothing else, this is it. Both Jeremy and I had to expand our idea of home and redefine what it looks like for us. We both realized fairly early on that all we need is a private bedroom and a place where we can rest our heads together. In the end, everything else is just details and can be dealt with/changed/fixed/surmounted/overcome. In all, we’re quite adept at moving, settling in, and creating our new home (that’ll be another post later this month).
In this new life we’ve had to take full responsibility for our experience and for how we show up in life. Every day is lived with intention and purpose. There are no well-worn paths and few automatic behaviors and dealings. We must make a conscious choice each time to make our new place our home and accept it as home for however long we’re there. It’s been a rewarding way to live.
Peace and quiet are important… I’ve long known that I’m an introvert but traveling has made me realize that peace and quiet are of utmost importance to me. Mexico, in particular, taught me that lesson very well. We stayed in Guanajuato for a month with dogs barking throughout the night, every night. I didn’t get a solid night’s sleep for nearly five weeks. Through that, I learned to be stronger and tougher and also to value peace and quiet when I have it.
I’ve also learned how to make peace and quiet for myself. Limiting my time online and on social media have greatly contributed to the peace and quiet of my life. I rarely ever get FOMO, and I’m hardly ever homesick or missing what’s going on back in New Orleans. We’ve made this choice to go out and live different lives and in doing so, I’ve accept all of the sacrifices that choice entails. Making it a point to quiet the mind and the anxiety that lives in me has been helpful to garner my inner senses of calm, peace, and quiet.
Freedom comes at a cost… But it’s one I’m happy to pay. We’ve embarked on our new lives with eyes wide open. We have given up many of the comforts that define modern American life but in return we get to experience life from wherever we please. We don’t have much stuff or a home to call our own, but we realized that right now, neither of those is what we want or need. We’re happy to not own much of anything. We’re glad that we’re able to experience the freedom that comes from being untethered. That feels good to both of us.
We’ve made plenty of tradeoffs and sacrifices over the last year, but all have been worth it and in service of the larger vision we have for our lives. Not that it’s at all the same, but it’s an interesting parallel: I imagine this is in the vein of what parents go through when they have kids. Life changes drastically and dramatically–sacrifices and compromises are made–but it’s worth it because it’s for your kids, who you love. For us, it’s worth it because living this way helps us to feel like we’re doing what we want to do in life, and to us, that’s more valuable than most anything else.
Year One has taught me valuable lessons that I will take into Year Two and expand upon. For Jeremy and me, life is an ongoing series of experiments where we try different things in order to figure out what we want and need in our current iteration of life. It’s a good feeling to know that we’re living actively and taking matters into our own hands. I’m excited to be endeavoring into Year Two and look forward to sharing more of my journey along the way. Thanks for being here and thanks, as always, for reading!