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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

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The Post That Has Been Started 10,000 Times

Apr 9, 2015
by John

I've started, then deleted, my rumblings and ramblings regarding the emotional turmoil we've been recently experiencing. Having entered the final stretch, parting well wishes are becoming the reality. I've struggled to capture exactly how we feel, juxtaposing emotions are in constant combat. Exuberance challenged by extreme sadness, there are those we know we may never embrace again. We expected leaving would be easy, contrarily quite difficult.

Our focus for the last seven years has been to make a big change. Almost always ending in a move across the US to the Pacific Northwest. As we approach our date of departure we have been awoken to the truth of leaving what we have always known, sobering and exhilarating. Our trek across the America's will unimaginably shape our lives and values, our friends and family will not directly experience the metamorphosis.

Sam from Song of the Road recently penned: "The problem is that overlanders are selfish travelers. They want to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it." A fact that rings true well before the first mile is laid. This has been resonating within each thought and feeling we have. A bit of guilt is creeping in, my assumption is that means we're still quite human.

Are there rocks ahead?

Are there rocks ahead?

Walking away for the unknown from the known, knowledge has proven to be the difficulty. The anticipation of our departure has been entirely focused on being able to drive the first mile. Our recent anxiety hails from leaving what we have already mastered, our mundanely comfortable existence is being retired instead of ourselves. Starting the van and pressing the pedal will be the least of our concerns. Setting off will be more about hugging goodbye then shouting hello.

My inability to capture this tumultuous time is a reminder of uncertainty. We've long reached the point where the fear of staying put far outweighs that of leaving. The finality of life is so absurd, living becoming the priority over just surviving. Our existence will be simpler, poorer... richer with time. Lost on the tides of the wind, grounded in nature and humanity.

Infected with long term travel, we welcome this sickness. We are not lost, hopeless or crazy. Indifferent with being different, alive to an inner desire we both share. No quest or conquest, a journey of self and of others. An unexplainable urge to move, a wandering of wondering. Touching that which is intangible, fertilizing our life soul into being. Losing touch with some to feel that of others.

Our heartache's cost will never be equitable. Each of us will carry a deficit. The greatest loss is what we are leaving behind, the people and places we cherrish so deeply. Our pleas for visits from those we hold dear will eventually be answered. We're breaking our own hearts.


Say what? (4)
Apr 9, 2015 at 10:06 AM
I think all travelers share some of these feelings, but I think a lot of your heartache is BECAUSE the actual departure has been so long in coming. When we took our first RTW we made the decision, sold our house, and departed all within about 8 months. No time to feel melancholy, just time to get excited. This time the planning/ implementation stage has been a lot longer, but we know what we're looking for, and know what we'll miss that we leave behind. There are no easy answers for restless souls but once you're on the road I think you'll find it all worth while
Apr 9, 2015 at 10:29 AM
Thank-you Rhonda. It also seems to be surreal to all those around us because it is finally happening. Everyone seems a bit stunned even though it has been in the making for so long. First steps are always difficult, we're kind of stuck mid-step waiting to firmly place our foot down.
Apr 10, 2015 at 05:50 AM
This post hits close to home. My family and I recently moved half way across the country from NH to CO. That last week before leaving was heart wrenching... all the more so because we were taking our 2 young kids away from their grandparents. The feeling doesn't go away for some time, and it provokes the inevitable "did I make the right decision" thoughts. Over time, it all works itself out, and so long as the intention is good, it will be for the best. Good luck!
Apr 10, 2015 at 07:27 AM
Thanks Ryan. I believe that if we aren't constantly questioning what we are doing then we are being reckless. Maybe I finally hit the age where my id, ego and superego are actually cooperating.
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