We were all super excited about it coming home for a few months. We had plans pretty much every weekend we were back and actually ended up coming back a few weeks early since in the end we felt like we were just trying to find things to do before coming home.
It was so great to see family and friends and we were constantly busy getting together with people and doing the things we love to do in Kenosha. Experiencing this lifestyle has shown us what truly amazing friends we have back home. What is the saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder – totally true.
It feels the same way when it comes to our friendships. Before embarking on our journey over 2 years ago, I thought there were a lot of people out there that were like our friends from back home. I was wrong and certainly didn’t appreciate the amazing friendships before we left the way I do now.
The majority of our close friends have been friends since my oldest was 4 months old or the twins were 4 months old. So basically we all grew as Mother’s together. That is a unique bond. Together we all helped shape the Mother’s we are today.
It is the same way with the kids and the relationships they have. They all got along so well and just know how to have fun, what buttons not to push, and how to just enjoy each other. We definitely appreciate them more and like we have written about before the hardest thing about full-time travel is leaving friends and family behind.
We also had an amazing time with Craig’s parents. We ended up staying in their driveway for the majority of the 2 months that we were back. It gave us the perfect opportunity to get closer with his parents. Prior to leaving we would see them once a week or once every 2 weeks, but not normally more than that.
With living in their driveway we saw them a lot and it really helped our relationship develop even deeper with them. The kids loved being able to see Grandpa before he went off to work and hanging out with Grammy while she watered the flowers in the morning. Again all things that probably would not have happened for 2 months in a row had we not been living this lifestyle.
We are so glad we had all this time with them and we were able to deepen that bond but it definitely made it hard to leave and has been an adjustment for the kids now that we are back on the road. We keep hoping and encouraging his parents to come out and visit us for a long weekend in Glacier!
While we were back, my parents sold their house and officially became Nomads. We feel so lucky that they are on this journey with us. It is important to know that they never planned on retiring, buying an RV, and traveling full-time. They may have had plans to snowbird to a condo in Florida for a few months out of the year. But never did they imagine this crazy lifestyle that we introduced them too.
We are excited for them to meet up with us on the road in Glacier and to continue to spend time with them as we journey around the west coast!
WHAT IT WAS LIKE
When we first got home we definitely felt like we didn’t quite fit in. While we are on the road we are disconnected from “normal” life and instead live a little bit inside of our own bubble. It took some adjusting to get use to getting up first thing in the morning and having places to be. Or having activities planned every day of the week. Don’t get me wrong we loved every minute of it but it is definitely different then what we were use to.
After a few weeks we started to slide back into our old lifestyle and instead of planning where we were going to go, and what new place we were going to explore, it was more about playdates, gymnastic class, and ninja warrior camp.
Funny thing is I could still see how we would live a life filled with activities if we weren’t traveling. We were starting to head down that path before we left and both Craig and I grew up doing a lot of sports and activities.
We also realized that we got really lazy when we were back home. Maybe it had to do with recovering from traveling for 9 months but I think a bigger piece of it is the town we live in isn’t really designed for getting out to hike, bike, etc. They are trying, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
We also had so many great friends and family to visit that a lot of time was spent at playdates or just hanging out at a friend’s house or with family. We totally needed that time, but it also meant it took time away from getting out to explore, hike, bike, etc. We enjoyed being lazy, but like every time we go home we gained a few pounds . . .
We also got back into the habit of buying too many things. More clothes, toys, etc. I will say we had it more under control this time than other times, but it is crazy how when we get home all of these old habits, that we wanted to break with this new lifestyle, just start to happen again.
I know if we were living back home we could work harder at controlling these habits and not letting them happen but when we are on the road there is much less of a desire to do them. It just makes that part easier being on the road.
There are parts of me that misses what that life would be like if we had never left. Then there is the other part of me that had major itchy feet when we were home and couldn’t wait to get back on the road so we could simplify our life again and focus more on each other and our family.
Good or bad this lifestyle has shown us what else is out there and it would be hard to go back to a normal life now that we know and have experienced what full-time travel is like. It sometimes leaves us in a place of confusion where we are in the middle and have desires to go back to normal life then on the other hand don’t want to give up traveling so it leaves us in this middle ground. Before experiencing this lifestyle we didn’t know much beyond what our normal life was. Sure we thought about other options but thinking about something and actually living it and knowing it are 2 different things.
When I am on the negative side of what we are doing I resent this and sometimes wish I had never known this other lifestyle. It would just make things easier to stay in our old normal life. Once I move on from those negative/fearful moments, I truly appreciate how living this lifestyle has opened all of our eyes to the possibilities that are out there. And how it has pushed us out of our comfort zone and into a world of experience vs. a world of wouldn’t it be nice one day . . .
Being back home I missed my kids and I missed Craig too. Yes, they were there and I was with them almost 24/7 but everyone – including me – was so wrapped up in everyone and everything else around us that we quickly started to drift apart. Was this bad? No, I think it was totally what needed to happen when we were home and we took in all the love, fun, and memories.
But I was ready to get back to our life. Before leaving we talked to the kids about if they would rather stay home, get a house, and stop traveling. They all said No. They were sad to be leaving and wish we could have stayed longer but they also wanted to continue to travel.
Leaving was hard and since we now know what life on the road is like we didn’t have vacation time excitement (since we are well aware that we are not on vacation when we travel full-time – now that we have been doing it for over 2 years). But we are excited for our future travels and excited to continue to work on our relationships.
Our hope is we have our schedule a little bit more under control with work related things so that we can have more down time as a family and can focus even more on the kids. We have chosen to live a life of choices and every day we have to make the choice on where we focus our time.
Being back home and seeing how that life would be has helped me to appreciate our life on the road and the closeness it can bring our family. It also brings out the difficult parts of living with 6 people and 2 dogs in a small space and there is no school or activities to break up the tension. Instead we all have to learn to work through it . . . it is definitely a work in progress.
I am excited to be back on the road and we are already seeing the excitement in the kids eyes. We know it will take time for everyone to adjust back to our life but I think we are all ready for it and are excited to see what this year brings.
If you have any questions about our time back “home” please leave them in the comments below.
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