Today, 4 May, is a BIG day for us. It is our 1st anniversary as world travelers/nomads! I can’t believe it’s already been a year. For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking how I would celebrate this on our blog. Do I do a “things I’ve learned” post? A year in review? I’m not sure others would enjoy reading all that. The thing that kept to coming to mind, though, is this:
About 1½ years ago I would’ve thought you were nuts if you had told me:
- I would be quitting my job and traveling the world with my son indefinitely.
- I would be living on a small Caribbean island in Honduras for 8 months.
- My life would fit comfortably into a backpack and a day pack.
- I would be making a living as a writer and photographer.
- I would consider a day that involved a trip to the grocery store and to buy more electricity as productive and busy.
- My anxiety-plagued child would be off all his medicines within a few months of beginning our new life.
- I would watch a small crab, or a large spider, walk across my living room with only mild curiosity.
- I would meet people during our travels who would become family to us.
- I would hear my son say “Yay! Street food!”
- I would travel without making plans or having reservations at the next place and have no idea where or when our next move would be and would consider that “perfectly normal.”
- Would answer the questions “So how long are you here for?” or “Where are you going next?” with “I have no idea.”
- I would come to a point in my life where I honestly wouldn’t trade my current life for anything. Although I wouldn’t mind more income without having to increase my “work” hours.
I could probably go on for pages and pages. Looking back at the past year it has been absolutely amazing. We have both grown so much.
Long-term travel has done superb things for Tigger. When he first moved into my home just over 4 years ago he was a very dependent child with significant speech and anxiety issues. If you met him now, you’d never believe that about him. He’s become so independent I’ve had to rein him in a bit just to make sure he stays safe. He doesn’t let the language barrier intimidate him at all. He also doesn’t equate “home” with a specific place. Last night we were visiting some people, and they asked where home was. “We’re nomads” was his response. Home is wherever we are together.
I had worried how the lack of stability created by moving from place to place would affect him. It has all been positive. With home being “us,” moving from location to location isn’t a negative for him. His sense of stability is our relationship. I’m his constant and that’s been enough. In fact a few times he has surprised me by announcing it’s time to move when we’ve been in a city for a couple of weeks. We may not be biologically connected, but he is definitely my child. I love that whenever we get to a new location and have dropped off our backpacks he looks at me and says “And now we’re going exploring” with a tone that tells me he enjoys it as much as me. He’s a great helper on those adventures, too. While I’m looking at the architecture, checking out the culture, gauging traveler safety, he’s great to spot the ice cream places for us to visit. “It’s never too cold for ice cream” is one of his mantras.
Another notable thing is that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Almost daily I have the thought “I just love my life!” even when it’s been a rough or LONG day. Doing this crazy adventure is honestly one of the absolute best decisions I’ve ever made.
And if I didn’t know it beforehand, this last year has definitely taught me: It’s definitely worth pursuing your dreams, whatever they may be.