This is home…
If I were to tell you that we’ve moved 5 times in 2 years, you may be right to question our sanity.
I’ve heard that the average person moves around 11 times in their lifetime, and we’ve knocked over nearly half that in the same time it takes some people to unpack from a single move.
Recently, we’ve taken a fairly liberal approach to life, letting the tides flow how they will, and not trying to swim against them.
It all started back in Australia, with our kids running naked and free in our backyard. Bathed in sunlight, ice blocks (popsicles) dripping everywhere, the sound of lawn mowers running, kids laughing, and friendly neighbours dropping by.
This was home, and we loved it.
But who wants 8 months of summer every year? It was time to four season our life and move to Canada. The move aired adventure and opportunity, with absolutely no clue as to how the next year or two would transpire.
We started living with family in a finished basement while we adjusted to the new sub-zero weather conditions. We had to adjust quickly, as we faced a record breaking winter of low temperatures and snow fall. If we could survive the worst winter in almost 60 years, we were going to be okay!
This was home, and it was great to be living with family and having our own little space to retreat.
When you dream something so grand as to live in a motorhome and travel North America with 2 kids under 5, it doesn’t happen magically. There’s a ton of work, commitment and sacrifice to make it happen.
As we loaded the kids into our new (used) motorhome and set off on this adventure, I’m sure I heard my wife laugh and mutter ‘What the f#%k are we doing?’ It seemed surreal that we’d made this dream come true!
A wise soul said to me recently, ‘it’s not about the length of time you spend on the road. The road is the road. It’s the openness to learn and grow… and to let go.’ We love these words, and they are close to our heart. Living on the road is such a humbling experience.
This was home, and North America was our backyard.
We then decided to spend some time establishing ourselves in a new country. While we searched for work, we moved back into the family basement as the cold weather made the RV unliveable.
Fortunately, the job hunt was quick and we were packing again. The move to a high-rise condo was contrastingly different to the freedom of a motorhome.
We had every possible convenience at our doorstep. It was big city living; an endless choice of shops, restaurants, and nightlife. However, we hardly used any of it. Instead we focused on experiences. We took them hiking, biking, to parks, and shows and ballets, and lots of swimming in the condo pool. We even had the kids skiing down a little hill in the middle of the city – which was perfect for teaching them.
This was home, and for a short time, it was fun to be as high as the birds (we literally watched birds soar passed our window).
In the last two years, we’ve not had a clear destination in mind. Despite this, we’ve not been lost, nor have we been blindly out of control. We left Australia with an open mind, willing to let go of the life we knew, and embrace whatever came our way.
As a result, the concept of ‘home’ became more fluent for us. We learnt by living in the motorhome that once we closed the blinds at night, no matter where we were parked, we were home.
One night in the condo, as we sat overlooking the city lights, my wife and I realised this was a temporary home. It didn’t represent us, or the things that we wanted for our little family. The sheer recognition of this immediately opened up new possibilities. Within weeks, our life was heading in a new direction.
Now, I’m staring out into our newest backyard. Touched by the lightest remnants of an icy snow, the leaning wooden fence loosely defines our backyard. Beyond is a huge horse paddock, and beyond that seems to be endless acres of rural land to explore.
We find ourselves in an adoring and thoughtful community, in a farmhouse that sometimes feels like the middle of nowhere (in a good way).
This is home… for now.
One Response to “This is home…”
Very well written Ben. Thank you.