In March of 2020, we abruptly left our residence in New York City for 3 months to flee to Long Island in hopes of dodging the unsure beginnings of the Covid pandemic. We eagerly sought to tuck ourselves in a secure haven away from the anticipated looming risks of the pandemic outbreak. After this escape to the burbs, we returned residence for 2 weeks earlier than packing our baggage as soon as once more to embark on a highway journey that unexpectedly carried us for ten wonderful months as we explored the USA. After this unforgettable expertise, we returned to our New York City condominium for 3 months earlier than hitting the highway as soon as extra for 3 extra weeks as we made our approach to California, our new residence state. For our first 4 months in San Diego, we stayed in a short lived rental. Last week, we moved once more. This time, I anticipate planting ourselves for fairly some time.
When I look again at how a lot we bounced round for the previous twenty-one months I’m left in disbelief by how typically we moved, what number of beds we slept in, what number of houses we referred to as residence, and what number of occasions we packed and unpacked our suitcases. For nearly two years we lived free-spirited lives, ignoring all social constructs and defying the norms. Still, irrespective of the place we slept, we all the time felt at residence. Together we redefined how “residence” is outlined by most. For us, we realized, that house is wherever we have been collectively.
Slowly actuality started to trickle in. Schools resumed regular operations. Businesses have been starting to function as traditional. As dad and mom, we started to consider that it was time to provide our kids stability. But what’s stability? I battle with this idea. I proceed to vacillate between desirous to plant our roots so as to resume a “regular” life once more whereas craving to proceed dwelling an unscripted life with simply my husband and kids. When it was simply the 5 of us, I felt extra steady than ever. However, ultimately, we succumbed to normalcy and right here we’re, nearly two years later, establishing one central place to name residence.
I miss our days on the highway; 5 pioneers discovering new territories collectively as we saught day by day adventures. We had no distractions however the calls of nature which mesmerized us frequently. We had time. So a lot time. I’ve by no means felt so liberated. We have been free to wander as we happy with no main restrictions as a result of the world was too busy attempting to determine itself out. I by no means discovered myself lacking our day by day routine and even our NYC condominium that was our residence for eleven years. Instead, I shortly fell into the groove of getting zero attachments. I did not want closets full of garments, or dozens of sneakers, or a home filled with stuff. All that mattered throughout our escapades on the highway was holding our kids secure, wholesome, and making one of the best of a grim international state of affairs. We have been capable of grasp this objective out of 1 suitcase for months at a time.
Here we’re nearly two years later in a brand new metropolis, throughout the nation, and in a brand new everlasting residence. Don’t get me mistaken, I like our new residence. I spent the final three months utterly immersed in constructing this residence in order that we might make new recollections in it. But with this residence comes attachments and obligations that I actually might do with out. I discover myself staring into my new walk-in closet, questioning how I went from being completely content material dwelling out of a suitcase to designing a spacious closet that may maintain extra garments than I’ll ever want. Our new residence is gorgeous. Every nook has been touched by my inventive enter to make it ours. I’m grateful to reside on this residence. Honestly although, regardless of all these realizations, I discover myself conflicted. Being and not using a everlasting residence for 2 years proved to be extra empowering and fulfilling than any plot of land you possibly can dangle earlier than me. I miss the highway. I miss breaking boundaries and dwelling an unordinary life. How we went from dwelling like gypsies (okay, possibly extra like glam gypsies) to dwelling just like the Joneses I have never fairly found out.
The previous three months have been spent with laser precision centered solely on getting this home prepared for our kids. Nature’s name has been a faint whisper, one I’ve repeatedly ignored. Time slipped by my grasp over these previous few months with days melting into nights. I take satisfaction in what I’ve completed in such a brief time period. Many have informed me it was an inconceivable endeavor. Despite all of the accolades and delightful design of our new abode, I sorely miss our days floating round, when every day was a brand new journey, a brand new expertise, a brand new starting. It’s been one week since we moved into our new, everlasting residence. I’m thrilled to see the outcomes of all our onerous work and executed imaginative and prescient slowly unfold. I should be clear although – I typically see our automobile parked within the driveway and fantasize about throwing our suitcases within the trunk, filling up the tank, and simply driving for numerous miles.
Home is the place you’re, in your coronary heart and thoughts. You may be anyplace and in all places and be residence. I’m having a tough time shifting from the evolution of residence being in all places to being confined to a house inside these partitions we now have constructed. Something about proudly owning a house makes me really feel peculiar once more. That’s a phrase I do not like being related to. So, if I’m not on the highway, I suppose my subsequent step is to reside an unordinary life throughout the residence we constructed. That’s an entire different weblog put up.
Our youngsters have been exceptionally resilient. They love the brand new area we created but have expressed that it does not really feel like residence to this point since we now have not been in it lengthy sufficient. So is “residence” outlined by models of time? To me, house is anyplace so long as I’m with them. To them, house is anyplace that you just settle in for a protracted time period. I’m wondering, years from now, how they’ll mirror again on their experiences for the previous two years. Do they secretly miss life on the highway as a lot as I do? Or do they crave consolation in long-term housing? Thus far, they’ve solely expressed optimistic suggestions on the aesthetics of our new home. Do they need to plant themselves in a single area once more for a protracted time period? I’ve requested them, they appear to be as confused as I’m.
Two years is a very long time, however everyone knows how shortly it passes. Twenty-one months of bed-hopping all through cities has turn out to be a blur in my thoughts however the euphoric feeling of standard explorations and day by day encounters with the unknown stay crystal clear. We shared unforgettable experiences that may by no means be relived. Is it actually higher to relaxation our heads on one pillow for years?
My sincere response is not any. And sure. When you could have youngsters of their teenagers, who’re altering at lightning velocity tempo and crave social interactions, there’s a have to hunker down and allow them to expertise relationships, challenges, and routine. But, when you have toddlers or elementary school-aged youngsters, or no youngsters, I say, pack your automobile and drive for as far and lengthy as you possibly can till life pulls you again to your driveway.
For me, it is a no-brainer; when our kids are off to school, my husband and I’ll return to a lifetime of dwelling like Airbnb groupies, leaping from home to deal with and metropolis to metropolis. The calling is simply too onerous to disregard. In truth, I hear its calls daily as I sit again trying to admire our new residence. For now, I’ll keep put for my youngsters and deal with making a heat, loving surroundings for them on this one area. However, when they’re off to their grownup lives, I’ll be off to Route 66 with the wind in my hair, music blaring, with no plan, and principally, no attachments. Yet, even then, I’ll be residence.