We packed the dog, some food, and a few other essentials into the car and headed out. Tim and I have never done a trip like this together. Our longest trip was three weeks in Paris. Now we’re two weeks and five days into an eight week trip.
It was not quite the departure I’d hoped for. We left later in the day than we’d planned. I forgot to look at our little house one last time as we were driving away. I was too busy Instagramming the departure instead. Dumb. We spent an hour and a half trying to get out of LA. The dog couldn’t get comfortable and sat awkwardly for the first two hours. At that point, about three hours in, I wondered if the trip was a really bad idea. But then the dog finally laid down, we got out of LA, and I was able to relax a bit. Tim reminded me that he’s thankful that our car is in pretty good shape, that we and the dog are healthy-ish, and that we have this time, he, dog, and I together.
We traveled to the Grand Canyon first. I’d never been. It’s one of the few things in life that is said to not disappoint. Truth. It’s pretty amazing. And was a good reminder to me that it’s not just about the destination, but the journey we take to get there. I’ve always been a “let’s just get there” person. Not the best attitude to have. There’s a lot to see along the way. We’re gonna try to be more intentional about enjoying it.
Youguys, we’re really learning a lot on this trip. As we travel through and spend time with people we’re figuring out or just remembering some of the things we want to make priorities. Our core values. What’s important in a living situation. We’re remembering to laugh a little more. To be ok when lunch is eaten in the car because we have a twelve and a half hour drive ahead of us, and it’s torn chunks of sourdough bread with sweaty cheese and warm carrots. We’re appreciating the space we’re finding ourselves in. There’s so much vast, empty space in the US and Canada. After six years in LA it’s refreshing. Part of the purpose of this journey is to do a bit of soul-searching. We want to be intentional about where we live and what we do. If that’s LA, fine. But we want to decide to be there. With all that has changed for us over the past two years, we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back while we make some decisions. They may take us elsewhere. They may lead us back to where we started. We don’t know yet.
We’re taking submissions, petitions, and bribes for where we should live and why. So far our trip has included a stay in Dewey and a stop at the Grand Canyon in Arizona (YOUGUYS they have no rails – I was nervous the entire time!). We drove through New Mexico and stayed for night in Ruidoso. We spent a few days in Texas in Lubbock, Comfort, and Bulverde. Friends in Abbeville, LA hosted us for the night, and we drove through New Orleans on our way to Georgia. We stopped in Atlanta, GA for not even 12 hours, but left feeling refreshed none-the-less. We drove straight from Atlanta to West Philadelphia (and I had the song from Fresh Prince in my head for two full days). That was our longest driving day to date. Then we made it to Massachusetts where we stopped for a few days and spent time in Cambridge, Boston (Red Sox!!), and Middleton. Now we’ve crossed the border and are in Ontario (Canada) for a bit.
We’ve stayed with the kindest, most generous people. We have been gone for nineteen days and have yet to camp or stay in a hotel. We have hardly had to dig into the food that we brought (with the exception of the eight bags of potato chips that I bought while starving at the grocery store prior to the trip). We’ve usually snacked in the car for lunch and dinner after having been fed delicious breakfasts before we take off in the morning. We’ve been pretty spoiled. And it’s not just the food. The company has been tremendous. We’ve reconnected with family and friends that we see much too infrequently. Every place we stop is so much more difficult to leave than I would have anticipated. If we’d just had these two and a half weeks, the trip would have been more than adequate. It would have been amazing.
It feels so very natural to be doing this. Before we left it seemed like an impossible idea. We had to find someone willing to sublet our house. Not an easy task. One that almost kept the trip a dream. We’ve been wanting to go to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play for nine years. That finally became a reality. As we walked around the corner from the “T” and saw Fenway for the first time I had the same feeling of awe and excitement that I did when we were in Paris and I saw the Eiffel Tower. We’re a baseball loving family, so this was the perfect place to begin to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.
This trip is so many things to us. Celebration of ten years, quest for direction, and enjoying time together. And it’s been lovely. Just lovely.