BEWARE: What follows is a brain dump from my confused head and swirling emotions…
While moving days are getting much easier due to our familiarity with the exercise, for me it is getting harder emotionally. We are now at the point where we have our last several stops laid out. We know how many more areas we will visit and how many more moving days we have until we are back home in Longmont. The open road and endless possibilities are drawing to a close in this chapter. We are close to completing the circle. And while I am excited to get back to our friends and family back home I do not want this adventure to be over. I especially don’t want to forget all of the mental images and videos filling my head from the trip. I have perfect clarity on every step of our journey and I don’t want to lose that. It seems like it all went so fast, how can we be almost done? I vividly remember being on top of Raton Pass leaving Colorado on day number 1 and thinking, “we won’t be in Colorado for 5 or 6 months….longer than I have ever been away from Colorado.”
I look at the map we have hanging on the wall in Ava where we have tracked our route around the country and I am impressed by how much ground we have covered. But while that sharpie line is long it is also very skinny and shows just how little we have seen…we have barely scratched the surface of what the USA has to offer. We could follow our footsteps exactly and still have plenty to see. Or we could go somewhere completely different. We have decided to keep Ava and the Beast for another year so we can get a few shorter trips in and that gives me some travels to look forward to.
I feel selfish about this trip. The rest of the family has had a lot of fun but they have left their friends and family and school mates and soccer and dance and Bible study groups…and they have done it all because I wanted to do this trip. So for their sake I want to go home to Longmont and get them back to life as usual.
I also wanted to serve more on this trip. I wanted to be a blessing to somebody. Maybe we were in some way but I guess I hoped for something more concrete and obvious. And I feel guilty that I wanted to be a blessing so that I would feel less guilty about taking this “vacation”…double guilty!
I will miss the seemingly endless family time, the adventures, the surprises. I will miss the team work of moving day. I will miss that feeling of getting set up at a new campground…a familiar house but in completely new surroundings. I will miss the unknown of what we will see and do tomorrow. I will miss the simplicity of life in a tiny house…I will even miss the times it feels too crowded. I will miss having album worthy pictures to share every day and stories worth writing about. I will miss long showers. I will miss offices by the beach and with outstanding views.
I have anxiety about what reentry will be like. Getting moved back out of the trailer and finding a place to store the rig. Unpacking all of our stuff we packed away and stored before the trip. Getting the yard back in order. What will work be like over the next few months? What will church be like? Will I find a place to plug in….children’s ministry, music, something else? Will I appreciate routine after 5 months of dynamic schedules or will I detest it? Will I fall back into a routine of wasting time web surfing and TV watching with wicked fast internet and unlimited data at my fingertips?
Have I changed in any way from this trip? Will I live life differently? Has my family changed in any way as a result of this trip? Will the kids remember any of the stuff we did? Will they love traveling? Will they take their kids on some crazy cross country (or world or galaxy!) trip someday? Will Steph and I tag along with them in our RV?
My head is spinning. I am at once both on top of the world happy and mourning. I am both excited to return home and scared. When I shared my anxiety and fear with the family and likened it to the feelings I had before we launched on the trip Caden said, “and how did the trip turn out?” Wise words!
Here is what I do know…God has blessed us mightily with this opportunity and provided us safety the entire way. This has easily been one of the best times of my life (behind only marrying Steph and the birth of our three kids). As many challenges as we faced before and during the trip and as much money as was invested in this trip I absolutely would do it all over again. It has been so worth it. There is no price you can put on the experiences and memories we have shared during the Wachs Across America!