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Week 15 – Slow traveling, nomadic relations and the question of home
Within 24 hours we decided to sell our former home and my mother died. The latter being of most importance. It has been wild in my mind, rapid change, loads of emotion, reflection, processing. In this context, I want to share important stuff: The hard questions, the complicated emotions.
We are in the process of accepting, we want to travel full time. Not for one year, not as an adventure, shortly, but as a lifestyle for as long as it makes sense. This week, I will share with you reflections on three points.
The ones, you leave behind.
The feeling of home
How to have friends and family, while living the nomadic life?
The ones you leave behind is the big thing. The most important part of considerations, and the most important issue to address. We are leaving behind an adult child, our family and a lot of very close friends. How to cope with that?
As I am writing this text, I am at an airplane, flying back to Denmark, because my mother died. Right now, I rather have the feeling of being left behind, than leaving behind. To lose my mother is a hard blow, it is impossible to describe – yet most people understand. We have all lost loved ones.
My mother was a special one, a strong and different and wonderful person. I am going to miss her a lot. We were very close and talked a lot on the phone. Losing her makes it even more clear, relations are of huge value. And that there are people, who will never be substituted by other people. From our perspective, we could not stay in our home country, longing to travel so much and with the winter depressions during the six dark months (me) and the allergies in 4 months of spring (my husband), and the nomadic heart longing to travel. We HAD to go. Luckily our eldest daughter feels the same: It was not an option for us to stay, and we will have to build our relation while traveling, meeting in many places on earth. She loves to travel as well and will enjoy loads of mini-vacations to different places. She is a professional author and has very flexible jobs besides writing, which she can do from anywhere. So the setup is perfect. To me, it feels as if it is necessary to go back to Copenhagen quite often, and even for longer periods. Until this week, I thought it was primarily for my mother and my daughter. Now, only for my daughter. And, of course, for our extended family, our friends and our language and culture.
We are hoping for a life with the right balance, and we are not giving up until we have found it. We are grateful to be on the path. Even though, we at the moment, do not really know the direction.
One thing, we do know, though, is this: Friends and family do not go away, because you are not around for Christmas and Sunday dinners. Friends and family want us to live our lives to the fullest, and they all enjoy the time, we can have together when we are in close proximity. The relationship grows stronger, we all take responsibility to stay focused on what is important. Conversations become more interesting, prioritization becomes more clear. When we are not around, we are still in each other’s hearts, and occasional phone calls and postcards mean a lot.
Another thing is this: New friends show up on the road. We have met so many amazing people, and grown great friendships where ever we have been. It has been amazing. I have said it before: The traveling is about the people. The people are the true adventure. In our case, we even have family internationally and we get closer to new segments of the family, as we are more flexible as to location.
The full-time life
One major thing, we have learned after 9 months, is slow travel is for the most time, more fun than moving around quickly. We have been based in only 2 locations in the past 4,5 months. One of the places, our animal refugium out of Barcelona, has become our new home. We do not live there as such, and we have no plan to stay forever, as we are actually planning to leave May first, to start traveling again. But we have found a new anchor in life, a place with wonderful vibration, a place with people and animals, who have become our friends, a place where we feel welcome and at home. A base for slow traveling, going deep in relations, language, culture, landscapes, traditions.
So, we like slow traveling.
We also like people. We have realized, people are the most important “destination” while traveling the world. We are grateful for all the new friends we have made, all the amazing people, we have met on our way. They are, truly, the adventure. So, it makes a lot of sense to travel slow. To go somewhere and stay for at least a few weeks. The life in the bus is an adventure, but it is also a life with everyday stuff to do, like laundry and reading, bathing of feet and working, with phone calls and cooking, cleaning, organizing. When we travel slow, we live in peace and get things done, while also going on adventures.
The plan was, as I said, to start traveling May first, going up to France. In my family, we always say: You may use a pencil when you do your planning, you can only use a pen, when you write your story. You get the point. Plans are ever changing. Right now I am flying to Denmark, with a one-way ticket, because my mother died. I have no idea when I will be back in Barcelona, nor do I know, when the bus will start driving. I will have to let go and feel the path in front of me, day by day.
The question of what is right is an interesting one. I choose to believe, all we do is right. Because we did it. And because we choose, it is right. We make it right with our choice.
The feeling of home.
We are now selling our home in Copenhagen. It is a radical step. We feel weird about it and sad. It has been many good years, and it is actually very hard to let go. But it is the right thing to do. It opens the doors in the right direction, it opens options, we would rather have.
But it does make us think about the phenomenon “home”. What does it mean? In everyday terms, it would be the place you live, and your emotions around it. Maybe a note of safety, privacy? There are many layers.
In the bus, we feel at home. The bus is a place, where we live. We have our bed and kitchen and bathroom, we can decorate and organize, store food and clothes and books. The bus is clearly a home.
But more importantly, our family is our home. The togetherness, the love. We have a home with siblings, and parents and our adult daughter. To me, personally, it is chaos, because my mother just died, and my feeling of home in a family structure is changing.
We feel also at home in international relations. It has to do with people again. Some people, some relations, are in a special way, and with those, we feel at home. In their company. In their city. In their house. Most strongly at the moment, at our base outside Barcelona, but actually — there are many such people, people, who make us feel at home.
It is those relations and special places, we need in life, more than a special house. And also: It is worth it, having a home-feeling a bit more complicated and changing, than to stay in one place, the full time traveling is worth its price.
The key point: Let go of what is holding you back.
The home feeling, the slow traveling, the important relations – did we figure it out? No. We do not have a solid plan and perfect explanations as to how this all makes sense. We have the urge to travel more, and the clear experience: This is wonderful, this is more, yet less, this is right and important and interesting. Are we making memories? Yes, sure. We are. But mostly: We are living. To the fullest and together, and we are ready to let go of whatever we need to let go of in order to stay in the present moment, in our love and in the clear and focused presence. To us, for the moment, traveling is the right basic choice.
P.S. Don’t forget to leave your comment, it makes me happy to know, you are out there.
Nota Bene – after the main text, I share photos and mini-stories from the past week in the gallery.