The Place in the Midde

We are stuck. We spend our free time reading other travelers blogs, sucking up the nervous energy of those just preparing to embark, the excitement and joy of those on the road, and the reflection of those at the end. We exist in a rather odd place in the middle. We have, in a sense, already “been there, done that”. We’ve previously taken off on our own long-term journey when we backpacked around the world in 2007-2008. We were scared and more excited than we had dreamed possible. I remember, like it was yesterday, the overwhelming sense of adventure, as we prepared to head out into the world for a longer than the typical American holiday.

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We have been those travelers on the road, arriving after a night bus into a new city, a new country, a new place in the world after crossing over some line on a map. I can immediately relive the adrenaline of the first days in a new locale, trying not to be scammed, trying to find our way around, trying to see and live it ALL, breathing in the experience as though it was as necessary as air.

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We have been those returning home, to absolute reverse culture shock. At home and yet not at home at all. Returning to the life of the LARGE (in nearly every sense) in the United States was far more of  a shock to our system than arriving into any one of the 40+ countries we have traveled to. The familiar was not comforting and we no longer felt like we belonged in our previous life.

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And now~We are at that Place in the Middle. We are, once again, in prep mode, paying off debt, readying our home for sale, and drinking in stories of those already on the road. But it is different this time. We are older, wiser, than the first time. Oh, the excitement is still there, but comes from a place of experience. This time we know what we did right the first time, just as surely as we know what we did wrong and are doing differently this time around.

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We know that, beyond friends, family and a couple boxes of possessions, this time we leave nothing behind. We know that the quest for a life less ordinary, a life in the Happiness of Pursuit (to steal the title of Chris Guillebeau’s excellent new book) is the road we choose to take. We know that creating a life that enables us to live where we want and how we want, on our terms, is worth fighting for.

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We know it’s NOT easy. Long term travel, whether with a designated end date, or open-ended, is not the same as a vacation. It’s difficult and confusing and challenging in ways those who don’t take that road will never understand. It is also endlessly awe inspiring, fascinating and, clique as it might be, life changing.. Traveling through different cultures and time zones and latitudes forces you to face the best and worst of humanity and transforms the meaning of “need”.

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As we step closer to the departure on our Next Big Adventure, the excitement is building. We look forward to the day when we, once again, are the ones stepping out into the world!

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16 thoughts on “The Place in the Midde

  1. Hallelujah! To all of it. I get being in that middle place. It’s weird, because I kind of feel like I’m there right now. Not on the road and not off it, kind of fumbling through the dark for what I really want next. Love to you guys as your departure date gets closer.

    • It’s true…you & Brian are right there with us in a sense. Best luck to you two, finishing off your final weekend at Get Out More and can’t wait to see what awesomeness and creativity comes out of a nice long stay in Sayulita! You know what they say, some years ask questions and some answer them. I see 2015 answering some questions for us all. XOXO

    • Thanks! You’ll be crossing the border soon and embarking on a whole new adventure yourselves! Time to start taking turns driving 🙂

  2. We are not nomads, we like having a nest so-to-speak, but we are in fact taking on a new adventure in that we just recently retired, although we don’t define ourselves as retired. Rather, we see this is as a new chapter in which we have what I like to call an obligation-free life. The last 6 months have been very intense and right now we’re just looking forward to settling in for a few months, exploring our new surroundings and figuring out what’s next. So, I guess you could say we’re kind of in the middle as well. 😉

    • Well, Patti…I think many are from the responses I’m getting! Hope the drive was excellent and looking forward to hearing about settling down into a new normal.

    • Thanks Jeremy…. I do know this~ sometimes just hard to remember it! Thanks for the reminder to just trust the process.

  3. The pursuit is worth it. Life on your own terms…cant think of anything more worth fighting for!

    Im curious though…why you’d sell your house before leaving. Especially in Portland, it could actually provide you with income while on the road to help sustain. It could also be the path to that freedom you describe – wherever you end up.

    Happy to talk through other options and possibilities any time if you’re interested…but for us it is a large part of that path to living on our own terms.

    • Hi Bryan ~ nice to hear from the Dangerz 🙂 You are correct about the house potentially providing income (you’re certainly making that work out), although with our location far out in Clackamas county it’s not as easily doable as your location, but we purchased this property expressly with the idea of updating a bit and selling. In large part to gain road money (we purchased a bank owned foreclosure). We also know, having already embarked on a similar path, that we really don’t want that to tie us down and fret about with renters, maintenance, etc. Even leaving a storage unit of things last time was something we knew we didn’t want to deal with going forward. We DO hope to meet you guys at one of the Portland Travel Blogger meet-ups …. tomorrow or another day.

  4. As you said, it definitely is not easy, but it certainly is worth fighting for. We grow and push ourselves with each new challenge, and nothing worth doing is ever going to be “easy”… There will always be the next big adventure. I’m in the sad stages of winding down my current adventure, but what keeps me going is planning for the next one and the excitement that it brings. Great stuff, guys.

    • Hi Ryan.. thanks for stopping by. We just found your site recently, but have enjoyed reading through some of your adventures. I have no doubt you will have another big adventure down the road. For now, just enjoy enjoy enjoy, the freedom of being out in the world! Thanks for the kind words. No, it’s not easy and, if it were than everyone would do it right? Perhaps we’ll meet up on the road one day. Until then, safe travels.

  5. Great post!! I am so glad we may get to catch you before you leave. I cannot wait to hear your plans. It’s always a challenge to be present where we are. Tyrhone and I were just talking about how excited we are about future things but we’re also enjoying what we are doing so it is a pretty good problem to have. I love that this journey will be an extension of everything you have experienced so far xo

    • Thanks Sarah! I think so many of us on the quest for the road less traveled, face an interesting series of questions regarding the life we seek! I’m glad you guys are embracing the now, while continuing that quest. Looking so forward to meeting you two in person! XOXO

  6. We are right there with you. Our house sale closes the week of Thanksgiving but we don’t launch until the beginning of May. We are building out a van so there is so much to do during this transition period but boy is it weird. We recently added a countdown to our website and looking at it say 180 days doesn’t seem to compute. So far this is the hardest part of this entire endeavor.

    -John

    • You’ll be surprised to find how many of us DO understand exactly what you’re feeling.. a good thing since the majority of society doesn’t, it’s essential to find that little common thread among fellow travelers. I’ll head back to your website.. love the clock ticking down. It’s a whole thing but just enjoy the ride!

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