Back at camp in Idaho, the idea of “home” has been on our minds of late. Jim’s parents still ask when we’re “coming home”. We frequently find ourselves in conversations with strangers where they ask where home is. There is no real clear-cut answer. Our official residency, for now, is Portland. We live half of the year in Idaho and half elsewhere. The majority of those we meet simply can not comprehend the idea of a semi-nomadic existence.
Home means different things to different folks. Some, like Jim’s parents, have inhabited the same house for more than 40 years. Others, like my family growing up, lived in four different states and easily a dozen different houses by the time I hit age eighteen. Still, others, including many of those who make up our traveling tribe, live full time on the road all around the world. No one answer is the right one.
But then the question remains. What makes a home? Certainly in my case it is dependent upon Jim’s presence along with Aspen~ or whatever fur baby is in our life at the moment (I used to find it incredibly sad that our pups lived such a short life in comparison to ours but then I started to appreciate that this fact allows us to share our lives with so many special and unique creatures). With Jim and Aspen by my side, I am home and the location is meaningless.
Never materialistic, we have found these last three years has truly cemented the idea of needing very little into the very essence of our soul. Each day at camp we find ourselves in awe, and often put off, to tell the truth, by the overwhelming amount of STUFF that guests arrive with. What part of joy, we wonder, are they missing out on that requires them to spend and spend and spend on still more expensive toys and ever bigger campers?
At the end of the day what we’ve come to realize is that our tiny home on wheels is an idea that had been in our dreams and hearts long before it became a reality. One important piece of artwork hanging over the bed is a drawing Jim did at age seven that says “I want to live in a camper”.
His days chasing work and dreams to the top of Mt. Hood and the oceans of Alaska and my choice of a career in the travel industry merely fueled the fire in our belly for something different. Not even just an avoidance of the 9-5 workweek, but also for the ability and freedom to see new places and experience new things. We truly become stagnant when tethered to any one spot for too long. The adrenaline rush of a new spot far too enticing for us to resist for long.
Soon enough camp will be closed for another season and our restless feet will lead us east, to visit friends and family, to establish residency in South Dakota (more on that to come but NO, we are not moving to South Dakota), and to spend a few months exploring parts of the United States we have neglected before heading to Baja for one month leading a Baja Amigos caravan.
Home is where you park it, so says a popular t-shirt. Someday we may feel the draw, once again, of a more permanent home base, but for now, we fully agree.