If you follow me on Facebook, you know by now that we have decided to stop traveling, at least for a season. I’ve had a few friends ask me recently what the story is behind our decision to settle down, but it’s not really a short story, so we will call this Part One: The Mental Journey. The transition from, “I never want to stop traveling,” to “Ok, maybe it’s time for a new adventure,” happened faster than I anticipated. The first year and a half of traveling in the fifth-wheeler was amazing. I loved camp life. It was simple and no matter where we went, we were always home. But as our kids got older, and bigger, we just weren’t as comfortable in a fifth-wheeler as we had been when we started out. We didn’t feel like we were done exploring yet, so we transitioned into apartment living and enjoyed spreading out a bit. As the next year went by, cleaning, packing, and moving to a new apartment or Airbnb every three months got real old, real fast. Asia was losing interest in exploring and wanted to experience being a part of a youth group and having friends who she could interact with not via a screen. We were sympathetic, but sad. Youth group was a huge part of my life growing up. My youth pastor believed in me, challenged me, and pushed me past all my comfort zones. He would stick me up on a stage in front of 1,100 college students to speak, with little to no notice, because he believed I could push through my insecurities and rise to the challenge. He played a major role in shaping the person I am today and I want the same thing for my kids. But, while we were sympathetic towards Asia’s feelings, no one else in the family was ready to settle. How do you even begin to navigate these major life decisions with six humans, considering each one’s needs and desires? We weren’t sure, but we did know that we didn’t know where we would even want to live. With family on both coasts, and our love for the Midwest in the middle, we didn’t know where to start. We knew however, that Asia needed to see us at least begin to consider and explore the possibility of settling, or she was going to lose heart. When we first began traveling, she asked us why we hadn’t done it sooner, she absolutely loved it. But seasons change, and for Asia, that season was ending.
Asia did however, really want to see Washington D.C. I wasn’t super thrilled about the idea; cities full of crowds are not my favorite type of terrain. However, once I started looking into the D.C. area, I quickly got excited about all the history and the free museums and finally seeing the Lincoln Memorial. We figured if we took a contract up there, it would give us time to start sorting out everything else. Unfortunately, two weeks after we arrived, Covid19 hit and everything shut down. We spent the next three months quarantined in a cabin just an hour and a half from everything we wanted to see. I won’t lie, kungflu took the fun out of traveling. I’m not trying to be insensitive, I know many people have had far worse experiences related to Covid19, but this blog is about how we came to be done traveling, and wuflu played a pretty major role. Then came the riots. The unrest started just as we were about to travel to our next contract in Montana. We had to check the news for all the major cities we were driving through and even had to re-route to avoid the violent protests in Minneapolis. I can’t explain it, but not having a place to call home, left us feeling rather unsettled. We had nowhere to retreat, to find sanctuary, to truly feel at home. Thankfully there hasn’t been a lot of unrest in Montana, but all the chaos and unknowns this year left us longing for a place to call our own. And so God (and to some degree 2020), helped all of us transition into the idea of our next great adventure.
We are all excited about learning how to homestead. The kids want chickens and sheep. I want bees and a forest of aspen. I want land, not a lawn. I want to be remote, but connected. I want to have room to create and grow and learn new skills alongside my kids. And surprisingly enough, I’m more excited about it than I would’ve thought possible even six months ago. Even though we weren’t all on the same page back then, God has brought us all into a place of agreement. Even Micah started asking if we could stay in one place and stop moving around. That kid loves consistency and I think the constant change and need to adapt was wearing on him. Thankfully, he is still always up for a camping trip. How cool is it, that when we trust God, and try to seek Him in everything that we do, He guides our steps, prepares our hearts and provides new adventures that surprise even us? When I think about our first two years of travel, I have only fond memories, and wish it could be that way forever. But, the truth is, that it’s not. And it can’t be, not right now anyway. So, we are all looking forward to the next chapter in this adventure, and hope you will all continue to follow along.