Home again, and I’m finding my balance. After two months and five days of travel, I’m in my own bed, my own kitchen, again. The RV doesn’t quite rest, or cook, the same. Still, it offers options the house doesn’t. Haven’t found a way to put wheels on this 90-plus year old home yet.
Ketchikan in September can be wet and wicked, or beautiful, as the past few days have been. It’s perfect fall here, cool, with that certain something in the air that tells me, more clearly than the calendar, that summer is done and October is around the corner. I celebrated by pulling out a few of my favorite things: pumpkins, and a cozy recipe or two, and an arrangement of oranges and browns for the dining room. I put away a few things. Summer clothes and sandals are stored, suitcases are emptied, backpack cleaned out. The fridge is restocked.
The externals are tidied up. Now comes the mental game of tucking back in. Back to work, back to routine. I used to have a hard time doing it after a week or ten days away. But with the new rhythm to life, I have to be more flexible. I kept a few threads of work going while we traveled, the beauty of email and internet access, even if it was somewhat fractured. But the majority of what I do, how I make a living, was on pause while we were going full speed. Funny how incompatible pieces of living can be.
I’m still in the process of creating this life for myself. My husband is more practiced at it, has been doing it longer. For me, the on-again, off-again of work and travel is still a novelty, still a little unsettling. I don’t have it down to a science. I don’t have an automatic feed for employment. The travel is the easy part. Who wouldn’t enjoy rambling for weeks at a time? As long as the money holds out, sign me up!
But on the other end of the trip, I am spent. I love the road, the new places, re-visiting old favorites, and seeing family and friends along the way. That’s a joy and a privilege, and one I don’t take for granted. But at the end of movement, I crave stillness. For a time, I need a time-out.
I am grateful for internet I don’t have to search for, laundry I don’t need quarters for, a full size kitchen, the homey tasks of tidying and puttering that are small in meaning, yet oddly satisfying to my down to earth self. After the last two weeks in Canada, I appreciate using my cell phone without cringing at the added fees for an international call or text. I loved hearing French in Quebec and Montreal, but I’ll admit it’s nice to hear English and know what is being said. I can even admit that I’m ready for a little predictability again.
If I am broadened by travel, home is sweetened by travel. I know that after a few months, I’ll be rested up, ready to go, excited to look at a map and make a plan. But for today, it’s ok that my big outing took me to the hardware store and to get a haircut, and that I’m on deck to make dinner. For now, the everyday has a new glow about it, and it will take more than a few weeks to wear off. For today, I’m standing still.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” ~anonymous