This week we will leave the campsite where we’ve spent the last 3 months (due to lockdown). We will make what feels like the last journey of this epic two year adventure of our lives. It is to the city that we left from, that we will make our final drive, and that feels like a closing of the circle.
But we are not returning to the life we left. We have not chosen to go back to a life that we both wanted to escape for varying reasons. No, it is a choosing of a new life and adventure. We come completely changed from the Charlie and Nick that embarked on this life change. Perhaps the outward appearance of our new life will look the same – house, 9-5 job, etc – but inwardly we are transformed.
I confess that I’d hoped for a different more radical change of our lives when we set off – moving abroad, off-grid living, alternative means of income. Looking back now that seems in some way a superficial aspiration for our life change. Instead we have had an incredible two year adventure around Europe, following our ever-developing intuition for what the next right step is, and we have changed in our very being.
We have a new outlook on life. We have a better ability to be in the now. To a great extent I am just taking each day as it comes, not living too far into the future. Yes, I have dream and ideas for the next parts of our life, but I am more content to just stay here today while it’s happening. The rest will unfold.
Most of my old anxieties have faded away. I think both Nick and I can handle whatever’s thrown at us with a far more levelheaded approach. As a result of our vanlife adventure there are now vivid reminders of how we’ve stayed calm in challenging situations – like that time the clutch broke at the top of a mountain in Italy and Nick fixed it with a jubilee clip and coasted us all the way down in 2nd gear and into the gates of a garage. We know deeply now that we can weather these storms in all their varying size.
So, as we take this next step along our life’s journey, I feel like a circle is closing. But not ending. Instead I can see that we are continuing on out again, the loop extending, as we embark on our next adventure. Yes, it’s one that’s not considered so exciting or interesting outwardly, but it is still part of our road home to ourselves.