Regrets and what I'm missing from my "old life" since embarking on van life

Overflowing with regrets

For us, this ‘vanlife’ adventure was always more than just an opportunity to see beautiful places and spend time together as a family. It was an opportunity to change us inside. For me personally, this is an internal journey, and I always knew it would be hard. But knowing something is going to be hard can never really prepare you for the actual experience of the “hardness” itself.

We left England 6 weeks ago, but we left our “old life” long before that – nearly 5 months ago, in fact. As I sit here, gazing out at the most beautiful view in Italy, I am longing for my “old life”. I am overflowing with regrets. And yet I believe, that if I hadn’t made this journey, I would never have been able to find happiness with what I have. That feels so awful to admit!

Regrets and what I'm missing from my "old life" since embarking on van life

This morning I have shed tears for that “old life” of mine:

For that lovely cottage, each room within it and how we used to spend time in them, its garden, the den hidden beyond the holly trees, my vegetable patch that overflowed with sweetpeas.

For the friends we still have there, for meals and for the hard times we shared, for the time our children spent together.

I am mourning their loss today.

Returning to my “old life”

Recently I have been thinking a lot about returning to England: imagining it, what I would like to go back to, the things I’d like to do, what and who I miss. Then I remember that I can never go back to my “old life”, that it will never be the same. I especially remember with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes that we can never go back to that cottage on the farm. To our sweet landlady who used to watch from her kitchen window our girls playing in the garden. To the walks we took to the walled garden.

I never appreciated what I had.

>> I have to pause to cry here, because it is so.damn.hard. to admit that <<

And yet this journey has taught me that I needed to take it in order to be able to appreciate what I had.

Regrets and what I'm missing from my "old life" since embarking on van life

What has happened to me along the journey of my life so far, that I couldn’t appreciate what I had? That I couldn’t be happy with it? These are things I wonder and ask myself all the time.

Hopes and fears

My greatest hope right now, is that when we “return” to — or do I really mean, when we make a new life, somewhere settled, as I currently imagine it — My great hope right now, is that I can appreciate it, and find happiness with what I have. My greatest fear, is that I will slip back into those old ways of thinking.

A dear friend of mine gave me the most wonderful book as a leaving gift, and this is a quote from it: “This road is hard, this road is long, this road that leads us home.” The Road Home written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Sarah Jacoby.

If this resonated with you, before we left our “old life” I wrote about Leaving This Life We Built.