Bumps on the road to our RTW

by Kim on March 13, 2011 · 27 comments

Setbacks Are A Part of Following Your Dreams

Kim’s note: My heart goes out to the people of Japan who have lost so much to the recent earthquake and tsunami.  I’m thinking of you and sending all of my love and energy your way.  It feels trite to write about the small inconveniences of life when such big forces are at work elsewhere in the world.  Those of us lucky enough to be in our homes surrounded by the ones we love are blessed and believe me I know it. 

The winter blues

I’ve come down with a bit of the winter blues.  It happens, especially in Oregon, especially when the rest of the country knows that spring is just around the corner but we’ve still got three months of gray skies to endure in the Pacific Northwest.  I love Oregon, but this time of year I find myself about one wrong turn away from the steely gates of the loony bin.

The recent setback with our house has also taken a bit of the wind out of my sails.  I’m still planning and reading and thinking about our RTW non-stop, but I was so dead-set on leaving for our trip in January 2012 that even pushing the date back a few months has crushed me a little. 

And then there’s the real issue

There’s another thing too, and I think it gets at the issue I’m really struggling with.  I don’t want to own our house anymore.  I don’t want to rent it out and worry about a mortgage, and renters, and the water bill and blah,blah,blah.  The whole point of leaving our jobs and setting out into the world was to release ourselves from the demands and burdens of the American lifestyle.  I don’t want the burden of owning (and owing) things.  I want to be free. FREEEEEE dammit.  I want to know that everything I own is on my back.  I want to know I’ve got no monetary debts with the rest of the world (well, except with the U.S. Department of Education, but you can’t win ’em all).  Keeping the house is like dropping a huge anchor into our “old” life and then trying to run away from it.  It’s just not possible.  The house keeps us tied down, even while we travel.

The lesson

I’m thinking of this process of shedding our things to follow our dreams as an evolution of spirit.  I need to find the lesson in this bump in the road.  Certainly it is teaching me patience and endurance.  I learned a long time ago that I can’t have everything I want just when I want it but I’ve also never been very good at accepting that.  (I remember a moment in my childhood when, asking my mom repeatedly for something that I wanted and being continuously denied, I convinced my friend to make the request.  My mom’s response?  Kim sent you in here, didn’t she?  I was probably five years old). 

Maybe the lesson here is learning to charge persistently around lifes obstacles.  The Taoists believe that we should react to hardships like water in a stream, flowing around the rocks in our path, eroding the obstacles down over time.  Of course, that water was never stuck with a mortgage payment, but I like the idea. 

I’m also trying to let myself believe that there are forces at work that I do not see or understand yet.  That keeping the house might be a huge blessing in disguise.  Maybe some day the house will become my writing studio!  Or, maybe we are keeping this tie to Portland because we are meant to be here, though we don’t yet know quite why. 

Help me out

I love to hear from you guys.  Leave a comment and help give me some perspective.  What do you think?  Have you had an experience that seemed like a setback but was really a blessing in disguise?  I’d also love to hear from any travelers that have kept their homes and are making it work while traveling. 

One more thing, if you receive these updates via email just click the title of the post and you’ll be redirected to my blog where you can comment if you’d like.