Good Things Come Back To You

by Kim on September 21, 2011 · 24 comments

I want to tell you a little story.

But first: If you follow this blog with regularity you know the story.  Free-spirited wife and slightly hesitant husband quit their jobs, sell all their stuff and set off to follow wife’s dream of exploring the world and writing, as told almost entirely by wife (that would be me).

I have been documenting the ups and downs of pursuing my dream from the very beginning.  It began by choosing to acknowledge my dream and then breaking the news to Brian.  From there we told our friends and family.  Next came a period when Brian came to terms with what it means to chase my dream, then we started saving money, then sold our house and got rid of our things. Basically, this blog has followed my personal journey of giving up a really great life for the unknown, guided only by a feeling inside of me that I couldn’t ignore anymore.

To say that there have been many ups and downs in the past year is a bit like saying that Jaws is just a tiny fish.  But I’ve learned something since I started chasing my dream: being really alive means experiencing sadness, longing, joy, exhilaration, anticipation and fear.  Before I started down this path my days were muted replicas of each other.  Now, some days are extremely trying and others have me floating on air but all of them are oxygenated and infused, like someone snapped the blinds up behind my eyes so I could see the world again.

But to get to the point of the story: Of all of the challenging experiences we’ve had, selling our beloved house is at the very top of the list.

I thought I told the end of our selling-the-house story when I wrote about leaving our home for the last time.  I cleaned and cried and walked through the house reliving the memories we’d made there.  Then I left the new owners some wine and a note, locked the door, dropped the keys in the mailbox, and closed that chapter of our lives forever.

Or so I thought.

But sometime during the chaotic weeks when we were finalizing the sale of the house and moving into our new apartment, my phone died.  I ended up replacing my ancient flip phone with an Android, complete with 3G and Apps and other fancy gadgets that I don’t really understand.

Shortly after purchasing my new phone I pulled up the Facebook app.  There in my Facebook in-box was a message dated August 20th, 2011, the day after we moved out of our house.  For some reason Facebook had decided that the message was spam and hid it from view on my laptop.  Only the Facebook interface on my phone allowed me to see the message, and this is what it said:

I’m not sure you are the correct Kim for this note so forgive me if I have the wrong person.  I am the mother of Gavin who just moved into your house and wanted to tell you how thoughtful and nice it was for both of you to leave the wine and the note for him. We were all truly touched by the gesture. We all love the house and your love and caring can be seen and felt everywhere. Have a wonderful time on your trip!

Brian and I were walking home from dinner when I read the message.  Tears puddled in my eyes and I stopped dead in my tracks.  Brian! You’ll never believe what I’m reading right now!  

I read the message to him, and then I read it to him again.  We’d been bantering lightheartedly as we walked home but now we fell silent.

Wow, I said, that was so nice of her to write us.  I think I needed to hear that our house will be loved even though we aren’t there to love it anymore.  

Yeah, Brian said, it’s closure, in a way.  I wouldn’t have guessed that I needed it, but I guess I do.  

Then I wrapped my arm around his arm and we strolled the rest of the way back to our apartment, talking about how, once again, the universe gave us exactly what we didn’t even know we needed.  

The note to the new owners

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

This post is sponsored by Hotel Club.  Hotel Club helps travelers find accommodations in Melbourne.

RELATED POSTS:

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel September 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Making me tear up now! That is such a sweet story. Sometimes we have no idea how much the seemingly little things we do will touch someone’s life.

Reply

Kim September 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I know, it’s so true! It’s just a reminder that every kind thing you do matters, even if you never get to learn how much it matters.

Reply

Lisa September 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm

You left that kind, warm note and they shared their warmth and caring with you in return. I wish you success and fun on your new journey.

Reply

Kim September 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thanks Lisa 🙂

Reply

Gillian @OneGiantStep September 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

What do they say…it is only when you give that you truly receive. What a great end to that part of your story!

Reply

Kim September 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thanks Gillian. It really was the perfect ending.

Reply

Deborah September 22, 2011 at 7:31 am

I love this post so much that it’s hard for me to choose a favorite line but I think I’ve narrowed it down to two:
1) Before I started down this path my days were muted replicas of each other.
2)Then I wrapped my arm around his arm and we strolled the rest of the way back to our apartment, talking about how, once again, the universe gave us exactly what we didn’t even know we needed.

Okay, seeing them side by side, #2 is my favorite. But I love that first line, too.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Kim.

Reply

Kim September 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Deb 🙂

Reply

Tricia(Geeky Explorers) September 22, 2011 at 7:12 am

Very, very cool. You really do put so much time, effort & love into a house that it’s nice to know when that is appreciated. Little notes on both sides made a huge difference. And closure is always a good thing. 🙂

Reply

Kim September 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Closure is a very good thing. I like that now, when I think of my house, err, I mean my old house, I think of kind people living there!

Reply

Rhonda September 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

What a wonderful post. Isn’t it lovely to know that you can put something out to the universe and never expect anything back but when you do get something back it just means that much more. So glad to hear you got the closure you needed to continue to move on to the next stage of your lives.

Reply

Kim September 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Thanks Rhonda!

Reply

Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista September 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This is a special story in so many ways. It was so very nice of you to leave the note and wine for the new owner. I don’t know that I’ve heard of anyone leaving a note like this. Just goes to show, kindness doesn’t have to take a long time or cost money. It is the simple things in life that make all the difference.

Reply

Kim September 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Hi Debbie. I have to admit that when Brian and I first moved in together, to a rental, the people moving out left us a six pack of beer in the fridge. It was so nice and we never forgot it.

As we were preparing to move out of our house this time Brian said that we should leave the new owners some beer because it had been so nice when that happened to us. Then I thought that I also wanted to write them a note to wish them luck, and that’s how it happened.

SO! I’m really not the person that started the chain of kindness, it was the person that left us that beer EIGHT years ago!

Reply

Ali September 23, 2011 at 5:23 am

I loved reading this, so sweet 🙂 I’m really enjoying following along with your journey!

Reply

Kim September 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Ali 🙂

Reply

Two Travelaholics September 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm

What a great story, Kim! The little things always end up meaning something bigger than we think they do. I’m glad to hear there was such a nice ending to that chapter of your lives.

Reply

Kim September 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Thank you!!! Isn’t it great to know that those little things don’t go unnoticed?

Reply

Tricia Mitchell October 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Greetings, Kim, I am pleased to have stumbled upon your blog and this piece via Sarah’s. Since we’ll be soon bidding farewell to a place I’ve called home for a decade (in favor of an Asian sabbatical) I’m feeling many of the same feelings you mentioned here, now. In fact, we’ll be handing over the keys in just a few days! The dream of tiptoeing through Asia shortly is helping to temper those feelings of loss and nervousness. How refreshing to find others out there on a similar journey.

Our movers will be here in just a few short hours (but I’m so happy that in procrastinating, I found your site), but I look forward to reading more of your posts once I’m out on the road and free! Thanks for the inspiration.

Reply

Kim October 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Tricia, wow, you are right on the verge of a grand adventure… I can only imagine how you must be feeling. The mixture of emotions of giving up a nice life for the unknown call of the world is something that I certainly relate to. It was so hard for us to leave our house but I can honestly say that, now that we have, I don’t miss it. I find myself mostly looking ahead to what we are working towards instead of behind at what we had. Safe travels to you!!

Reply

Tricia Mitchell October 30, 2011 at 1:19 am

Kim, thanks for your bon voyage wishes! I see from your postings that you won’t be on the road until 2012. Perhaps our paths will cross then…

It’s refreshing to hear that you don’t miss what you’ve “left” behind! I have a feeling that once we bid farewell to our place tomorrow, we’ll also be focused on what awaits!

Reply

Kim October 31, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Good luck!! Big things to come to you 🙂

Reply

Karen Eidson December 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

I just “met” you and your blog through a good friend. I was like you when I was in my late 40’s. I wanted to quit my job, sell my house and all my stuff, and go off to see the world. It took me almost 3 years to convince my husband that we could do it, and not go bankrupt and not starve to death. We finally sold the house and all the stuff in August of 2000, and paid cash for a new Starcraft 32′ travel trailer. Just as I was about to quit my job, I was offered a buy out. I left the job after putting in 20 years and 31 days of drudgery.

We lived in that the Starcraft for 6 years. We worked at campgrounds and resorts for a tiny wage and free rent during whatever the “season” was, then moved on to a volunteer position for the winter each year. We, of course, did not starve and did not go broke. We saw so many things, went so many places, and lived in some of the most beautiful places. We spent 10 months in Gettysburg, PA. 11 months in Virginia on the Rappahannock River. 4 months in Florida on the Space Coast. 2.5 years in deep south Texas, 8 miles from the Mexican border, and more places along the way. We bought a new Jayco Eagle Travel Trailer in 2007, which we lived in until November, 2012.

In 2008, my ultimate dream came true, and I was hired to be a Park Ranger at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We worked 6 months out the year (my husband also worked for the National Park Service as a custodian), and lived on the edge of the canyon during that time. IN the winters, we volunteered for the National Forest Service as camphosts. We went back to the Grand Canyon every year for 5 years. I loved every minute of it. I loved wearing that uniform, that hat, and being the first person to greet visitors to the park. Alas our fun ended in 2012, when I got sick and wound up in the hospital in Flagstaff, and nearly dying on my 60th birthday. A 34 day stay with no health insurance finally broke us, and at the end of the season in October 2012 we limped home to Georgia for good. I came out of the ordeal with a permanent disability. I am so so glad we did not wait until our normal retirement age to go see the world (or the US). I would do it over again in a heartbeat. My only regret is that I do not have a photo of my Mother’s face when I told her what we planned to do. For a split second, she looked at me like she thought I was out of my mind. Maybe I was, but just maybe I was the most sane person in the family after all.

Enjoy your life, your travels, and have fun. Please do send me a yellow envelope. I’m not done in this world yet.
Karen Eidson recently posted..LuLaRoe: Comfort And Style For Any Size plus A Giveaway!

Reply

Kim December 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Karen, this is the best comment I have received in a long time. I LOVE IT. I LOVE that you embraced your life and lived it the way that you wanted to live it. I have a few questions for you. 1) will you email your address to kim.somanyplaces@gmail.com and I will mail you a yellow envelope. 2) can I interview you for a new project I am working on? 3) Could I share this amazing story on my So Many Places Facebook page? I think it will inspire many others. I have your email address so I will email you as well!! Thank you 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge