While having a blast at the reunion, we were also busy getting our final packing finished and the last purge. We had a few things to finally let go of, like our pillows and other random things, like our minivan…
We luckily found a great buyer who was in need of upgrading their vanimal and they dropped us off at the airport!
It was quite a strange feeling having just sold our last vehicle and jettisoned anything that wouldn’t fit in our suitcases and backpacks and to step onto an airplane! Very freeing, but also quite anxious. There were second thoughts and moments of panic, but we reassured ourselves that we’d done the planning and preparations and now was time to jump!
It was also very freeing to let go of everything society says we should have and accumulate and work hard to keep. We no longer are living the “American Dream” of owning our own house (and paying the bank dearly for it in interest and insurance). A yard to call our own to play ball with the kids, our own kitchen, and growing some veggies or spices. We do value that and are still interested in that, we just have a different dream right now. We want to travel light and experience different cultures and places, we want to go not as tourists, but as travelers and learn from the experience. We also want to learn to detach from the things and stuff of our commercial consumer culture. We want to JUMP! You can too!
Our first jump is to fly from SLC to LA to Nadi, Fiji to Labasa, Fiji, then a taxi to the docks and a boat to Vorovoro for a week of culture experience living sustainably with a Fiji village. More on that to come. The fun part was crossing the date line, in that we left LA on a Thursday night, and arrived in Fiji Saturday morning, yet only 12 hours later. So we jumped into the future too!
We’ve spent the last week overwhelmed daily with all that needed doing and all the emotions that came along with it. With the last push to let go of things and all the last furnishings in our house, organize what we weren’t getting rid of and taking anything we couldn’t sell to donate to friends and family and strangers. Selling our house to a great family and saying goodbye (for now) to the best neighbors we could have asked for.
We moved more than we intend to store in our parents basement (letting go is hard!). Then we also did our best at packing the van for a 6 week road trip followed by the flight that will begin our international nomad adventure. We brought bag after bag and box after box to the driveway and had to get creative in packing the trunk and every available space in the Honda Odyssey like Tetris masters. All the while knowing that we still have more stuff than we’d like. All our American consumer and preparedness training makes it really hard to leave anything behind though. We had to repeatedly tell ourselves that we can buy things as needed. That is such a different way of life and philosophy than we are used to. We usually buy in bulk and for long term, but we have to flip it and only buy what we need and only when we need it, and then only expect to keep it while it’s needed and useful.
We are going to Fiji though and have a list of things that are needed for life there. Then we arrive in Australia mid-July, which is winter, so we have coats as well as swimming suits and everything in between. It’s not as easy to pack light when we go Nomad because we are feeling like we want to bring all we will need as to be ready for the many scenarios we will encounter. As nice as it would be to have everything we will need on the journey, it’s not practical to carry that much stuff through the airplanes and transfers and trams and trains and ferries and Ubers and taxis and rental cars and buses which we’re sure to be utilizing. We will have to learn to do without or buy it there. It’s surreal to drive off with all the things we’ve kept for the journey in one vehicle and actually be setting off! We’re driving the family minivan with my keychain, with the van key being the solo key left on it. No more office key, that was my last job and I gave it back on my last day, my car has been sold, the house has been sold and my church key has been returned since someone else will be needing it soon. I’ve had many keys to lug around and the responsibilities that come along with each, it’s kinda nice to be free of that. Soon we’ll sell the van too and be on our own feet and whatever vehicles we hire/rent.
Driving off from our last local family gatherings into the sunset was hard. To know we won’t see the familiar faces in person for a good while was sad. We have plans for keeping in touch with video chats, but those are never quite the same. I said goodbye to my 4 sisters and their families, my parents and the slew of 16 nephews and one niece. The kids enjoyed some serious playtime with cousins before some goodbye hugs. Then the next day was goodbye to mom’s brother and sister and parents and more cousins and more hugs! It will seriously be hard to be far from the little cousins and we’ll miss seeing them grow! We won’t be gone forever, we’ll be around again one day, but we’ve got the itch pushing us on.