Staying Safe While Traveling

Martin & I celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary.


TWO WEEKS.

Martin and I have two weeks before we leave on our life-changing odyssey.

In those two weeks, we will continue to work. I work at my full-time job until June 26; I finished at my part-time job last week. Martin will work his weekend job until June 29.

In those two weeks, we will continue to say goodbye to our friends and family. Happy hours, going away parties, coffee meetings, and lunch dates fill our calendars right now. Friends we haven't talked to in years are wishing us well and trying to see us before we leave. I feel so loved.

In those two weeks, we will continue to liquidate our stuff. A process that is cathartic, stressful, and exhausting.

In those two weeks, we will need to find a new home for Oreo. If you know of anyone who would give a good home to my beloved cat, please let me know. *tears*


In those two weeks, we will organize the stuff we are taking with us and see if we can even fit it in the car.

THE TRANSITION

To say that I'm feeling overwhelmed is an understatement. When we finally embark on our odyssey, I have a feeling my transition will be a little rough. Going from scheduling every minute of every day to scheduling virtually nothing at all will be jarring. I have no idea how I'm going to feel... I can't wait to find out.

As things have been leaving the condo, I have noticed an underlying panicky feeling. Not for the impending trip, but for the loss of stuff.

I'm surprised at how stuff has been providing me with a sense of safety and security. 

I don't have a food processor! What will I do when I want to make homemade peanut butter? How will I survive without homemade peanut butter?! This kind of thought races through my mind with every item that leaves the condo.

I live in the United States - the most independent nation in the world. Our culture has taught me to rely on myself and no one else. If I want to be successful, I need to make myself successful on my own. Our society rewards, praises, idolizes people who provide for themselves without depending on anyone else.

Where is the balance between individualism and community? If I only rely on myself, where is my community? After my family's house fire, we had to rely on our friends, family, and neighbors for help. Without them, we would have been in a very different situation.

So, how am I going to make peanut butter without a food processor? I will borrow one from the people we stay with.

Our first garage sale - in the rain. 

Relying on others for safety and security sounds like a much better plan than relying solely on myself and my material goods. I wonder how our society would change if we were more community focused rather than individualistic?

I remember in high school when I would pack for a multi-day 4-H trip, I would bring as much stuff as I could. The more stuff I brought along the better. I had everything I could possibly need - "Just In Case".

Today, I look back on that overpacking need with amazement. How silly for me to burden myself with stuff! Being prepared is important - even critically important - but surrounding myself with stuff is not the best way to be prepared. Surrounding myself with people and knowledge is a much more effective way to be prepared.

How will I stay safe while driving through foreign countries? 

Talk to the people who live there and ask them! There are dangerous places everywhere; I stay safe in my current home by knowing where to go and where not to go. Asking the locals about where the safe places are and what they recommend to do (or not do) will be the best way to stay safe.

No amount of stuff will make me be safe on this trip. What will be important is making connections with people wherever we go and learning how to thrive in any situation.

So as I say goodbye to most of my belongings and the false sense of security they have provided me over the years, I am saying hello to new friends who will help me navigate my new vagabonding life -  safely.