Tomorrow marks two years since the day I signed the paperwork on my house and drove away. Which means today is two years since I wandered around my house, doing last-minute cleaning, having one last torchlight swim, feeling surprisingly peaceful as I said good-bye to my home and ventured out into a new life.
My brother asked me the other day if I’d take my house back if I could and I didn’t even hesitate before saying, “Oh, yeah, definitely. If I could afford it. I loved my house.”
But I have no regrets. It’s amazing to me to look back on this past year, which feels like it’s lasted a lifetime, and remember all the things I’ve done.
Campsites by the numbers:
8 parking lots
28 state parks
3 national parks
2 national forests
1 Department of Natural Resources
1 Bureau of Land Management
6 Army Corps of Engineers
4 county parks
3 Thousand Trails
1 Good Sam
1 independent, not affiliated with a program
2 guest beds
1 air mattress in an office
If I’m counting right, 75 different places in 32 different states.
I saw Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon; a moose in Montana and a bear in Washington. I visited friends and family across the country. I cleaned out a refrigerator in California and organized spices in Seattle. I took a few ferries and walked on a few beaches. I got elevation sickness in Arizona and a phenomenal cold (or possibly an extended gluten-reaction) in Arkansas. I took a lot of pictures; I wrote a lot of words.
It was a good year.
As it comes to an end, I’m honestly not sure what the future will bring. I love experiencing a beautiful sunrise surrounded by nature, but I’m really tired of needing to strategize about how to shower. I like seeing new places, but I’ve lost all enthusiasm for driving. But I told a friend recently that I’d failed to plan an exit strategy.
And there’s still an awful lot that I want to do. Vermont again, Canada, Wyoming, more time in Montana, another visit to friends in the west, another visit to friends in the northeast. I’m fairly sure that a year from now, I’ll be writing a post titled “Three years” but maybe by then I’ll have some better ideas about where I’d like to settle down and how I can make that work.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a book to edit. I did a first round of revisions last week, after a quick fix on an incorrect name turned into a first-pass edit. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m waiting on feedback from some early readers now, trying not to look at it again until I hear from them, but after my own first read through, I’m fairly sure it’s solid enough that I’ll be publishing it soon. The actual date might depend on when I have internet. I’m heading into Vermont and as I recall, cell signals there were pretty much non-existent. It might have to wait until I get back into a signal-friendly zone. I’ll know more soon, though. And I’m really, really glad not to be going into Year 3 with Grace still unfinished!