This essay was originally published on Medium.com
A week after selling our home of twenty years, the house in which we raised a family (and collected generations worth of bric-a-brac), I exercised my first expression of freedom — three weeks in the Pacific Northwest with our daughter, Annie. I wanted to gain a glimpse into the #vanlife existence she’d been living for the past year.
She has all you need in that van, even a little library of books written by great authors who took to the road. She relayed a pertinent quote from Suleika Jaouad’s wonderful memoir BETWEEN TWO KINGDOMS on one of our hikes, “Every trip has three parts — preparing and packing for the trip, the trip itself, and the memories of the trip.” As far as prepping went, I didn’t do a great job. I was so focused on moving, the closing, and then getting my hands on her, I didn’t even research the places she’d be taking me. I flew to Portland, OR in a whirlwind where she picked me up with a full refrigerator and a well-researched itinerary. The trip was incredible (see all the photos). But ever since returning on August 27, my reflections have only intensified. It was the type of experience that demanded meaning making and an assessment of lessons learned. When people asked — how was your trip? I gave a very superficial “great!” But hopefully this post scratches a little deeper beneath the surface.