Last August 13th we were waking up in our hammocks in the back of Charley van. Having closed the door for the last time on our first place together two days prior, we were camped out in the driveway of a house my family was occupying at the time waiting for the designated start date of a little trip we called Ambling Full Tilt. August 13th was the date we had chosen because we had purchased tickets several months before we even dreamed up Ambling to a concert tour called Gentlemen of the Road, which was taking a place a few hours northwest of us in Walla Walla, WA. It made a good soft start to a trip that would ultimately take us over 12,000 miles ultimately in search of home.
Home came a few more thousand miles and a few false starts later. But that time in between, although I would never call it easy, was heretofore the greatest adventure of my life. I occasionally have a chance to go back through our photos or read a post from the road and know that whatever it meant to anyone else, it meant everything to us and we really accomplished something in terms of our development as individuals and as partners.
We’re a pair of sentimental fools and today and every August 13th we will look back with reverence and love on our time as Residents of the Road. We will cherish the wonderful people we met and made friends (or even just shared a good conversation) with and marvel at the open and good nature of most of America that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see. And we will know that every mishap, moment of discomfort, or sheer dismay strengthened us and our resolve to see it through and make a home together at the end. Finally, we will acknowledge our eternal gratitude to our beloved for believing in and cheering us on along the way and beyond.
My ultimate takeaway lesson from this past year is that “it takes a village” for life, not just when we are small. And we know we wouldn’t have gotten so far and learned so much without our mentors and peers who know more than we do about certain things. We still need them today and we will need them forever. Sometimes, when the little bit of media I allow in makes me afraid of a country I don’t recognize anymore, I remember that our “village” is vast and full of people who are kind, selfless, and loving. We saw this firsthand everywhere we went. And we continue to see this as we integrate ourselves into our new community.
Happiness, Peace, and Liberation to all!