" Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." - Jack Kerouac
It has been quite the summer. We have been on the road over and over and over again; only home for enough time to do laundry, recharge (sort of) and venture out again. Until today, my suitcase has been a permanent fixture on the floor of my closet, waiting to be refilled with the clothes that were removed only to be washed and repacked.
One might think we are crazy to do so much traveling with a child under 1. Maybe we were a little. But we knew before he was born that traveling, especially road trips, needed to continue to be an important roll in our lives. Not only is it relevant for visiting much of our family, but mostly we hope that travel strengthens our son's curiosity and appreciation of our world.
It was challenging to move against the rules of the overwhelmingly loud child rearing "experts". Schedules. Routine. Consistency. Same. Same. Same.
I understand that there is a time and place where children can thrive in routines, but I also believe they thrive from exploration and experiences. Much of my son's life will be dictated by schedules once he enters our education system. So for now, we are creating our own normal.
I think all this traveling business may have been easier on Noah than on me. I typically get anxious at the beginning of trips, but throw a kid into the mix and it multiplies. After all the bags are packed, once we're too far to turn back, when the airline loses the car seat (twice), I'm forced to accept the flow of the universe.
There were many bumps along the way, but at the end of the day we were safe, with wonderful people, in beautiful places. Noah was happy, and we were together.
Regardless of all the fears and anxiety that tend to accompany travel, I know we will never stop adventuring. There are too many wonders of this world I have yet to experience; the effort and challenges to reach them cracking open parts of myself that still await discovery. If anything, these trips around our little corner of the country are merely practice for a longer, grander adventure.
So far this summer our venturing has taken us up and down the Oregon coast, to Montana twice, and to Santa Barbara.
It feels good to be home. For now.