Gift #5: Freedom

As I wrote earlier, this trip has given us 5 unforgettable gifts.  The first gift is having the luxury of time to explore and meander. The second gift is being able to take the long way around and discover the road less traveled. The third gift is the shared passion Timm and I have for this journey.  The fourth gift is we have become emotionally closer to our family and friends.

The fifth and final gift is freedom.  It is hard to express how free we have felt these past 10 months.  We have been free in so many ways:

  • Free to wake up slowly every morning.  Free to lay in bed awhile longer and enjoy the warmth under the blankets.
  • Free to wander the country.  Free to visit whatever cool parks or tourist attractions we happen upon along the way.
  • Free to stay an extra day in a dispersed camping spot that is… well… free.
  • Free to follow the sun.  Free to pack up the RV and move on down the road because the weather is turning rainy or cold.
  • Free to sit for hours gazing at a warm campfire.  Free of guilty feelings about gazing at the campfire for hours.
  • Free to eat whatever we want because we know we’ll burn off the calories on tomorrow’s 8-mile hike.
  • Free of nearly all time commitments.  Free of appointments, meetings and reservations.
  • Free of nearly all health-related problems.  Free of all but only minor aches and pains.

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Of course, there are a few things from which we are not free.  We do not have total financial freedom, as we have to manage our expenditures so the cost of the trip does not exceed our budget.  We also have regular chores that go along with the normal aspects of daily living: paying bills, doing finances, cleaning, laundry, RV maintenance and repairs, etc.  We have a few minor pressures we put upon ourselves, such as keeping up with blog writing.  And we have the nagging knowledge in the back of our minds that this adventure will indeed end and we’ll have to make the transition back to normal living. Yet, these are insignificant and miniscule in comparison to the vast degree of freedom we experience.

I am fairly sure we will never experience such freedom again.  Even if we’re lucky enough to reach older age and officially retire, one or both of us will likely have health issues of some kind.  Whether they will be minor or major issues, time will tell.

So today and every day of this journey, we have held onto this freedom and cherished it.  Because we know it won’t last forever.  But oh how we enjoyed our freedom while it lasted.

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