departure

Hitting the road was invigorating. The frustration and anxiety we'd been feeling over the preceding weeks seemed to dissolve with every mile we traveled. 

The camper renovations along with numerous mechanical issues pushed our departure date back several weeks. While we were grateful to have a place to crash and the comforts of home, the delays made it a trying time. We itched to begin the adventure that we'd been planning for over half a year. 

We learned a lot during those few weeks: from practical do-it-yourself skills to basic camper mechanics. Most importantly, it was a refresher lesson on adaptability - a crucial skill for nomadic living. 

Much of it had to do with our expectations. Despite our tireless planning, it all still sounded relatively simple, especially as we began checking items off the to-do list: 

Save money ✓

Buy a vehicle ✓

Plan the route ✓

Put stuff in storage ✓

Not so simple. 

Taking stock of our belongings - deciding what to bring and what to leave behind - was a surprisingly emotional process. Thoughts about the future and what's to come percolated. It was as if each box we packed was a time capsule for our future selves. Who will I be when I next see this stuff? 

We realized that some of our persistent delays may have been rooted in fear: leaving all that is familiar - people, places, belongings - for an open road with few concrete plans.

But the incessant whirring of suburban lawn mowers kept us on task.

The old adage says "time flies when you're having fun." In his book, The Granite Landscape, Tom Wessels reflects on Einstein's theory of relativity while exploring the bald peaks in Acadia. The theory is that our perception of time is inversely related to the speed at which we travel. Wessels toys with the theory, replacing his hiking speed as the variable with the rate of new discovery. He posits that we have fewer opportunities for new experiences as we age, thus making it seem like time is accelerating. Conversely, when we're young, everything is new, slowing time.

We sensed this phenomena firsthand. Even with the tedium of the days before our departure, the five weeks flew by. The first two weeks of our journey were spent exploring Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The abundance of with new sights and experiences made the time seem like much longer.

This perspective has galvanized our desire to explore and the importance of a youthful outlook: live fully and consciously, with an openness to discover and learn from the new and unfamiliar. 

Posted on July 28, 2015 .