full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

Letting Go of Home

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

For years I dreamed of travelling this fabulous continent with only a camper van and my best friend, (and hubby in case you are new to the blog) Q.  I was heavy into my career, building, growing, climbing that corporate ladder but as I sat in my office staring out the windows I would dream of being somewhere else.  I felt stifled, uninspired in my life.  I was successful but I felt empty inside like something was missing.

Snippets of the life I truly wanted were granted to me via holidays and vacations but once I returned to my life of commute, home, commute, I would quickly push those memories away so I wouldn’t be reminded I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.  With obligations growing I worked on, adding responsibilities to my job and knick knacks to my house.  Over time I would forget the feelings the vacations would illicit and be complacent with my mediocre existence as long as my house was beautiful, my children provided for and Q and I were at some sort of happy medium.  But when you exist, not live, but merely exist, regardless of how nice your surroundings may be, there is a coldness in your soul that begs you to find the warmth it desires.

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

 

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

Q and I have often said we were lucky to finally get the message to re-evaluate our lives, albeit came in the form of an illness.  But the truth is, would we have ever stopped, reassessed and taken action if the message hadn’t been so threatening?  After much consideration, we think not.  We are grateful our eyes were opened, and for the first time since we could remember, we could truly, purely see.

To choose to begin a nomadic lifestyle like I had always dreamed of was an easy decision.  The hard part came in letting go of our home.  Your home isn’t just “where you lay your hat”.  For the majority of us, a home has an address, a static view, with only neighbours changing occasionally.    Home is an anchor, keeping us from being drifters.

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

For Q and I, we had spent our working careers building our home, designing it into our own masterpiece that felt warm, comforting and happy.  It was the ambience we had chosen via our furniture, art and colour schemes.  Home, was where we placed the majority of our pay cheque, maintaining, and renovating.

When we had finally committed to this nomadic lifestyle it took me months to let go of my home.  I would wander into each room and pour my gaze over every inch from ceiling to floor.  I would reminisce about where I purchased that lamp, how did I come by that chair and I would ask in every room – how do I let go?  Our home is what had comforted me in the darkest days of my life, and contained some of my greatest joys.

My family had lived within these walls.

In every candlestick, throw pillow and mirror, there was a story and sacrifice made.  Fear welled within.  What if I could never replace my home – in the state in which I now owned it, filled with all the things I’ve ever wanted?

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

During our discussions of our fears of letting go of home something shifted in my thinking when Q finally relented and told me I could keep whatever I wanted.  We’d put it in storage until when and if we decided to finally be anchored to one street ever again.  The exercise of deciding what to keep had me gauge the value of each item.  I noted during this process each item independently held limited value in terms of sentiment.  It was collectively where these items’ greatest worth was noted but by themselves, they were just things we had purchased for no other reason than we liked the way it looked.

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

For the first time, I started to see my home objectively and realized the attachment I felt wasn’t to the frames that lined the shelves or the duvet that covered my bed.  The walls equated to nothing more than a house, and our belongings were just that.  Things that belonged to us.  I was bound to the parties we held for our family.  The Christmas get togethers, baby showers and birthdays.  I was held by the memories and the love that encompassed us.  The things that made it a home, wouldn’t be left behind or sold.  It was each and every one of us, our love for each other and the memories we had made that made this address our home.  And as long as we were all together, my home would always be with me, where ever I may be.  I was finally able to shift the value from items and place it where it belonged, on ourselves and the new experiences we would now have and the love and joy we will continue to share.  Home may not necessarily be where you lay your hat, but it definitely is where your heart is.

Too often in our culture, we place the utmost importance on things.  And like others, we too subscribed to this belief, but not anymore.  Time is more valuable than anything.  With time, we get to live, not exist.  And realizing our time would now be spent living, loving and laughing exactly how our heart and soul desires, we have no need or capacity for “stuff”.

full-time rv living, rv travel, rving

I won’t lie.  When we eventually walk out the front door the very last time it will be bittersweet.  I have loved the home we made for ourselves within these walls.  I will miss the warmth of the home we created within these walls.  But I will smile knowing, I will be taking what I love most about my home with me when I leave.

~ True North Nomad

Have you had to let go of something you love to fulfil a dream?  Tell us in the comments below.

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293 thoughts on “Letting Go of Home

  1. I have recently done the exact opposite, returned home after almost four years away. I remember thid exact feeling from before I left, it’s amazing now to come back and find the small amount I left for myself in storage, things I genuinely thought important enough to keep a space in somebodies attic… But things I actually haven’t given a second thought to the whole time away. (Apart from my beautiful leather jacket, i missed her). My challenge now is getting used to having ‘things’ again after so long living out of just a bag. Best of luck with your travels, I hope you get to take in the most perfect parts of the world on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shifting my home in the past month, I can completely relate to you. Change is never easy to withstand. But change is the rule of life

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your house is gorgeous! My boyfriend and I plan as well to sell our future house when we retire and start wandering the world. He is more settle on that idea, but reading this post made me realize I feel and will feel the same way you do… I hope you will enjoy the next chapter of your life!

    Liked by 1 person

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    Would be really happy if you could provide some feedback on my new blog!
    Here : decodingperspectivesblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well- moving from a phase in life to another is never easy. You’d certainly miss that beautiful home of yours at some point. It’s practical you’re keeping some cherished items- at least, you will ‘ve some of the familiar items around you, should the needs arise once more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have a beautiful home and some great insights on this post about moving away and being a nomad. As a digital nomad myself, I feel it is hard to let go of my home at first, but the life outside is worth every sacrifice we made. You are right on keep some staff, because at least we know we will have memories and have home to go back to if we are tired.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “It was collectively where these items’ greatest worth was noted but by themselves, they were just things we had purchased for no other reason than we liked the way it looked.”
    A great description of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately that whole also is one of the greatest deceits we tend to fall for: it becomes so cumbersome that it obstructs our view of the small, simple things that make us happy. Even those things we bought/got without emotion (it was simply useful?) are absorbed by that whole and start glowing with “reflected value”.

    I am in the midst of changing job, country and lifestyle myself just now, and can recognise the bitterness in letting everything go. It’s been with me for months, until my daughter’s arrival reminded me that the important places in life are not “somewhere”, but rather “with someone”, doing what makes you happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was an inspiring post. Having moved around, and especially living in a third world country and in apartments furnished for us, we have learned to live without and make-do with much less in the material sense and it’s actually quite freeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed reading this! You wrote it so beautifully! I truly felt the emotions behind your post and your decision! I’m looking forward to continuing to read about your journey!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I loved your post and can certainly relate. We’ve just made a complete lifestyle change by selling or giving away all but 70 boxes of stuff so that we could move from the U.S. to a hilltop vineyard in Spain. We’ve now been in our new home in Spain for 9 weeks and I can truthfully say that I do not miss all the stuff! I’ve written a couple of posts about getting rid of our things. https://thewinerywoman.com/2017/04/23/first-blog-post/
    https://thewinerywoman.com/2017/05/02/what-do-we-take-and-what-do-we-leave/
    The memories are what we hold on to not the items. 🙂 I look forward to following your adventure. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great job on being able to articulate the shift in your perspective of your house and for saying that when you do part from your home that it may be difficult. It is so easy to collect things, especially when we’ve attached emotions/feelings to items. Can’t wait to read about your adventures!! Inspiring article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it will be difficult to leave, but I’m anxious to get on this journey of ours. I hope you stay for the adventure! Take care.

      Like

  12. You captured the pervasive emptiness we all feel when we’re not numbing it with consumption (of materials, alcohol, status, social approval). I can’t wait to read more as you move through this process of letting go, and into the realm of living fully!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I was in a similar position with a high paying job, buying merterialistic to try make myself happy. Now I am living on another continent and I look out the window of my appartment everday and think I can’t believe this is my life now! They can keep the 140k + extras I’d rather live this life than be trappped in something I hate!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was not as established as you were, but the magnitude of change you have taken requires courage, courage I dont think I have. The life you have now chosen is not permanent, and you can always go back; however, I hope and think this new journey will enable you to find a new beginning.

    In the months leading up to my walk, I sold or tossed out what made sense to me at the time — I only had so many plastic totes to put my stuff in. In all, personal belongings (degrees, art, momentoes, etc.) and other items were placed in plastic totes destined for storage at my girlfriend’s dad’s storage unit.

    I now live out of my cart while I walk this spring, summer, and fall for the next few years. After most of my objects were gone, I felt free, but wondered if I have gone over the edge, especially after hearing of others buying furniture and beginning to nest. As a 30 something ”professional’, I feel like a college student. My life is now so different, but I am free to now live a life of purpose, truth, and meaning. This might not be sustainable forever, but it will be for more then 1 year.

    It is going to be hard during the winter when I pause and wait for the next walking season to begin, but that is months away. For now, I will live the dream I wan’t.

    This decision isn’t for everyone, but for me, I am content. It takes courage, and some planning.

    I will follow with great interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is how I found the courge.. I kept telling myself I can always go back to the “normal” way of living. I also believe that letting go of things allows us to find ourselves, our truth and meaning, like you said. I am so looking forward to this new lifestyle, albeit is a bit scary with the unknown. I hope you follow us on our journeys and I wish you well in your walking. I will be sure to check out your blog and see where your feet have wandered. Take care my friend.

      Like

  15. Thank you for this well written piece. As someone who has lived it both ways — fixed street (on many streets around the world) and as a wanderer — I find it is only a tiny part of the story.
    In the end it is not the things that matter, it is not the time that matters, it is not the place that matters — it is people who matter.
    That is why I started a blog called AmericanPeopleTogether.wordpress.com
    It is not a story of what I did, how I did it, how I felt — none of these. It is a story of how we are NOW here in America. Take a pause, take a deep breath, look inside yourself — what do you see, how do you feel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right – it is the people, the experiences, the moments with nature. Those are all the things that I value. Thank you for dropping by and letting my catch my breath!

      Like

  16. This was such an inspiring post! The gorgeous pictures of your house also definitely added to it (I don’t think I’ve quite reached your stage of enlightenment so I’m still mourning the loss of its beauty). Thanks so much for sharing – can’t wait to read about your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Loved reading this. I’m trying to get up the nerve to someday head out full time in an RV…but my husband isn’t interested in that lifestyle, and we too have spent the past 25+ years making this house a home. I often find myself looking around and saying I’ll never live in another house this nice again, so I’m not hurrying to leave…yet….life on the road is where I truly think I belong.

    Thanks for writing this, it gives me more to think about. Good luck with your move!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow, this really hit HOME with me. I recently just wrote about a similar experience. It took me a long time to realize home is not a place on a street, but it’s the memories that are created there and those will always be with me. I really loved this part.
    “For the first time, I started to see my home objectively and realized the attachment I felt wasn’t to the frames that lined the shelves or the duvet that covered my bed. The walls equated to nothing more than a house, and our belongings were just that. Things that belonged to us… I was held by the memories and the love that encompassed us. The things that made it a home, wouldn’t be left behind or sold. It was each and every one of us, our love for each other and the memories we had made that made this address our home. And as long as we were all together, my home would always be with me, where ever I may be. I was finally able to shift the value from items and place it where it belonged, on ourselves and the new experiences we would now have and the love and joy we will continue to share. Home may not necessarily be where you lay your hat, but it definitely is where your heart is.”
    Beautifully said!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. You’ll often miss what you’ve left, might questions yourself when things go wrong, but when you then take your time to look up, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you really want to go back to all of that…..you’ll probably laugh and say no…………but if not and you really go back………it’s no big deal because you took the chance and followed your dream. You’ll never have to sit there and ask yourself ‘what would have happened, if I only had….”………..and that’s the best you can do for yourself !
    Life’s too short to waste a minute………believe me we know what you’re talking about !!
    Have fun and enjoy the journey 🙂
    We do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautifully written.Your house looks beyond spectacular.I certainly can feel the wonderful home which you must have created within it.Keep that vibe with you always.Could sense the dilemma and experiences you mentioned.Wishing you all the very best for your upcoming journey.Extremely glad to have found your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. “Too often in our culture, we place the utmost importance on things. And like others, we too subscribed to this belief, but not anymore. Time is more valuable than anything. With time, we get to live, not exist. And realizing our time would now be spent living, loving and laughing exactly how our heart and soul desires, we have no need or capacity for “stuff”.”

    Very true statement… I enlisted in the military straight out of high school, and when I came back home, I was lost for a while. I didn’t actually feel like I had a home. But this feeling of being lost and alone turned out to be a blessing of freedom. I don’t have anything weighing me down or holding me back from travelling. Every experience I get becomes a part of who I am. Wealth is in the mind.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. That is an extremely nice home! I too, have had the same battle with leaving or staying but find joy in knowing the memories of the new can’t replace the old, they simply join forces. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I can truly connect with the sentiments involved while you let go your most prized possession. It is equally difficult for a nomad to settle as it is for the settled to stray. But the bigger picture shows it all. You asked for it and it would pain no further as it pained that very instant you clung to the things you had groomed so well. My best wishes are with you for your endeavors ahead. Keep posting … 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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