After two years of global travel, we will be returning to the United States. We are trying to remain optimistic about our future, but truth be told, we are feeling a little sad about returning.
Our trip, that we planned for so long, is coming to an end and we will be returning to the land of…. of… what are we returning to? We turn on the US news and we see shootings, rapes, murders, riots, and all kinds of bad stuff. Why do we want to return to that? We open our personal Facebook pages and see political discussions filled with hate. People can no longer debate differences of political opinion in a rational way. How did American politics become so polarized? Why does everyone hate each other?
Long-term travel has changed us and our priorities are no longer the same. We don’t want more stuff to clutter our lives; we just want more happiness. We have spent two years pursuing happiness and interacting with others on the same journey. You may question our selfish act of leaving society to pursue our own happiness, but the founding fathers of the United States understood the importance of happiness. They understood it so well that they even wrote it into the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Our pursuit of happiness has been amazing and we don’t want it to end, but we need a place where we can call home. We need a place where we can grow roots and become part of the community. But according to the news, there is no community that is safe in the United States. We are warned that we should all own guns to defend ourselves against the bad guys. How can anyone be happy if they are living their lives in fear?
We do have fears; we fear returning to our old lives. Before leaving, our life was filled with busy schedules and we don’t want that again. We want to make new friends and actually have the time to interact with them. In person! We only have 8 years left before our daughter heads off to college. She will only have one childhood and we want to be part of it. Before leaving we were lucky if we saw her for two hours a day. We thought we were providing her a good life, but we were wrong. A good life is one that involves quality time together. We want to give that to her, but we fear we could easily fall back into the trap of busy schedules and having no time for family or friends.
Our plan of relocating to Portland, Maine will hopefully give us a fresh start and make it harder to fall into our old routine. We want to continue our pursuit of happiness there: Kerri wants a garden, Sydney wants to ride horses, and I want to take photos. We want our business ventures to be successful so we can continue to travel and have adventures. It all sounds so idealistic, and that makes us sad. As of right now, it’s still just a dream and we have yet to step foot in Maine. We have a 1000 things to do before we even get there, including purchasing a vehicle in Portland, Oregon and preparing it for a 4300 mile cross country journey through mountains, ice, and snow. We need to meet up with family and friends and say our hellos and goodbyes. We need to pick up our stuff that we left with family and somehow pack in into the car and a small trailer. The list goes on and on and on. We haven’t even returned to US soil and already we have a busy schedule. We don’t want that stress again and it is really bumming us out. I think the stress of our return is making us reconsider our decision of heading back to the United States. I found myself looking at long stay visas for Germany and France. Kerri suggested just this morning that maybe we should move to Mexico and start our businesses there. I don’t know what it is about the US, but we are really dragging our feet on returning. We know it will be the best in the long run, but only if we can stay true to our path.
We return to Portland, Oregon in just 2 weeks. Hopefully we make it…