“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”— Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Two years ago today, Nick, Bella and I said goodbye to our comfortable life and home. Our empty house was for sale. We had given away, sold or thrown out almost all of our accumulated possessions. As we pulled away, Nick and I both wondered aloud what the hell we were doing! This was the craziest thing that either of us had ever done.
Our mutual love of travel was apparent from the beginning of our relationship. For years, we dreamed of a traveling retirement. But dreaming about it and doing it are two entirely different things.
As our departure day approached we both had plenty of second thoughts about ditching it all to travel, but we soldiered on with the plan. Finally, we were in a rental car setting out on a 3 hour drive to JFK in New York City to catch our flight to Italy. Nick had rented a charming “rustico” house and leased a car for our 6 month stay. We were actually doing it.
Two years and many adventures later, we have no regrets. In the past two years we’ve lived in Italy and Mexico, took an epic RV trip across the USA and spent time with our family.
While it’s natural to romanticize our nomadic lifestyle, the truth is it isn’t always fun and easy. However, when I look back over these past two years, I don’t think about the hard stuff.
Each experience has transformed us, become a part of us. It is impossible to summarize them all in a meaningful way. But when I am having trouble falling asleep at night, I imagine myself sipping wine in a piazza in the warm Italian sun. Or floating in a turquoise blue cenote in Mexico. Or in the stillness of a majestic Redwood forest in Northern California.
We find ourselves living in Florida, for now. We have some family stuff that is keeping us on this continent. There are many advantages to living in the United States in general and Florida in particular. The winter weather here is perfect. We can find just about anything we want within a two mile drive. It’s an easy flight to upstate New York to visit family. I even have library card! And you don’t truly appreciate the United States Postal Service until you have lived someplace else. But somehow it feels a little too easy. I am feeling restless.
We’re planning to go back to Italy. Nick and I have been studying Italian so that we’ll be better prepared. This time we want to explore the southern part of the boot. When we’re not studying Italian, we’re looking for home rentals. France, Spain and Greece are also on our to-do list. while we’ve hit the “pause” button, the adventure will continue.
Lynne, Nick and Bella