In a few week's time, just as our time on the road hits a whopping 14 months, we'll be arriving back where we started. We'll be selling our caravan and then heading north to settle down for a while in a house. I am terribly sad that our epic trip is almost over. It's been one of the most amazing, life changing things we've ever done. I've loved every minute of travelling Australia with my business and my family, but there are certainly a few things I am looking forward to. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Having my own bathroom.
I am so excited about unpacking my shower bag for good. I'm excited about using a clean shower that I don't need to mop afterwards. I'm excited about going to the toilet without listening to other strangers poo in the stall next to me. I'm excited about my 4 year old being able to go to the bathroom on his own. I'm excited about toilets that flush and bathrooms that don't require a key or a code to get into.
2. Multiple rooms.
Whilst I am not looking forward to having an entire house to clean, I am looking forward to having space. I am excited about being able to retreat to a room and close the door and have some privacy. I'm excited about getting dressed in the morning without someone making toast 2 inches from my backside. I'm excited about cooking without 2 children at my feet and about being able to kindly send my children to their bedroom when they're behaving like lunatics and need some quiet time to settle down. I'm excited about having space to create that is free from distractions and is actually comfortable.
3. Having my own laundry.
I'm excited about getting rid of our twin tub and having a real washing machine again. I'm looking forward to putting my dirty washing into a machine and being able to press a button and walk away. I'm excited about being able to dry my clothes in the dryer on rainy days and about not having to carry my pegs to the clothesline. I'm excited about it taking an hour to tie dye clothing instead of 3.
4. A backyard.
I'm excited about having a veggie garden and being able to walk outside and pick my own herbs. About having grass to lay on with the kids and an outdoor space where I can relax because there's fences and gates and they can't run away when my back is turned.
Whilst I love being spontaneous and I love the freedom of being on the road, I'm kind of excited about going back to a regular routine. I'm looking forward to being able to remember what day of the week it is and about actually remembering to pay the bills on time. I'm looking forward to predictability and actually getting the kids to bed at the same time every night.
I'm looking forward to having regular access to basic services. There's a lot to be said for being able to see the same doctor whenever someone in the family is sick. I'm looking forward to taking the kids to regular children's activities where people actually know our names and I'm excited about sending our son to preschool.
I cannot wait to have friends again who I see on a regular basis. I cannot wait to have friends to catch up with for a chat who know me back to front, who I can vent to about my family (because things don't go so well when you complain about your family to your family). I'm excited about having people to call on when I need help who I know I can return the favour to at a later date because I'll actually see them again.
8. Power, water and internet.
I'm excited about having utilities that I don't have to plug in, ones that are reliable. I am excited about having fast internet with downloads and water that tastes good all of the time.
9. A real fridge.
I'm excited about having a fridge that I can fit everything in easily, a fridge that I can see what's in it at a glance. I cannot wait to buy and cook in bulk again.
I'm excited about making mess, about leaving things out on benches and the floor and not having to pack them into a tiny cupboard the next day. I'm excited about giving the kids an indoor space where they can run around and make as much mess and they want. I'm excited about leaving a mess in the kitchen and not having to the dishes immediately after meal.
I'm sure that after a week of living in a house again I'll have a list of 100 things I miss about living in a caravan, but at the moment I am going to focus on all the things I have to look forward to.
This afternoon was HARD. The kids wouldn't stop screaming. Tantrum after tantrum after tantrum. We had arrived in a busy caravan park, after weeks of quiet camping and many late nights and we were all tired. The kids yelled at us. We yelled at the kids and at each other and made absolute fools of ourselves. At 5:00pm we'd had enough, we put the kids to bed and I went for a walk.
During my walk, I found the ocean. I found my calm place. I found my forgotten source of abundant energy. I breathed in, I breathed out and then I understood.
The tantrums, the yelling, the crying and the difficulty of it all. You know what it was? The slow whisper of change. It's calling us. As one journey ends, another is beginning. Yes universe, we hear you. We are ready.