Goodbye Tauranga

 

The day I sometimes felt would never arrive is finally here! All the lists of jobs we had have finally been ticked off, a few things we never anticipated have been thrown in just for good measure to keep us on our toes. Everything we own is now inside our bus or our small storage unit. And we have said goodbye to all the people who made up our world and our lives here in Tauranga.

It was actually a lot easier to hop in the car and drive away than what I had imagined it would be. I suppose I have had so much time over the last few months to try to figure out all the details of this trip, to anticipate it and look forward to it, that now there is no room for nervousness and worry. Just a whole lot of excitement and a whole lot of wondering what it is we will find down the road. It’s also amazing how having Oliver along for the ride with us keeps it all in perspective, you still have to live your everyday life around the travelling and the exploring. Small children still expect to be fed at regular intervals, they still want a sense of routine and a sense of home even if it is a moveable one, they still create mess and washing to be dealt with. Oddly this is kind of comforting, this life might be a big leap into the unknown but the everyday of it still contains a lot of familiar things.

Leaving Tauranga makes me reflect a lot on the time I have lived here, all that has happened for me here and all the great memories I take with us. It also makes me reflect on the journey we have taken in the last twelve months, from living a pretty average life to where we are now. Living in a bus, unsure when or where one of us will next have paid employment, unsure even where we will be next week as we are purposely keeping our travel plans very vague in the hopes that will allow us to see as much as we want in each area. It feels like the changes we have made in the last twelve months are almost as big as the ones we will make in the next twelve months.

When we moved in to my parents house at the end of October our goal was to only stay 6-8 weeks, well five months later that clearly didn’t go to plan. Or as I am learning to see it, we made a new plan, not better or worse just different. You see I love having a plan and a goal to work towards and I am an avid writer of to do lists and the like. The downside of this is that sometimes when things don’t go to the plan it can feel like you are falling short in some ways. One of the things I hope to do while we embark on this adventure is learn how to let go a little and celebrate success whether it went to plan or  followed some other more winding path. Because sometimes getting there anyway when things didn’t follow the plan is the biggest success of all!

 

Life Lessons

Any major life change is almost guaranteed to leave its mark on you and teach you things you will remember long after you have moved on with your life. This process of shedding our old life has already taught me a few.

1. We don’t need so many things!!!

Now I have never considered myself very materialistic and definitely am not a mindless consumer. But somehow in the eleven years since I arrived home from living in Brisbane with a suitcase full of clothes and really not much else we had managed to fill our large three bedroom house with a lot of possessions. A large amount of them we had never even purchased, things gifted or handed on to us in the early stages of our relationship that for some reason or other we had kept. I think the act of having to sort through, sell, donate and choose which things we really wanted to store until we settle down again has changed my attitude to life forever. No I am not so scarred that I will never shop again! I have in fact quite enjoyed a bit of shopping lately for little bits and pieces for the bus. But I do shop differently now, I am always mindful that I would rather a few nice things that I really enjoy having in our space then a lot of things that I don’t enjoy quite so much. I am also hoping that aiming for a lack of clutter will make living in a confined space much more pleasurable.

2. I have some amazing people in my life.

It is very easy sometimes to forget how truly blessed you are. The process of saying goodbye to everyone is reminding me how lucky I am. It makes me a little sad at times that I won’t be able to just turn up on these people’s doorsteps anymore, but I have faith that our relationships will survive the distance. And perhaps I will cherish them a little bit more because they are not so close at hand.

3. My husband and I make a great team.

This is more of a lesson reaffirmed, something we lost sight of in the last few years while we were busy becoming a family. Once we have a joint goal to work towards we are both very determined and happy working hard towards it. Next week will be a year since we first talked about running away in a bus, the minute we had the conversation I knew it was a life changing moment and that this was not a dream that would fizzle or change. At times it has felt like it is taking forever to get to the point where we need to be to go travelling, but I look at how much we have achieved in just a year and I marvel at how powerful we are when we are both 100% committed to the same goal. I think perhaps that this is one of the biggest things that was missing from our life and led to us making these changes. And I am full of plans now for us to work towards during and after this next stage of our lives.

4. A house is not home.

When we were trying to sell our house I was always a little sad at the thought of leaving it behind. This was our first home, we brought with having a family in mind and we had loved it from the minute we first saw it right up until we walked out the front door for the last time. But funnily enough I do not miss it at all, yes I still have lots of good memories from living there and always will, but once we are no longer living in the house it really isn’t anything more than bricks, wood and glass. As cliché as it is, home is wherever the people I love most are. I now know for sure that is true, even when it’s a bus or someone else’s house, as long as the three of us are together I am home.

 

I’m sure that these are just the first of many lessons this new life will teach me, I truly hope I can keep being mindful enough to remember them. Now the day we get the bus back from its alterations is getting incredibly close and will be closely followed by leaving day. It is all a little bit hard to believe that it is actually going to happen. I am eager and excited to see what bus life will be like, I can also feel a little bit of fear in the background as it is all such an unknown, but I think that is human and probably healthy.