We have a road trip tradition of stopping at A&W for a root beer. For this trip, our first A&W stop was in BC on a 96 degree day. It was notable because we had been in the mountains for the past three weeks and the highest temps we had were in the low 80s. We had our lunch in the cooler so we pulled into the A&W parking lot and Andy suggested we make the sandwiches in the shade of the car. He stood on one side, I on the other. I handed him the cutting board and knife and he passed the bread and mustard to me. He sliced the cheese and I layered the turkey and I handed his completed sandwich back.
We moved to the front seats with the car windows down and in between bites Andy said, “Nomading is weird.”
I laughed thinking back on the scene that had just unfolded and how far it was from our normal day to day life at home. After a few moments of silence I said, “Yeah, I don’t think I could do this long term.” Andy’s response was immediate- “You couldn’t! You’re a homebody.” I thought for a moment before agreeing– I am a homebody.
I like being in one place or at least having a place to come home to.
We’ve been traveling now for 60 some days and we have just under a month left. We’ve stayed in countless tent spots across ND, MT, WY, Alberta, BC, WA, (friends and family in OR) and CA. We’ve had a couple nights in the car (one when our tent pole broke) and two hotel nights. It’s two more than I thought we’d have, but they’ve both been a refreshing break when we needed them.
And the best has been the days and nights we stayed with friends and family. Twice I’ve stayed up past 2am talking to different friends in their living room, catching up on life, sharing thoughts and ideas, discussing how we’re learning to be better adults and all sorts of real, honest things.
For a self identified homebody the repeated changing environments have been an adjustment. I’ve had to find a new way to feel, “at home” on the road. And here’s the surprising part I discovered: Home is where the tent is.
I was totally shocked by this. I didn’t even realize it until after staying with friends and family for a bit. But when we set it up after a few days without it, I crawled in, and I’m not sure if I said it aloud, but I certainly felt my heart say, “hello, old friend.”
At night I bring in my tiny bag (about the size of my hand) that holds medicine, earplugs, (I never know who we’ll be camping next to) and my headlamp. I usually grab whatever book I’m reading and my journal in an effort to stay caught up on our daily events.
And here’s something I never thought I’d say….I looovvve our tent. My 20 year old (not exaggerating) sleeping bag, teeny thermarest and inflatable pillow have become my creature comforts. Even with those things, it’s really not that comfortable. If given the option to climb into a tent or not at home, I’d never hop inside. But somehow, this tent has become my my safe place.
This tent was our first joint purchase while we were dating, 11 years ago. It seemed a little roomier then!
Even if it’s cozy, it’s nice to have a home away from home on the road.