First, let me say to everyone out there…I am wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a new year full of blessings, health and joy!!
I know it has been a while since I posted anything. I traveled a little bit, made it to Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law, got sick and started a new home stay. As usual there is a lot going on but I was just too ill to write about it. I am finally feeling better, thanks to my host family and a local free clinic.
A year ago today I was at home in Ohio thinking about taking an extended trip to the Wesr Coast. I had a job that I had to figure out and logistics. I was aching to hit the road but was pretty sure it was not going to happen. Here I am a year later and I did the Epic Journey (at least part of it), left my family home of 49 Years and am living somewhat nomadic for the time being. What an incredible and terrifying year.
My highs have been very high and the lows below low. I, truthfully, have been afraid most of the time. Change is hard for me and I have had a lot of it. I have cried more this year than I ever have and I have also laughed more than I ever have. I have felt more isolated than I ever have and more connected than ever. The year has been full of contradictions and confusion. But looking back all I can really see are the people I have met.
The people who have crossed my path have touched my life in ways I could never have imagined. I reconnected with many of my family and long-time friends before taking this trip and that was a blessing I can never forget. We all got busy with life and this trip seemed to bring us all together again. My work friends supported me from the very beginning and I could never have done this without that support and love. On the road, I met amazing people taking their own personal journeys. I learned the trips were different but the need to dream and explore were all the same.
I have met people who have traveled the world and walked across the country in search of the perfect place to be. I have met single women traveling alone and finding independence and strength. I have met many people on quests to find peace by pitching everything and starting over. I have met people willing to take strangers into their homes and provide shelter, food and purpose. I have had complete strangers watch out for me to be sure I was safe when traveling alone.
When I planned the original trip I thought it was going to be about the things I saw and the things I did. I was wholly and completely wrong. Those things made an impression but it was who I met along the way that have changed me. I have grown in ways I could never have imagined a year ago. I have learned lessons and heard stories that have literally blown me away.
There are times when I miss my own couch or bed. Sometimes while driving, especially at night, I look at homes with the warm glow of light shining through the windows and I miss my own space but then I realize that I am on a different path right now. I may settle down in one place again but for now I still need to expand my comfort zone and learn more of the lessons life has for me.
To everyone who has followed this crazy journey with me and to everyone who has supported me, my gratitude is unwavering. I could never have done this without you. There are new plans being made for 2016, so the journey is not over yet. I hope and pray that you will continue to be with me as I try new things. My life is blessed because of you and I thank God daily for your love.
Here’s to family and friends this Christmas season and to all the best life has to offer in 2016!! Thank you again everyone!!
Merry Christmas Lois!