This month marks our 2-year nomadic anniversary and our journey as the 5freespirits living in our 31foot travel trailer we lovingly named Story. Well there was that 8-month stint we had moving back home, renting a house last year so Alex could get his virtual consulting business up and running while the kids returned to routine of school play dates and sports (but that time was also well spent catching up with friends and planning our future route of life on the road). You see once you get a taste of freedom from the rat race, a taste of travel, sense of adventure etc, it is really hard to get back into the norms of society without feeling lost or out of place. Plus this world is so big and we’ve only just begun to explore what’s out there!
SO off we went again where we fell in love with the East coast Canadian charm and may put down roots when/if we desire to settle. Then crossing in to the USA we found ourselves constantly followed by wet and cool weather. We had several plans changed and re-routed our trip a few times in hopes to escape the non-stop rain this past fall. We even drove 7 hours straight in one day like crazy people to Galveston Texas only to be flooded out of our campsite! Let me tell you living in a tiny space in shite weather tested our moods, our waistline (no hikes and hello wine and ice cream with movie night) and our bank account (you just can’t be cooped up that long without going nuts so out to the movies, museums, exhibits etc.) On the plus side, during that horrible wet fall we enjoyed reading and watching many classics with the kids for the first time and are proud to say our kids are well versed in the Avengers series, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and several awesome childhood 80’s and 90’s movies! Ha!
But at last sunshine hikes and the outdoors returned to us once we hit the desert in west Texas surrounded by mountains, desert life and plants, other nomads escaping the rain and a truly dark sky at night! It was in Davis Mountain State Park where we encountered our first wild javelina, I took the kids on a mountain hike by myself for the first time (we did awesome despite Alex’s panic attack because there was no cell service for 4 days). Alex also took us up to the MacDonald observatory to look into space through extremely expensive telescopes at star bursts, planets and other space nerd stuff that was light years away!
Then it was off to Arizona, probably in my top 3 fav states as I haven’t’ been to all 50 yet, but AZ is awesomesauce!!! Sedona’s hiking on the Red Rocks just filled my soul and worked off those rainy day kinks I had been harbouring, plus we spent our first Christmas in our trailer with a fellow traveling family we had met while exploring Kartchener Caverns (really humid caves with strict park ranger staff that de-lint your clothes before entering).
This time around, we’ve taken it slower spending on average 5-7 days in one campsite and have met more fulltime travelling families in the process which is incredible to see the kids make instant best friends as they can relate to similar lifestyles and having crazy, hippie and cool parents! Lol
Shyla met her pen-pal in Usery Moutain State Park near Phoenix (learned there is a desert tortoise, boys found a dead rattle snake and we did a junior ranger mountain lion hike) which was a precious experience in itself to see my once shy, self-conscious daughter who couldn’t spell to save her life (still working on it, but much improved), commit to writing a stranger once a week and then get to meet her face to face! Speaking of growth Lennon has read all the Mr Dogman and Captain Underpants books in remarkable timing, learned how to make and use a bow and arrow (still has no real sharp point as he is our little clutz still) and despite his reluctance to do his school work this kids memory would put anyone to shame!
Madden is a hiking marvel being able to hike up to 7 miles (our max so far) without being carried! I mean if you think about it, he’s doing at least double the steps we are with his cute, chubby 4 year old legs!! He’s also mastered how to write his own name, conquered the alphabet and is beginning to read early words thanks to his big bro and sister now being his teachers as well 😊 There’s so much pride and sense of accomplishment when you home-school and see what your little humans are capable of, what they’re achieving and how they learn. Sometimes I’m terrified I’m screwing them up or I’m afraid I don’t know what I’m doing as a teacher, but then I have days like yesterday where I watch my kids smiles as they work together to build a rock bridge to cross a river, to announcing ”we’re going north because there’s moss on this side of the rock”, to the 5 miles of hiking in the Californian desert while identifying igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks (thanks to all those visitor centers at the national parks, it’s like free curriculum!) Well at least I have the confidence they’ll be able to read a compass and map one day if the gps fails!
My life as a 5freespirit no longer feels like a vacay, this is my reality, my life where yes, I live in a trailer, my kids shower twice a week unless we have a full hook up (unlimited running water), I do coin laundry (home-school tip! - get your kids counting quarters), we use paper plates more then real dishes, my husband’s office is our bed, kitchen, the truck or our picnic table and everything we own is in less then 300 sq ft! But living this simple life with less stuff and more time has giving us the chance to see so much!! In this month alone we’ve seen a 900 year old cliff dwelling, 300 year old petroglyphs, explored natural wind caves, saw a big horn sheep in the desert, stood a few feet from baby seals on a beach, a wild barn owl in a palm grove, a real desert oasis, wild dolphins ‘surfing’ the waves in the ocean, Alex was cornered and assaulted by three javelinas in Sedona and lived to tell the tale! We also hiked over 45 miles of awesome terrain in two different states, smelled wild desert flowers (thanks to all that rain), found a dead tarantula, watched a blood moon eclipse (that was just me and it was cool), swam in a natural hot spring fed pool in palm springs, watched a jack rabbit run like a dog (they do!) and that’s just what I can remember (maybe I should ask Lennon ha!).
Soooooooooo here’s to living wild and free for the past two years. Happy nomad-versary 5freespirits, I can’t wait to make more memories, check more off the bucket list and keep on adventuring!!