On the emotions of moving (again)

Moving dredges up deep emotion in me. A state of turmoil over all the change. And despite possessing what I consider to be a very astute and self-aware personality, this type of change seems to put me in a fog that hides the real reasons for my stress and impatience and tears. It isn’t until the dust is settling and I’m waving goodbye to my most treasured sense of home– our house in Marion, our best friends in Alaska– that I realize how hard the move was and how there are feelings deep in me, tied to the move, that have caused my recent string of bad days.

Now imagine me “moving” every few weeks. It’s complicated has never been a more accurate descriptor. For Tyler and I both, this year has been eye-opening in ways we weren’t expecting. Last summer, we looked each other in the eye, shook metaphorical hands, and hopped onto the emotional rollercoaster ride of our lives, trusting in our pact to put up with one another no matter what. At times we’ve gripped each other white-knuckled and screaming– in alternating joy and fear– and at other times it seems that last August we accidentally slipped into two different cars on a dual track. While one rose up, the other plummeted.

Our relationship has been through the ringer this year. While I think it’s a natural stage after three years of marriage– part of the growing pains of two becoming one– I also recognize the stress that nomadic living has introduced into our lives separately, and how that inevitably affects us together.

Moving dredges up deep emotion in me. A state of turmoil over all the change.  And it turns out, it does the same for Tyler when we move at this pace. While I stress about the future, he struggles in the present. I wonder: are we making the right trade-off; what will we do when we stop moving at 100mph and have to confront life in one place; will I regret this? Tyler is too drained to think at all. He simply sits in his emotions and feels them weigh him down.

The emotions of moving aren’t as intense as when we’ve spent significant time investing in one place, but they come at us much more frequently. It’s been an uphill battle to develop empathy and practice patience with one another during this time. It seems we ought to understand the other’s feelings, but sometimes that fog makes one rather short-sighted. I’m thankful we can say we’ve held– if only barely– to our unspoken pact and continued to grow and love one another.

After having passed the halfway mark in year two of travel, we began hesitantly looking to the future. In the past two months, we’ve dreamt up every possible scenario for year three. We’ve talked about jumping ship completely and returning to “average life” earlier than expected. We’ve talked about extending the nomadic journey and drifting around a bit longer. We’ve run numbers and assessed motives. We’ve considered career paths and business proprietorship. We’ve been over it all… and we still aren’t sure.

We know we need a break from the rollercoaster though, so we’re going to disembark for awhile. We already have booked flights back to the States for an Alaskan reunion in the fall and family time during the holiday season. And for now, we’re shuffling through the practicalities of setting off for our next destination.

We say goodbye to Asia in less than a week, and we return with open arms to Europe. This time, we’ll be exploring some countries in the south– Turkey, Greece, and Italy. These places have all been at the top of my list for Things to Be Excited about During Year Two, so I can feel my morale slowly building for these last few months of moving. So many good things to look forward to; I know it will be worth it!

How do you handle moving? Will you be around for us to see you during our family-and-friends tour this fall/winter??

  • kimberly oyler

    yes yes yes. I am with you girl. before I left for YWAM I swore I was going to be done traveling for a few years (hahahahahahahhaha yeah right) because I was just so sick of packing and unpacking constantly. dragging your stuff, literally and figuratively, all over creation is just so exhausting. i found this to be especially true when I had free flights and was in a new place every 3-5 days. packing and unpacking the same 4 shirts and retelling the same story over and over again made me want to pull my hair out. BUT, I think it’s worth it. a second grader told me today that she loves riding horses and sometimes touching poop is a part of that. she doesn’t love mucking stalls but she loves riding so she does it. I think that’s the same as traveling. I do not like saying goodbye or packing or retelling my life story 100 times but seeing the world is just so worth it. wow who’s blog is this, yours or mine? haha 😉 I hope I magically run into you when you’re in the states, I imagine we’d have a lot to talk about over coffee! 🙂

    • I am always so relieved and encouraged and straight up redeemed by the knowledge that I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE! And even a second grader can get behind this message. hahaha. That is wisdom though… we can enjoy our passion but “touching poop is part of that”. For real though, traveling like this has been so eye-opening to learn about what kind of lifestyle we like, what kind of travel we like, what does traveling even mean to us anymore?! (Another post on that coming..)
      We’re planning to visit Marion while we’re in the Midwest.. meet up?? Otherwise, you know KC is like Tyler’s #1 hands down fave city 😉

      • kimberly oyler

        can’t wait to read that post! I might be in Marion in early August, otherwise you’re always welcome to roll through KC! I went to a delicious BBQ place recently that I think Tyler would reaaaallly like. oh! I’m also going to be in Norway, Sweden, Paris (again) and London in late July/early August! will you guys be around there?

        • What is with all this traveling Kimberly?? Haha I’m not one to talk. And sadly no but we’ll be in Italy and Ireland during those times if you’re looking to expand that list 😉

  • Tess

    I think by now I am used to moving, so it doesn’t phase me as much as it used to. I have lived in my city, Lethbridge for almost 7 years now and have move 12 times. I guess being a student had a lot to do with the moves. We just bought a condo, and I honestly feel it is going to be weird not moving around as much, and having a place to call home. I hope you enjoy Europe, and all the best with the move. It definitely is never easy moving.

    • Thanks Tess! Yes, I can remember moving one or twice a year during my four years at university, and then several times in the first few years after school too! Those are always such crazy years of transition! Glad you’ve found a place to call home. I remember our first house was so special for me!!

  • Holl & Lane

    You know, sometimes I am so jealous of your travels. I mean to read things like “This time, we’ll be exploring some countries in the south– Turkey, Greece, and Italy”, my first reaction is “she’s living my dream!”. But I’m so glad that you are honest about the hard times too. It’d be easy to just post all the beautiful photos from all the beautiful things you see. But it’s much harder to open up about what makes full time travel difficult. And you nailed it here. Thank you for reminding me that the grass isn’t always greener (even if I’m still quite a bit jealous!).

    • Thanks!! Life is always pros and cons, right?! I don’t even really intentionally write about the tough stuff.. It’s just a natural part of our life so I record it. Haha. I so appreciate it when people comment on the honesty of a post though, because it’s so important to me to convey that.
      Also, I’m in transit today but will email you new photos tonight or tomorrow!

  • Your blog design is gorgeous! Love it <3 Praying for you guys, that you'll find peace and be brave and the most amazing memories from these adventures!

    • Thanks Natalie!! I really wanted something minimal but still warm. Blogging is always a journey of figuring out my voice and style 🙂 Thanks for the prayers as well!

  • I do not like moving. I had to to it many times without a choice in the matter as a kid, and Angel and I have lived in three countries. I’m very happy to just stay in one place for a while. I wouldn’t want to do what you guys do, but I’m glad that even with all the emotions, it sounds like the lifestyle has been worth it for you!

    • Tyler grew up moving about every four years as a kid too, so his approach to moving has been so different than mine. On one hand, I think he thought he’d be more “used to” it, but I think he also craves permanence more. It is interesting to us to think about how we’d want to raise our kids someday. (In contrast, I spent the vast majority of childhood in one small town.)

  • Laura

    There will always be a part of me that dreams of the nomadic life. but i’m far too in love with roots and settling down to actually do it. Just moving 3 hrs away from my family was HARD. I’ve adjusted a lot better than i thought i would but i still dream of moving back – and owning the family property one day. My hubby dreams of living in Israel….. interesting combo eh?

    • There’s always pros and cons, for sure! We would love to spend more time with family, and especially for my husband whose family all lives close to one another, it’s very hard.
      Israel is interesting! Do you have an idea where? My cousin and sister have both spent time living and traveling there!!

  • Been moving around since college and the biggest one yet is my latest one! Hopefully you’ll pass by California 🙂

    • Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be near California for a good long while, but you never know 😉 So glad you made it though… hope it feels like home super fast!!

  • Angela Lynn

    I hope you make your way to Texas at some point so Zach and I can show out for y’all the way you have for us over Skype!! Charlotte currently is acting like sleep doesn’t exist and I love peeking through what y’all have going on!

    • Haha thanks!! I’m so bad at keeping up on the blog but I’m determined to post about all our travels, slowly but surely, for our own sake if nothing else!! And we would LOVE to visit sometime. We’ll see if I can get Tyler to go that far south! ha!