We may have been travelling for over a year now but its still hard to shake off some of our old outlooks.
The things we often come unstuck on is having a stockpile of money… and feeling productive.
Can you imagine putting everything down and doing nothing overtly productive for the next hour, day or week?
Putting down tools, shutting up shop, no scheming, not planning or trying to make plans for what to do next.
Although we travel and live free in so many ways, if I am completely honest the idea terrifies me, yet I am becoming more and more fascinated by the genuine possibility.
Two things have become apparent this winter… That as far flung and free as we have felt at times, there is an inner niggle in us adults that still places an awful lot of our self worth on pleasing others and feeling productive.
The expectations of modern society and what it has taught us to place value on is a hard thing to shake off. We want to sit and feel the warmth of the sun on our face whilst watching the children play, smiling at their shrieks of laughter as they hurtle around, open to the wild abundance of possibilities tingling in the air.
Yet we are distracted…planning the next shopping list, the next great adventure, worrying if the children’s shoes are looking a bit tight or if the dog needs less food. Should I pop in and start preparing dinner whilst the children are happy and distracted for five minutes?
It doesn’t feel natural to sit back and watch things, to feel things, to sit and wonder at the sky.
We are always taught to be busy, to achieve, to have a master plan. “Do your best…time is money…good job” we learn to associate our own value only with the things we can do. Not who we are.
I want to learn new ways of experiencing my value as who I am, just me, in wholeness, just enough.
There is also our problem with money. Or more specifically our worry about holding less of it. We currently live month to month on a small amount of income. We are happy, we have everything we need.
Something in us cannot let go of this gnawing fear that without a great stash of savings for a rainy day we are vulnerable. It seems to sensibly align with every logical fact we’ve been told about how best to manage our money.
Yet every time we try and focus on finding a way to accumulate money something always goes wrong. We may scrimp and save even more than usual one month to save up a bit of extra cash, to find that some random part breaks on the van, to the exact cost of what we saved. Re-setting us to zero!
The months and months we choose not to save any money… No problems. In fact almost the opposite… Free bread given to us by bakers at the end of the day, we are gifted musical instruments by new friends…Invited out for dinner, Or a computer genius parks up and offers to help fix our broken computer.
If I have learned only one thing from our first year of travel it is that you can live through new experiences, in new places but old habits can be tricky to let go of.
I have also learned that in those moments of fierce bravery that you choose to believe another way is possible the universe has a wonderful way of showing you its ok to let go. That choosing nothing over something is also ok.
Let go of the old stuff, dare to choose a new ending to your story. Let go of this imagined control you think you have over everything and everyone. Life can be so much more than you ever imagined without all that stress, worry and wasted energy going towards many things that are ultimately out of your control anyway.
Live a little, be happier with a bit of nothing, let loose, say yes to random people and adventures, see where it may take you.