I rushed to do things most days, to get to places and plan ahead. Then suddenly I realize I’m here on a beach in Kiptopeke, VA playing with my son smiling back at me. I realize this is where I am supposed to be, there’s nowhere else to be and nothing else to do. Thich Nhat Han would be proud. I finally understand what it means to be truly present and it is blissful, yet transient.
This is our first trip as full time travelers, and I still don’t quite now how to feel about all of this. Quite honestly it’s a little unnerving being on unfamiliar ground. Unlike a vacation where you’re excited and get to run away from life’s responsibilities for a short while, we actually have to learn to navigate relationships, education, meals, lodging and budgets while on the road. Throw in a little pandemic into the mix and it’s not the glamorous life you might imagine. It’s a work in progress and it’s hard to give up type A personality controlling behavior habits.
There are glimmers of benefits to slowing down that I can see already. The most obvious are the happy smiles and hugs from my little boy who suffered from the fear and isolation of the pandemic. I am more present and attuned to his needs and moods and thus can respond more thoughtfully instead of reacting to his behavior. I hope we will continue to develop happier relationships wherever we are in the world.
As I reflect on the 4 nights we spent camping at two different camp sites in two states – Kiptopeke VA and St James Island SC, Kiptopeke was by far my favorite. It is a small state park and beach which had a cool breeze despite the 90+ degree weather and shallow water with gentle waves perfect for relaxing and watching crabs burrow in the sand. The water park at St James saved that stop and was a welcome distraction from the hoards of flies and mosquitoes at the camp site. Surprisingly the night we spent between both sites at a truck stop was not so bad and we have discovered that truck stops down south sell all sorts of things we’ve never seen before!