My mind is blown because it’s already been a year since we returned from our Intermission. I am a variation of the woman I was pre-departure, and while no life is without challenges, I’m really liking this new person. There is plenty of room for continued growth and change, but the woman I see in the mirror now with the silver hairs popping up amongst the shades of brunette, and new wrinkles that frame her eyes when she laughs, is one I’m proud to call my friend. I also love watching my wife change with me as we navigate our early thirties together. She has an insatiable appetite for learning, and provides me with a fantastic example of a strong, smart, talented woman. Never one to shy away from a challenge, it’s been such a delight watching her grow in her new role as an educator since our return to the city.

When I reflect on our time away, one of my favorite sections were our few months in the campervan. At the time it was a bit more isolating than we had anticipated, but the beauty of having no roots for two months meant just that, and we were united in the experience of exploring places we’d only dreamed of visiting. I learned so much about our relationship over those two months, and I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone who thinks they’ve learned all there is to know about the person with whom they share their days. We laughed so much and reveled in having the dude and the lady by our sides 24/7, wandering and delighting in so many adventures together.

When I miss the open road, I close my eyes and go back to:

  • taking an ice-cold shower on my thirty-first birthday because the van water heater wasn’t working
  • feeling the sunshine on my face as we sipped beers in Sedona while the sky turned one hundred shades of pink
  • whipping up sandwiches in the van kitchen after family hikes along the Oregon coast
  • watching Roosevelt Elk snack on dewy grass in Humboldt as we sipped our morning coffee
  • gasping as I realized the Salton Sea “sand” really was made of trillions of tiny fish bones
  • wishing I could capture the sounds of wild burro fights as we tried to sleep in the deserts of Arizona
  • shivering in Marfa as we ran from the warm lodge at El Cosmico, across the parking lot to curl up for the night
  • returning the van in Austin with mixed emotions, but knowing we’d always cherish the moments we had inside our movable home

I am overjoyed with where we are in this adventure of life, but when I’m missing our Intermission I can blink, and I’m taken back in time to another year.

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