Like most of you, we too have been taking stock of 2017 before we say goodbye to it. For those of you who’ve been following our middle aged gypsy journey, our tally of one year’s worth of adventures won’t surprise you.
As for some of the best of 2017:
- Wintered at 8500 feet above sea level in Colorado’s ski country
- Took lessons in cross-country skiing
- Did a fair amount of ice-fishing
- Pet/House sat at 3 different places (Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee)
- Took care of horses
- Visited friends we haven’t seen in a long time
- Visited family we haven’t seen in a long time
- Camped near Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
- Drove through northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
- Got to know magnificent Lake Superior
- Summered on the US/Canadian border of Minnesota’s boundary waters
- Kayaked and fished on some of the most pristine waters in this country (in northern MN)
- Picked and enjoyed many wild blueberries
- Harvested and enjoyed lots of fresh fish and crayfish
- Survived quite a few black bear encounters
- Watched a nest of pileated woodpeckers grow up and fly away
- Hubby got to work on a lakeside dock, helping guests enjoy their outing; I got to learn about canoe outfitting and help groups of guests enjoy their boundary waters camping adventure
- We visited a state I’d not been to (Louisiana), saw New Orleans, ate delicious Cajun food, visited a plantation home, and saw beautiful bayous. We also spent couple of weeks in a state that we didn’t know much about (Mississippi)
- Camped and explored some of Florida’s panhandle
- Swam in the Gulf of Mexico
- Swam and fished in the Atlantic
- Met so many new friends that we cherish – from different age groups, countries, and walks of life
- Hubby and I spent a lot of quality time together
There were low-points too, of course. We’ve spent a couple of thousand dollars on car repairs or maintenance in the past year. We had a couple of seasonal jobs that didn’t work out as we’d hoped and presented us with some pretty stressful times. And all that wonderful cross country travel came at the price of untold gallons of gasoline. We spent money on some things we thought we needed, but really didn’t. And we got rid of some things that we needed, but thought we didn’t. Oh, and I turned that magical number, 50.
Our year was one of having no place to call home of our own. We’ve lived in a hotel room that’s used for staff housing, in other people’s homes (while house or pet sitting for them while they’re on vacation), staying with friends and family, camping, staying in staff dorm housing, camping in a platform tent for 2 months, and sleeping in the van. The types of work we’ve done have been just as varied.
While our lifestyle at each specific destination has been slow and deliberate over the year, the pace of change has been pretty fast and by the end we were getting a bit worn. So, we met the opportunity to winter back in our old Florida stomping grounds as a welcome reprieve into a bit of the familiar. Rest assured, we’ll be ready to adventure again come spring.
However, all that being said, this is the very first year that I can EVER remember, where I feel content and satisfied with the parting year. Hubby agrees that he feels the same. I’m humbled that it’s taken us over half our lives to achieve just one year that we can peacefully say goodbye to.
All those years of obsessing over “more,” trying to keep up, and trying to maintain the image the world wants of us. Funny that it’s actually the year where we’ve shirked the mainstream that’s made all the difference. Was everything easy? No. Did everything go our way? No. Did we have some frightening and stressful experiences? Yes.
Did we gain experiences that were meaningful? Yes. Did we learn and grow? Yes. Did we do better at living life on our terms? Yes. Did we minimize the distracting noise of the modern world in our lives? Yes. Did we fit as many of the important parts of living into 2017 as we could? Yes. Did we live what we believe? Yes.
And so, for the first time (at least, that we can recall in our adult lives), we’re at peace with offering a fond farewell to the old year. We hope that you’re able to do the same, and we sincerely wish you a new year focused on (and filled with) the truly important things in life!