As another year draws to a close I’m once again astonished at how quickly time passes by these days. Here I am, another year old, and still in my cubicle, dreaming of being back on the road. I am attempting to exercise patience….never one of my greatest strengths!
In some ways it feels as though we just returned from our RTW. I can still SMELL the streets of India, TASTE the noodle breakfasts in SE Asia, SEE the sundowns over Africa. And yet, it also feels like forever ago and I have antsy feet. I am incredibly grateful for each and ever moment of our travels over the years and yet, at this moment, I am also incredibly grateful for our life in general. Along with all the amazing experiences we’ve had over the years I also remember the not as amazing experiences…the horrific beds, cold showers, cramped bus rides and a whole lot of bugs, and thank God everyday for my comfortable bed and hot shower. Do I want to get back out in the world, absolutely, but I am certainly going to make sure to express my gratitude at the comfortable life we lead here in the United States.
Having spent much time in parts of the world where people don’t have choices and are merely working hard to survive, my main focus at this time is GRATITUDE. As I sit in my cubicle, bored even though I have work, restless even though I feel exhausted, irritated with the small things not working my way, I take a moment to realize many people in this country and around the world would gladly take my job any day of the week and be grateful for the opportunity to be able to pay their mortgage and feed their children.
We have several close friends who have family members experiencing serious health issues, most poignent ly Avrey, a friends niece who is 11years old and has spent 4 of those years battling cancer. Every caringbridge journal entry rips my heart out and we are helpless to “fix it”. More than ever I am grateful for our health and the health of our family and pray everyday for our friends who are less fortunate.
We are grateful for our wonderful friends and family. We are truly blessed with amazing people in our lives. Our day to day existence is enhanced by having such inspiring people around us.
In this past year we have increased our friends many times over by networking amongst other travelers. I am often in awe that in a 30minute lunch period I can catch up with Warren & Betsy in Chiang Mai (marriedwithluggage.com), Tree & Stevie in Peru (sprinterlife.com) and Kim & Brian (so-many-places.com) here in Portland who are preparing to embark soon on their dream trip. I am grateful for the technology that allows us to create a network of friends around the world who are truly our biggest inspiration to follow the life of our dreams rather than following the status quo.
Finally, I am deeply grateful still for being married to the most wonderful man in the world, truly my soul mate. After nearly 24 years together I am even more in love with him than ever and excited everyday to continue this journey along the road of life together. This love, along with our love for our amazing dog, Maddy, makes our little family complete. Maddy has brought great joy into both of our lives and it is truly a case of “who rescued who”.
2012 is sure to be full of challenges for many of us. As I occasionally feel stressed regarding my reduced work hours and smaller pay at work, I take the time to focus on the fact that we are still ok. We are SO incredibly rich in more ways than money can measure and in comparison to many are even rich in that way. We are increasingly excited about continuing our plans for our roadtrip to South America and anxious to spend many more nights in our camper having fun with friends. I am going to continue to live each day fully and create a life we want to lead.
Best wishes to all our friends and family around the world for a healthy, happy, and inspired 2012!
Rhonda & Jim