Now we have been home for a week, and our feet are back on the ground, I've had time to absorb our trip away. Our latest travels have highlighted how much I truly treasure the freedom that we have and to hold onto it very dearly, and to live and love life more unapologetically on our own terms.
In terms of the trip itself, although our last journey to France and Spain was fun, travelling this time round was a much more liberating and easygoing experience. The weather was so much kinder. We did not share our bus with mozzies, ants, or nits. This time rather than doing most of the talking, the whole family spoke French to various degrees, with greater ease and less self-consciousness. We knew the bus more intimately, and she didn't break down on us! This time, we did more of our own cooking because we had our gas cooker. We had a new solar panel which helped charge batteries in between hook-ups. We were outdoors more often and did more active sporty things, and we ate pretty well. It felt like we really got into our groove for the whole trip, and enjoyed every place we stayed in, without exception. Winging it for a month felt less intimidating and daunting than trying to figure out where to be and what to do for 9 weeks. So we've learnt a lot from this trip. Each time we go away, we learn so many different things about ourselves, each other, about life.
One thing that truly struck me whilst I was away is how far we've all come in the last year, in our own different ways, both visibly and invisibly.
For my own part, I realise just how much less I care about conforming to any set of ideals or any group of people's ideas. Whether that's within society at general, or amongst my peer group, or wider circle of friends, or within the doula or birthing community or as a home educator. The need for others approval, or permission or whatever, to be exactly who I am, unapologetically and unashamedly. There is a so much judgement around about how to do everything the 'right' way, even within the supposedly most liberated of camps. And whilst I was away, I took a deep breath and I let it all go. I let go of even trying to live according to anyone else's vision or definitions of how to do things. I felt to my core, the total liberation of being unapologetically true to myself, to my family's needs, and wants and personalities. Without exception. Without checking first with anyone if that's ok. And truly respecting others to do the same. To really not give a crap about others choices. To not feel offended or annoyed by them, to feel the need to change them, or the world. So many forums and online places and discussions are full of people lamenting about others choices - all that time and precious energy wasted on wanting or needing others to be just like you, think just like you and act just like you! It's actually pretty crazy!!!
I feel a real sense of peace and liberation to really own this truth.
Travel wide my friends, travel wide!
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken" ~ Oscar Wilde