I became emotional while eating dinner my first night in Couer d’Alene Idaho. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I didn’t understand why I felt this way. First I thought maybe I was just exhausted from being on the road for over five weeks. I soon realized the feelings ran much deeper.
For several years I dreamed about finding a place to live in the summer to avoid the long hot Florida summers. I was finally at the town where I thought I might want to live for a summer. CDA is beautiful. CDA was everything I hoped the place would be. The weather is perfect, with temperatures ranging from 50 – 70 degrees. Suddenly I knew I would never move here. Then I thought my emotions were from the disappointment that I already knew my dream of moving to a town like this was not going to happen.
I was homesick. I now understood that I didn’t want to live away from my home in Florida for more than a few weeks. After years of dreaming of where else I might want to live, coming to the realization that I already live in the best of all possible places was an epiphany. Emotion overwhelmed me.
Retirement is a process, not a decision. This is a phase of life is where you have the time and freedom to try new things. Some endeavors work out, some don’t. The important point is to try activities, and not just sit home and watch TV. Now I am ready to try a 5 Star Luxury Suite for a while.
From CDA, I will start heading east and south towards home. I still have 3500 to 4000 miles to travel to make my way home. At least now I know each day I drive that I will be getting closer to home, not farther away.
I realized that I love Florida and that Florida is my home. I like the always green lush tropical landscape. Sometimes after returning to Florida after a trip, I think of the scene in the Wizard of OZ when the movie changes from black and white to color. Sometimes you just need to leave home to appreciate how wonderful your home is. I’m sure I will admire the three Queen Palm trees in my front yard when I arrive home. Most days, I take the palm trees for granted and don’t even notice them while I walk to the front door. Yes, you can go home again.
I remembered this long quotation I first read before my first RV trip. The words and thoughts are beautiful.
“You’re packing up your sleeping bag, your lantern and your tent. And you’re off to find the life you lost, but you’re not sure where it went. And I hope those mountains teach you how to stand both tall and proud, that you see your life much clearer with your head above the cloud. I hope you swim through rivers with their currents swift and fast, that they show you must be careful when you wash away your past. I hope that you are humbled by the vastness of the sea, that the eagles high above you make you feel like you are free. I hope when night has fallen and your fire’s just a spark, that the stars shine to remind you that there’s beauty in the dark. But most of all I’m hoping that you’re learning while you roam, that no matter the distance, you can always come back home.” – e.h.