January 1, 2011

A Year to Inspire

Somewhere back in October our blog stranded a bit. More time was spent doing things than writing about them. We still have plenty to go back and write about and more images and adventures to share, but for now our year on the road has come to an end and the reality of a more "normal" life looms. Yet the inspiration that led to taking a year off to spend as a family is still ever present. While we won't be able to spend as much time on the road or in the mountains, we have learned that home isn't necessarily a place, but a state of mind. Home is being together, eating together, playing together, exploring together. Home is learning new things, rekindling old interests, and sharing in all facets of life. Our curiosity and adventurous spirits will lead us into new experiences in the coming year.

As our year comes to an end, it's time to cherish the memories and let them inspire us for the year to come. Without a doubt, the biggest treasure from the past year has been watching our kids grow and absorb the edification of the world around them. Being inspired by the philosophy of Maria Montessori, we have tried to be facilitators rather than teachers, letting our children experience the world for themselves, at their own pace. In doing so, we have all learned more about ourselves and the world around us. Of course our own interests have guided us, yet the love of the outdoors and the positive influence it has in our lives has been a constant.

This was the year for getting dirty, spending as much time as possible outdoors, whether it be in the snowy mountain tops of the Sierra Nevada, the rainy beaches of the Pacific Northwest, or the dry rocky desert of the Southwest. We have watched animals, climbed rocks, played with sticks. We have gotten scratched, bitten, burned, dirty and wet, cold. We've felt the hot earth under our bare feet and the cold wind in our hair. We have explored the wonders of nature and the inner workings of our own psyche. Through our experiences together, each of us has encountered the world a little differently. Bound by our own limitations both physically and mentally, we have all grown individually, yet also grown together, closer as a family.

Along the way we have been inspired by people and places. Grateful for the welcoming spirit we have met through our travels, whether it be on the road in Montana or Washington, or among family in California. There has been a warmth and generosity that we appreciate more than we can express in words.

Each opportunity of the past year has left our lives a little richer and for this we will forever be grateful. We look back with a sense of reverence, yet we also look forward with anticipation. We look ahead to nurturing old relationships and fostering new ones, embarking on new adventures and learning new things about ourselves and the world around us. The year we leave behind has been an ever inspiring adventure and we welcome the new year and the opportunities it will bring for us in Norway.

Somewhere along the way, we were once called nomads. While we may never again have the same opportunity to travel for so long, our days on the road will still be many. Our spirits will remain vagabonds, searching for new adventures, wisdom and inspiration in each day, month and year ahead.

Home is where we are...