Happiness Highlights: Settled in Austin

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Ahhhhh, it feels so good to be settled somewhere again.

It’s funny to say that now and realize how much my definition of “settled” has changed in the last seven months (and holy cow, we’ve been traveling for seven months!) Although I don’t know where I’ll be sleeping a month from now and my home is once again a campground – McKinney State Park in Austin, Texas, at the moment – I feel a sense of stability that was missing a couple weeks ago when I was sleeping in a comfortable guest bed in my hometown.

Perhaps it’s that my family, the four of us I mean, are more connected when we’re in a strange place together.

We spent relatively little time together back in Iowa as we caught up with family and friends. The kids were grateful for the break from Mom and Dad, I think, and I appreciated being able to go visit a friend and leave the kids at home with their grandparents. Those other connections and that space are fabulous, but I have become so dependant on our family time. That need began when we moved away from our family more than four years ago, and it has only intensified on this extended road trip.

My stability may also be rooted in this tin can of a home, this 24 by 8 foot trailer that has more sleeping space than walking room.

There was a time when owning a home with plenty of space was important to me. Later, I imagined I could be completely nomadic, requiring no building or zip code to be home. I see now that I do need something that is mine, but it need not be anything large or spacious. I don’t know if it’s part of adulthood or personality specific, but a sense of domain is an integral part of my ability to be at peace. I need to be able to say, “This, this space right here, at this moment in time, is mine.”

And so, once again, I am at home on the road. And again, that’s where I found my happiness this week.

Where did you find yours?

  1. After living full time in our RV for 8-9 years now I know I don't ever want a big house again. I find the freedom from having so much stuff liberating. I don't when or why we would leave the road, but I visualize a small studio type room, with maybe a small garden…or space to put out a few pots and a bird-feeder. That's a far cry from the life I once chose. But for now this tin can is my Home. And I love it.

  2. Naomi says:

    My happiness this week was strangely inside the confines of our home (we barely left for 5 days!). Recovering from jetlag, missing daddy (still in the U.S.), not scheduling playdates or lunches, just enjoying the company of my 3 rugrats. Staying in pajamas all day, drinking newly purchased hot tea varieties and watching movie after movie after movie.It gave me much happiness!I liked this "this space right here, at this moment in time, is mine."

  3. Amanda says:

    I found my happiness in Skype dates with friends, cookies made by my Nan, and a few other things that I wrote about here: http://ajigreer.blogspot.com/2012/01/happy-friday.html. I write a "happy friday" post every, you guessed it, Friday!

  4. Megan says:

    When we make our move, we'll be looking for a cozy townhouse with just enough room for us, preferrably in a downtown area. I got my happiness this week from gifts given to friends – or more specifically, from their reactions to those gifts.

  5. Lisa says:

    My happiness this week came from the unwavering support of my husband. I'm so lucky to have him in my corner.

  6. welcome home.my happiness came from sunshine and 60 degrees on a january day in pittsburgh (60!), from a friend baking me peanut butter filled cupcakes and also nutella filled ones, from another friend hosting a fabulous dinner party game night at her house, from the news that my cousin fostered a little baby girl (2 1/2 months old) for a few nights until her grandma could take her, from my dog ludo chasing the ball until his legs almost gave out, from watching the steelers game on a friend's couch (even though those fuckers couldn't convert two easy touchdowns and had to settle for field goals and lost the fucking game…it is only a game), from the knowledge that a cousin caught breast cancer early and a double mastectomy should do the trick, from having an aunt drop everything to help me clothes shop for the perfect outfit for a night out, from being about to catch the alex ross "heroes and villains" exhibit at the warhol museum before it left, from lots of things! thanks for asking. xoxo

  7. Bonnie says:

    Home is where the slides are out, baby!I miss my RV so much, but I've been fortunate to have plentiful family time over the holidays. We had a boatload of guests, and today is the first day they have all been gone. It feels wonderful to listen to the quiet, and to have my girls all to myself again!

  8. ilinap says:

    Forget home on the range! You are home on the road. I love it. I live vicariously through your lens.

  9. I can't believe it's been 7 months! My happiness was having so much fun with my kids this winter break. I used to get nervous about how to balance writing, holidays, extended-family obligations and my kids being off, but I just let it work itself out instead of planning every minutes and decided to make sure my time with my immediately family was my first priority and the last few weeks were fantastic.

  10. Mariza says:

    I know exactly what you mean about changing your desire and now wanting a small space. I love living in our RV, but I also love Tiny Houses. I know that if we ever more out of this RV it will be to move into, either a smaller RV, or to a tiny tiny cute adorable place.

  11. Jane says:

    It's been wonderful following you & your family as you travel & not only discover new places, but also the true meaning of everything that matters. I can't imagine what this experience must be like for your kids – hopefully someday they'll write a blog, or even a book, about your family travels. Happiness… right now that's not what I've found. What I have found though is peace of mind & a huge sense of gratitude. Jim & I, now being in our 50s, have parents that are in their 80s & since Nov. 13th, at least 1 of our parents (my mom, his mom & dad) have been hospitalized. Today, his dad goes home & that means all 3 of our parents are home. For years we've expressed how our parents are our priorities & we've known the time would come when…well, we'd be where we are right now. It's a season in our lives… it's happy at times, it's sad, painful – but for today we are extremely thankful and content. In a nutshell, it's cuz we've got what you've got, Britt – a family that loves. Bless you & your family in your travels.

  12. My son and his girlfriend were here for a week. We just got back from the airport. There were 5 of us crammed into this teeny little apartment but it didn't matter. We had such a good time together. They are considering moving to FL when she graduates from college next year.

  13. Lorie says:

    Welcome to my neck of the woods! I found mine in Austin just like you. After a long trip to AZ visiting family for the holidays, it was good to be home with my kids and REALLY good to actually feel like Austin was home for us. I lived in AZ my entire life before moving here 2 years ago.On a separate note, if you have time, find yourself a Torchy's Taco and you must have some pancakes at Kerbey Lane!! Oh and maybe a Texas sized donut from Round Rock donuts!

  14. martymankins says:

    Settled in a place that feels comfortable and not mundane is always a good thing.

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