It has been an emotional couple of weeks saying goodbye to our friends, family, co-workers, and our little town of Louisville, Colorado. We have a good thing going here: great jobs, awesome friends, a wonderful home and fantastic neighborhood. We are incredibly fortunate. We have everything we need, and more than we could ever hope for, right here. There are days when I question our choice to leave it all behind for a year. But leaving with a longing to return is far better than leaving without looking back.
Our days have been filled with goodbye brunches, lunches, dinners, playdates and parties. The highlight was the night we finished moving out of our house, when we joined 28 other neighborhood parents (sans kids) on Banjo Billy’s party bus. We whooped it up all the way to Denver to a dueling piano bar, and let loose like parents without kids do. Of the 175 jello shots that came with us on the bus, only three remained uneaten at the end of the night. It was a slow, bright and headachy next morning for the whole neighborhood. But oh, so worth it!
Since moving out of our home on July 17, we’ve lived in 4 locations – one night with friends after the party bus, a week house-sitting for other friends, two nights with Brian’s sister, and another five nights at a friend’s condo – all within less than a mile from our house. It’s as if we can’t let go. One of our last goodbye get-togethers was at our neighbor’s house adjacent to ours. It felt so strange after the evening was over not to just walk across the lawn and right through our back door and into our home, like we always did after hanging out with the neighbors.
I’ve been so worried about how all this change might effect Maya. We’ve been talking with her about the “Big Adventure” for months now, telling her about the people we are going to meet, the places we will visit, the things we will do, and that other people are going to live in our house while we are away. I keep thinking she’s going to freak out and say she doesn’t want to go, but she hasn’t. She seems genuinely excited about our trip, and has handled each transition to every new location extremely well. Even when she saw her empty bedroom (we moved all her stuff out while she was at school so she didn’t see it going away), and saw our tenants and their dog at the house, she was unfazed.
I’m sure at some point along our journey, she will ask when we are going home or say she misses her room, her stuff and her friends. But right now, she seems happy as a clam to be living in lots of different places and spending time with her little buddies. I don’t think she realizes these are “goodbye” get togethers. Probably when we hit the road, the fact that we are actually gone will hit her.
Kubu, on the other hand, is a bit of nervous wreck. You can’t really prepare or explain to a dog that it is leaving home for a year. She’s sticking to our sides, desperate for pets, and skipping meals. We may have to get a prescription for doggy Prozac to take the edge off. Luckily, she’s an awesome car traveler, and once we hit the road, hopefully she will start to relax.
Brian and I are feeling a mix of emotions – sad to be leaving our friends and family, and both nervous and excited for the adventure that awaits us. We both felt our guts wrench when we handed over the keys to our house, and every time we say goodbye to someone, we are fighting back tears. The longing to return is in us, before we have even left.
We’ll miss you, Debbie! Have a wonderful, exciting journey – hug Brian and Maya often, and Kubu even more, since she’s so dog-puzzled. 🙂 I look forward to all your updates from the road!
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Wishing you a safe and exciting adventure. I believe Maya will never forget this time with you and Brian.
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So well put. Just think, you get to look forward to another rousing round of celebrations when you get home! Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say. Looking forward to following your adventures!
Can’t wait to see you in California! We are so looking toward to your visit.
We were teary-eyed as we drove down our street, neighbors on their front steps waving to us as we drove away with our youngest 7 kids. Such a mixture of excitement, trepidation, wonderment, panic.
It’s been great. I’m sure your journey will be great, too.
We drove away on Friday for a year and our departure was filled with the same bittersweet emotions: sadness at leaving this perfectly good life, excitement at starting, and pride for having even gotten this far.
We also have a Maya though she’s a bit older than yours.
We have a place in EL Chorro off the highway 1 south of Los Barrillos on the Sea of Cortez.
Turn off at Santiago and drive through this small town towards Aqua Caliente. Again, drive through This very small setting towards El Chorro. It’s all a well travelled sand road.
Just before El Chorro go visit Bio Sana, an eco community with fresh vegis and food and hospitality, great young people and mostly Americans. Lots of young people staying with them to work on the land and experience the Baja.
To camp out just drive to the end of the road and you will see a natural camp site before you get to the very end where natural Hotspring pools await your relaxation.
Bring your own drinking water and food and toilet paper from a store in Santiago or Aqua Caliente.
If you need assistance or just want to be friendly, knock on the gate at the last house to the left, just on the edge of El Chorro. Our neighbor Jeanette lives there, she’s Canadian and deeply rooted in El Chorro and environment.
We would welcome you to stay at our place but you have to ask Jeanette how that can be figured our bed wise and key wise. We haven’t been there for 2 1/2 years and we plan to arrive this November.
You will love the Canyon El Chorro sits in, at the foot of the mountains, with a genuine Mexican population and few gringos. The campsite view up the canyon is beautiful, so is the hiking up the canyon rocks. Quite the inland experience for surfers! There is a small cafeteria in el Chorro where you can drink and eat. We know the people well.
Then, another spot to go to and rent from is in Todos Santos. Your host there is a personal friend and an avid surfer. She has personally built her house and just finished the “upper room” a truly exquisite stay with superb views on the Atlantic. She asks I think $50 a night.
She also has another small cabin on her property apart from the house. Let me know if you like driving directions and contact mail.
Enjoy your trip!