We're officially 'out', having announced our trip on Facebook and other social media this week. Feels good. Even though we're leaving friends and family behind for this little adventure, it's still hard. Harder still when so many folks have worked so hard to help make it possible.
We've rented our house out (did it a few months ago, actually) and moved in with Leigh's parents to save money. Her parents didn't hesitate to offer their spare rooms for us and our mountains of junk, and Humboldt's been camped out in their garage since Day 1. Our fleet of other vehicles, dirt bikes, trailers, and assorted other crap came with us, too. (Leigh's mom had to reassure the neighbors they aren't actually setting up a commune, used car lot, junk yard, or RV park on their property.) Though we are freeloading boomerang kids (not the first time for Leigh) we have been able to help out around the house - chores, reaching things on the top shelf, dogsitting.
What made it really great is we all get along, it just seemed to work. We always seem to just work. When times are tough, or when someone's got a project (or a problem) we just circle the wagons and get on with helping each other out. It's simply what my family does. Fortunately, it's simply what Brandon's family does as well. (Heck, it all started with his uncle and aunt agreeing to let him work remotely so we could do this trip!)
Leaving that safety net of tried and true support and friendship behind is going to be hard, but we'll still be wrapped in that love no matter where Humboldt takes us. Throughout all of our work on the van, we've had the help of our friends and family. It's one of the things I love the most about the van. Everywhere I look, I see a project we did together.
Sometimes the projects were just me and Bran. Other times it was Bran and his dad. And me, complicating everything. The upholstery was designed and sewn by my mom, the fabric selected by me and Bran's mom. Some of the mechanical challenges (ask Brandon about the water heater and a little thing called the Bernoulli Principle) were figured out by my dad and Brandon. Support by all of our parents for this crazy venture (no matter how much they kinda wish we weren't going) has been endless. We simply can't thank them enough.
Friends who remain behind will stay in touch as they always have and we'll be happy to see their faces upon our return. Friends who are further afield (some of whom we haven't seen since college or grad school days) are coming out of the woodwork, inviting us to visit. Their interest in this adventure, open-hearted invitations, and enthusiastic backing will make turning out of the driveway for the last time in half a year a lot more sweet and a little less bitter.
It seems no matter where our drive for adventure takes us, we'll be home with the people we love.