Thursday, June 24, 2010

Travelin' Thursday...

Whew! Time is ticking!  JP and I leave for our cross-country adventure in only 34 days!  Can you believe that???  I can't!  I feel like we still have so much to do in order to prepare.  Everything from continuing to sort, purge, pack to planning logistics, to getting important papers together to....EVERYTHING!

Excuse me while I take a moment to have a stress-relieving scream....

Much better now that the screaming is done with.  Now, down to business! writing in order to prolong the inevitable packing, planning, purging, sorting...

The last *major* move I made was in October, 2002 and it was from Portland, Oregon to Northern California.  It was a fast, scary move that I felt I had no choice but to make.  I was escaping an abusive relationship and trying to save the emotional and mental health of myself and my child.  It was tough!  I couldn't have done it without my sister and my brother-in-law.  At the time, I felt broken emotionally, mentally, financially.  I was physically drained from stress and worry.  I asked my sister and her husband to help, and they did.  In 24 hours they were in Portland, got a moving truck, got it packed, and helped me finish up some last minute details.  I left so many things behind!  So many things!  I had no choice.  I had to grab the things that were most important to me, the essentials for getting by, and that was it.  I had to leave most of the things that I merely liked but wanted to keep.  I left books.  I left dishes and pots and pans.  I left a few pieces of furniture.  I left tons of JP's toys.  I left so much stuff.  BUT, I also left with my self and my child intact.  I left with a foundation to build on.  

I never want to make *that* kind of move again.  Never.

So, in 34 days, what kind of move do I *want* to make?  I want to make a move that is filled with fun, adventure, and excitement!  I want this to be a move where, although we will have many uncertainties, it will be fun to experience the road ahead.  Thankfully, this time, if we leave things behind, I know they will be safe.  If we leave things behind, we can come back for them later, and we can know that my mom will keep our things for us.  

In 34 days, we will be off to see 13 states over the course of about 17 days.  We will stop in cities, towns, and other locations of historic significance.  We will stop in places that are one of a kind - places we may never have visited otherwise.  And, with JP being on the cusp of 12 years old, we are doing it at the perfect time!  JP is already an excellent traveler, having been up and down the Pacific Coast by car numerous times, and having flown to Mexico City and back.  He loves looking out the window and seeing the changing scenery.  He loves thinking about (and discussing) what the area would have been like a few hundred years ago.  He loves seeing historic sites and envisioning what it would have been like to live there.  JP even loves the drudgery of travel - he loves going for miles with nothing really to see except more of the same stuff he saw for the last four hours.  He loves taking turns choosing what to listen to on the radio or cd player.  He loves stopping at rest stops and comparing how each one is different from the others - "Mom! This one has Doritos!  The last one only had M and M's in the vending machine! And, do you remember the first rest stop today that had NO vending machines and a broken toilet?"  Seriously, my kid *LIKES* rest stops...weird...

I wish I could be as laid back and relaxed about this adventure as my boy.  But, I can't.  I have to do all of the planning.  I have to worry about how much this trip will cost.  I have to worry about having cell phone service if we have a problem.  I have to worry about where we will stay each night.  I have to worry about....everything.  So, I'm trying to focus less on the big picture and more on breaking things down step by step...but, that picture is BIG and hard to ignore.  This is a HUGE move.  This is our entire lives changing dramatically for at least the next two years while I go to graduate school in another state...on another coast...where we know one person that we haven't seen or spoken to regularly since were kids and saw each other during annual vacations.

This is huge.

How are we going to do it?  How can we not do it?  This is huge...huge in a positive way.  Huge in a reshaping our futures for success and living out our dreams kind of way.  I mean, isn't that what living in the United States of America should be all about?  Just because it is 2010 and our economy has all but fallen apart and times ahead are so uncertain for so many of us doesn't mean anyone should give up the fabled "American Dream."  If anything, those of us that have felt bogged down should say, "I HAVE A DREAM AND I AM GOING TO MAKE IT A REALITY!  I CAN AND I WILL!"  Stay tuned as JP and I make our dreams become realities!  

As always, I would love to hear from anyone that has made a cross-country move by car.  Advice?  Thanks for reading!

Love, M and J


  1. Good for you! Look forward to your accomplishments as the day draws nearer!

  2. I was once in a similar situation and had to flee with 4 kids. I think you are a very brave woman! We went from Ohio to Utah by car and by plane. My oldest daughter, who was 14 at the time, and my 2 babies and I all flew from Indianapolis to Utah. My oldest son, who was 16 at the time, and my dad and brother (who came to help me at the last min.), drove my moving truck from Ohio to Utah.
    The move you are planning now sounds very exciting and a little scary too. But you can do it! Once you have escaped an abusive relationship, you feel like you can do ANYTHING!
    Your boy sounds great! What a joy to travel with a child like that. You guys are a team.
    Congradulations and best of luck on everything!

  3. Oh Malea, I didn't realize your move was approaching so soon. Marianne mentioned to me a while ago that you were moving to the east coast for grad school---congratulations! I'm so excited for you! As always, wish we had had more chances to get to know each other in person, but I'm excited to follow you on the journey through the internets!


  4. Malea, it was great to read your story. It's odd, because I had recently wondered about JP's dad - now I know. I admire you for your strength and determination. I got divorced when my son was 18 months old, so I know about the special bond between "single" mother and son. It is something you will cherish your whole life. You're right, there's plenty you can worry about. I am a worrier, so I try to keep in mind something I saw on a sign at work. "Worrying about something that hasn't happened yet is like paying interest on money you haven't borrowed." Planning is good, worrying is bad. So good luck with your planning and I hope that little saying helps with the worrying.


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