When I was just about to give up on our dream of traveling, something unheard of happened. My husband’s job slowed down (that’s not the unheard of; he’s in construction so that is a pretty much given every winter), but we were offered the chance to go to Virginia Beach to work for a few months. Never before had I dreamed that we would be able to travel with my husband’s current contractor job! With little thought we packed up, and headed out. I made a few phone calls and was able to get out of our many obligations graciously, but certainly not happily.
This is where my job comes into play. I had no idea when I took my job, how the Lord would use it. My job actually allowed for us to stay together as a family. I had spent the previous year, working as a front desk representative at a great hotel, just for the perks of traveling discounts, and the opportunity to take my kids to the pool whenever I wanted. The travel discounts allowed us to rent rooms right on the beach for as little as $25 per night, all I had to do was continue to work occasionally when we were back in town. If we’d had to pay full price, we’d never have been able to afford to go, but the Lord knew what we’d needed long before we did. There was just one catch. We were only allowed to stay at each hotel for 7 days and then we had to move to another one. So each Sunday that we are on the road, became our ‘moving day’.
Some weekends we would drive home to check on our house and visit family and friends. We were in Virginia for quite some time, off and on. While we were there, the kids and I went on a ton of outings that we called field trips and it actually became one of our best school years ever.
At home, we’d often spread out and do our own thing but in the small space of the hotel room, we were forced to see each other through the good and the bad. As parents, my husband and I had to deal with the tough attitudes and character issues that were taking root in our children. It was not easy as I realized it wasn’t only my children that needed to be dealt with, but realized that the Lord was dealing with me as well.
I’m ashamed to tell you that in the early days, I didn’t necessarily think about our journey as wonderful, we missed home, family and friends. Sometimes the pressure of constant contact in such a small space was too much for me. I’d go to the one spot that I could find solitude in the hotel room, the bathroom. I’d lock myself in and the tears would flow. I’m ashamed to say that it took me awhile to be grateful for what we’d gained. Though the first months were extremely difficult, it was also a time of healing for our family, a time to draw closer to the Lord and now, looking back, I’m sure it will be remembered as one of the best times in our lives.
After spending several months in Virginia, we returned home for the summer and began traveling on the road once again during the fall and winter months. Eventually, our travels began to take us other places, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and currently, Alabama. Over the course of the past 3 ½ years, we’ve truly learned that home is where the heart is. After living in hotels, temporary apartments and a travel trailer, we are now living full-time in a motor home and continue to travel with my husbands job. Though it has been a difficult journey and we’ve truly given up much, I’m thankful that the Lord allowed us to ease into this lifestyle, step by step and that along the way we have learned to trust Him fully as He continues to lead us on this adventure.