Reflecting on full time travel, 5 years on
Just like that, 5 years goes by.
When we set off 5 years ago I could ever have imagined that both Jaidens and my life would change quite so dramatically. There’s something about living with the bare minimum that does something to you, it changes your priorities and ensures you value the simple things in life that we take for granted, like running water, endless electricity or even a dry bathroom floor.
Not only that, but for Jaiden and I at least, it strengthened our bond and totally changed the way I parent. When we lost the luxuries we’re all so accustomed to, the ones that take up so much of our lives, I found it left an incredible amount of time to connect, to laugh, to play, to explore the world with him.
Instead of rushing him out the door at 6:20am every morning I suddenly found myself able to wake up and say “What do you want to do today?”, something I’d never had the time to ask him previously. We found joy in cooking dinner together, instead of me shooing him off to go and play so I could get dinner done quickly. We didn’t need to be out doing or seeing anything special, just co-existing and working together was more than enough for both of us, as it was something we’d never had and something we still enjoy 5 years on.
When I started this page it was really only to share our adventures with my friends that were interested, over time it’s slowly morphed into a wonderful community of people who have helped me through some of the hardest times. I’ve also been absolutely blessed to inspire other people to follow in our footsteps and have come to realise that for me, there’s nothing better than helping and inspiring other people to follow their dreams which is something I now dedicate a fair bit of my spare time to doing.
The last 5 years have been tougher than the 10 prior, but I’ve grown as a person, I’ve grown as a father and through having the time to better understand Jaiden and Autism in general, I’ve undoubtedly changed his life forever, too. Just a few days ago we were skimming through old photos and videos, his progress over the past 5 years is phenomenal. Instead of focusing on the academic skills society thinks needs at this age, we’ve spent 5 years focusing on the life skills he needs forever.
5 years on, I still miss my nice car, my “stuff” and my financial security, but I’ve had the most amazing experience, met the most amazing people and spent every day for the past 5 years with my amazing boy.
It was, and still is bloody tough and very scary at times. But to me, all progress in life starts right at the end of your comfort zone. As I said 3 years ago, today may just be another day, but it doesn’t have to be. Any day is a good day to change your life. It’s all about making those hard decisions, taking those risks and sacrificing those luxuries. None of it’s luck, it’s all hard work. But it’s the best kind of work, the work that makes you richer as a person, that in itself is absolutely priceless.
Huge thanks to you all, you’ve all played a part in helping me along this journey, I could not have done it without you. Forever grateful. x