Our 2017 summer was one that dreams are made of. I had set forth a goal of making the most of every single day of summer with my 700 days of summer theory and made good on my word through July and August. From Canada wide 150 celebrations to spending over 40 nights in a tent, more memories were made then I can recall and that couldn’t be happier.

Coming home though wasn’t an easy transition. While I yearned for long hot showers, body scrubs and a plethora of clean clothes, I was surprised and how difficult coming back home truly was. I was overwhelmed with everything from the traffic and the noise, to the amount of things I had and size of my today list. I also found myself asking a lot of questions, including:

Why do I have so much stuff?

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After spending 9 weeks in the forest, living with a backpack of clothes, a tent, and the kitchen essentials, coming home to a huge house was utterly overwhelming. I spent the first night laying awake until 4 am, questioning every single item we had in our house. If I had just thrived spending 9 weeks without any of this stuff, did we really need it? When I woke up the next morning, (a mere 3 hours later) the cleaning spree started. Cupboards were torn apart, broken toys discarded. Five garbage bags later and a truck full of donations I was starting to feel a bit lighter.

What does “Home” really mean?

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I was expecting to be welcomed back into my home as if my front door would roll out a red carpet, and my walls would pull me in with an embracing hug. I expected warmth and familiarity and instead got overwhelmed and cool vibes. I think that for the first time in my life I actually realized that my “home” is actually just a house, a material space, a keeper of our things.

I did, however, feel at home on the road. I felt it when I was visiting with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, where conversations ran deep and hours passed quickly. Home was being around a campfire and having to hold my stomach as it hurt so badly from laughing with my friends. Home was waking up in a tent, my kids cuddled into me, not to keep warm, but because they wanted to be close. Home isn’t a physical space, it’s a feeling and about the people you spend your time with. The reality is that the majority of our core friends have moved from the lower mainland and so have little pieces of my heart, however, when we’re all together, sitting, laughing, that’s when I truly feel like home.

Why am I so stressed out?

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I run two successful businesses, a full time digital marketing agency and this, my blog.  I have two very busy children, two volunteer roles, a household, and, and, and… the reality is that my life regularly spirals out of control, where I over promise myself and eventually can’t keep up. After spending a summer away from the computer and functioning at a much slower space I realized that it’s okay to recognize that you’re stressed out and it’s even more okay to step back and restructure.

Why am I such a people pleaser?

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Everyone seems to have expectations on how I should be spending my time. Whether it’s a volunteer role that needs to be filled or a family dinner that must be attended, or a kids practice that you need to watch I often find it hard to take the time to define what I actually in my schedule. When I do plan things out, and more specifically allocate time for myself and my family to be together and to recreate we are all much happier. So much to the dismay of others I’ll be focusing more on my “famjam” and less on pleasing others as we go into the Fall.

Do I love my kids enough?

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I may be biased here, but I really do think my kids are amazing! They are great travelers and a ton of fun to take on adventures. My most favourite moments are the personal ones that I’ve never shared with my readers. Like the time my daughter woke up and just after drowning me with hugs because she was just so happy to be waking up again in a tent. The time my son danced his heart out holding my hands and spinning, or the night the stars shone so bright that I felt like I was the captain of the star-ship enterprise. I love that my kids are willing to go on all these crazy adventures with me and I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them every day.   

Why am I not stronger?  

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Somewhere between starting two businesses, having a husband with a crazy work schedule, and being in my 30’s I managed to quickly lose a lot of physical strength and capacity along the way. I miss dominating the hills and being able to carry my share of the load when moving furniture, and I’m going to be making a concerted effort to put my fitness back on the priority list!

What’s next?

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The biggest question I’ve been asked since we got home is, “So… what’s your next adventure?” I love the enthusiasm and excitement that everyone shares with me, and while there are some very exciting things coming down the pipes (spoiler alert!) I also really want to spend the next couple months focusing on what is, versus what’s next and be sure to slow down and enjoy all the little moments that every day brings.

Check out some of my other blog where I share my lessons I’ve learned from Adventures: 

700 Days of Summer

What I left behind in Costa Rica

Getting Married… Again!