Day 6: Living the (privileged) nomadic life

“I want to go to the new house daddy”, said Rishi strapped into his backseat. “Yes Rishi, we will get to the new house in 4.5 hours, can you wait till then?”, replied Avishkar. “Yay!”, beamed Rishi as he settled comfortably in his seat. Two coffee stops and 5.5 hours later, “I love the “Bin B” daddy” grinned Rishi as he surveyed the new air BnB.

It is night 6 and the Misra’s are in their 5th “new house” or air BnB, as they are commonly called. The kids are loving the experience of a new house, new bed and new surroundings, while we are getting increasingly tired of watching “Cocomelon” and “Captain Underpants” on repeat every single day.

So far, this trip has been quite a novel experience, the enormity of which can only be gauged once we realize that, by the time we end this epic road trip, we might end up living in at least 50 such “new houses”, and end up covering thousands of miles across the US and maybe Canada. If I take a moment to remove myself from the obvious and look into the philosophical implication of this, it makes me wonder, isn’t this exactly what life too is? My house, my family, my kids, my husband, my wife, however in reality all these are nothing more than just a transient set of variables, which are thrown together for us to experience this pit-stop called life.

While sitting on the porch of the “new house” at Sylvia, Avishkar and I started talking about the impact this nomadic life would have on our kids. We wondered if this would teach them to not be attached to material things, that its okay to give up and move on when time demands it. It also occurred to us that it is quite possible that they land on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, and become unreasonably attached to things they “can” control.

As I sit and write this article, I myself wonder the same, if this trip would teach me too, to not become attached to things which today might seem permanent, but are actually nothing but transitory. Every day that passes by reminds me and makes me deeply appreciative of the fact that we are here on borrowed time, in a borrowed lodging and experiencing borrowed relationships.

Moving on, to more tangible metrics, in the last 6 days, we have covered about 1,500 miles and have passed the states of Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and are currently in Pennsylvania. Though we tried to keep the driving to a maximum of 6 hours per day, after 6 days, tiredness has finally started to set in. It is more due to the relentless movement that we are subjecting ourselves to. It’s a combined tiredness from the constant back seat chatter of the kids, the intermittent tantrums, the demands for certain foods and the persistent interruptions to our conversations, to say nothing of the bad drivers on the road. Added to this, the act of unloading every single bag every single evening and then loading them back in every single day makes the trip more tiring than it normally would be.

Having said that, we are still changing our plans and reordering our trip based on our experiences, our new reality and our handicap of not being able to do more than 6 hours per day of driving (thanks to the kids). We are now planning to take a longer pit stop every 7-8 days, so we, the drivers, can relax, unwind and get some of that much needed rest. We also changed our start time from early morning at 6 AM, to 9 or later. This allows us to see some attractions at the place we are at, before leaving; so, we can reach the next place in time for check in and call it a day. So far, that is working well for us, how this will change in the coming days, remains to be seen.

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