On the Road Introvert

We went to Shreveport this past weekend to visit some good friends.  I ate way too much fancy cheese and drank way too much buttery chardonnay and laughed until my tummy hurt.  Man oh man did I laugh.  I laughed until I cried.  I laughed the not cute big belly laugh.  It was very therapeutic.  I don’t have any Shreveport pictures because I was too busy laughing.

While there, my friend asked me what am I going to do about community when I go on the road?  Good question.  I’ve realized that I am a hard core introvert.  I looooove my home.  I don’t mind awkward silences.  I gain my energy from trees and the ocean and quiet places and books and cuddling with my dog and long drives… alone.  In fact, Andrew and I plan to spend half of our time off the grid.  Like, parking our trailer at the base of a mountain, running off of a generator, away from all civilization, kind of off the grid.  The thought of this makes me all ooey gooey and giddy inside.  I can’t even explain the feel goods.

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But after weekends like this past weekend I realize the importance of community and good friends.  Funny how I need convincing of that every now and then.  Don’t judge.  I feel like sometimes I forget how to have a good conversation.  I get so lost in my internal world that I forget how to interact with others and ask good questions.  Maybe this awkwardness is just in my head, I don’t know.  Over the course of the weekend, I found myself thinking in the silences, “Ok.  Think Elle, what’s a super great question you can ask her?  I want to know about her, I just can’t think of what to ask her dagnabbit!!”  I felt out of practice in the convo realm.

There’s a beautiful volley that plays back and forth in a good conversation.  You toss and pass questions and answers, one liners and giggles.  When I go on the road and live with the squirrels will I totally lose this skill?  I’ll be in the back country for weeks at a time.  Is this wise?  How important really is it to talk to other humans?  Is being an introvert a bad thing.  Ok.  Maybe it’s not, but are introverts allowed to move away from civilization?  Just something I’ve been mulling over in my free time.

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I’m choosing to believe the optimistic and that Andrew and I will keep up with old friends and meet great new friends on the road.  I have this grand idea of meeting people in parks, inviting them to our camp fire and talking long in to the night over wine.  I sure hope this happens.  I can also see me getting really shy and not asking a soul over.  Good thing I have Andrew, he gets me out of my shell a lot.  That man is amazing.  If the checkout woman at Target is having a bad day he makes it his personal mission to make her laugh.  He pulls out all the stops, Scottish accents, funny faces, inquiring about her personal life, you name it.  And it usually works.

I love how the Lord pairs us with complimentary matches.  Andrew is definitely mine.  In fact I know that Andrew will help me on the road meet new people, start new conversations and open up.

As we’re getting closer and closer to our hit the road date (June 1st!! Eek!!) I’m starting to lose the rose colored glasses and look at it more realistically.  Will I totally isolate?  Is is wise for an introvert to go on the road full time? How will I cook in that tiny trailer oven??  What will I do with my time, I absolutely can’t let myself become bored.  How will I still teach my beloved yoga?  How in the world will my cat cope??  Will we make enough money to make this work oh my soul??  What about church on the road?

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Sometimes these questions keep me up at night.  Then I always get to this place: this is my dream.  I feel like the Lord hard wired my heart and soul for this journey.  He has always provided for me physically, mentally and emotionally.  He’s not going to lead me to the road then drop me cold.  He’s got this.  I need to chill out.  Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.

Also, if it doesn’t work out… we can just come home by golly!!  We can try, fail miserably, but at least we tried!

We’re going to look at trailers any day now, so I’ll keep you updated on that super fun development.  Let the countdown begin!

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5 thoughts on “On the Road Introvert

  1. Great post Ellen! I think you and Andrew will have a great time being nomads. I have 2 friends that have this same kind of lifestyle and they enjoy traveling across this great nation of ours discovering new adventures together. They come back here to Lafayette, LA after a few months of traveling to be around friends and family for a few weeks and then they hit the road again. We never say goodbye, only safe travels.

    1. Thank you Richard! That sounds like a wonderful plan! It’s nice to have a home base to connect back with. I know I will miss my family and friends when on the road. But you’re right! It’s not good bye!

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