Down memory lane…How did it feel to return?…Four days and counting…

From left to right, Doug, Jamie, Tom, Sue, Nelleke, Dave, our dear old friends, and neighbors are on the point.

Not only did we leave all the people we love behind when we left Minnesota and the US almost five years ago, but we said goodbye to all of our worldly possessions; home, cars, and all personal belongings.

My happy guy, enjoying time spent with old friends.

We gave the family the memorabilia and physical photos (all of which we scanned) and sailed away with only that which was contained in an overabundance of luggage at the time.

Now, pared-down considerably with only one large clothing suitcase each, a third smaller bag with supplies, and two carry-on bags, our worldly possessions are few.

Our former home.  Respecting the new owner’s privacy, we didn’t bother them to see it.

I won’t imply that any of that was easy. It was more difficult than we can ever express. But, somehow, we both knew that this new life was meant for us. And yes, it was a process. Freeing ourselves from “stuff” didn’t come easily.

Little did we know, as we suffered the angst of “letting go,” how meaningful and purposeful our new lives would become, providing both of us with a sense of joy, contentment, fulfillment, and happiness neither of us ever anticipated in these later years, especially after all this time has passed.

Our former home is on the opposite side of the peninsula.

We had no doubt we’d return to our old neighborhood to see our friends, and we wondered how we’d react to returning after almost five years. We knew it would be no different for us than when anyone returns to a home in their long-ago past. Doing so will always have the potential to bring up emotions many of us may have put aside for a time.

Alternate view of Jamie and Doug’s home with Nelleke and Dave’s next door.

As we stood on the road with our friends, looking toward our old house, we surprised ourselves when we each smiled, remembering the great times we shared, leaving us with memories we’ll always cherish. There was no sadness.

Jamie and Doug, two doors down from our former home. Thanks for inviting us to the “cocktail cruise.”

However, we weren’t sad in any way or even felt nostalgic to any degree. Later, when we discussed it, we equated it to how one might feel when they see an “old flame” while happily ensconced in a relationship with a “new love,” eliciting not much of a reaction, not a glimmer of sorrow…we’ve moved on.

And move on, we have, into another chapter of our lives for which we’ve adopted with grace and ease, knowing we made the right decision for us, not necessarily that which many others would care to adopt.

Doug, driving their spacious pontoon boat.

The people? We miss them and always will. Spending Saturday night with our old friends and, after spending many other days and nights with other friends and family members, our emotions regarding all of them remain in tact, filled with love and admiration for who they were when we left and who they’ve become in our absence.

Jamie and Doug’s stunning lakefront home.

Yesterday was a busy “friend” day for me when in the morning, friend Chere stopped by our hotel with gifts, Norwex cloths for our travels. Thanks, Chere, how perfect they are!  

Sue sold her house this past year, five years after our beloved Chip passed away. We shared photos and stories of her new home a few weeks ago. Click here for photos.

A short time later when TJ and grandson Jayden arrived for breakfast, they dropped me off at friend Karen’s home while they headed to Wisconsin to buy fireworks. Spending several hours with her was an unexpected treat when suddenly there was a gap in the schedule.

Tom picked me up at Karen’s home around 3:00 pm. We headed back to the hotel to change and dress for the planned dinner with friends Lisa and Brian at Maynard’s Restaurant in Excelsior, located on Lake Minnetonka, an old favorite haunt. 

Dave and Nelleke, our former next-door neighbors.

We spent hours talking, paying little attention to our food, instead of focusing on one another. It was so good to see them again as it had been to see Chere and Karen one last time and, of course, our old friends Lisa and Brian last night.

Nelleke and Dave’s gorgeous lakefront home.

During this extended stay, I even had an opportunity to see an old friend and former business partner, Theresa, a second time on a whim during a gap in the schedule last week.

Tom’s fish and chips with coleslaw.  He’ll eat healthier food once we start cooking again in Costa Rica in about 28 days.

As this final week comes to a close, knowing we’re leaving in four days, we’ll focus our time and energy, as their work schedules allow saying goodbye to our family. The busy 4th of July holiday puts a slight damper on this process, but we’ll manage just fine. 

Jamie and Doug shared this massive plate of pork chops at Hazelwood Restaurant, where we dined after our happy hour boat ride.

We arrived in Minnesota on a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) and are leaving on the 4th of July week. Soon, we’ll return to the life our Aussies friends always referred to as our “living life on a perpetual holiday (vacation).” 

My usual Cobb salad with a side of sour cream (instead of salad dressing) which I’ve ordered almost every night since we arrived in Minnesota nearly six weeks ago.

For us, it’s not a perpetual vacation. Its a nomadic life filled with adventure as we continue to explore beyond our wildest dreams, a decision that ultimately required a lot of change, sacrifice and adaptation, a decision we’ll never regret.

Thanks, dear readers, for sharing this particular time with us.

Photo from one year ago today, July 3, 2016:

Historical building in Singapore one year ago. For more photos and final expenses for the week we spent in Singapore, please click here.