Finding Home…Ten Years Later

Jenn wrote this about May 25, 2011 for the 2011 category.

It’s been ten years that we’ve been on and off the road traveling with our Family looking for ourselves, creating our dreams, raising our kids with the intention of breaking Family cycles of divorce and mistrust, finding a place to call home, and setting forth a path that was foggy and unclear when we set out all those years ago.  A personal and private journey (believe it or not). Over the years people tried to fit us into some sort of box, justifying why we would shift gears like that leaving behind everything we had ever wanted. Some labeled us a traveling gypsy Family, vegetarians (yeah, right), band groupies, drug dealers, white trash, lost people, adventurers, stupid, hippie bastard (hilarious, we clearly do not fit the hippie persona nor have we ever had a desire), and brave. I get it, people need to connect it to something they are familiar with or understand. It took us a lot of years to get over the feelings those labels made us feel like. And we are still working on getting over some of the harsh things spoken by some of the closet people, our Family. Letting them go with all their thoughts and confusion on who we are has been one of the most freeing experiences and yet one of the saddest.

One of the biggest things we wanted more that anything out of our years on the road was to experience what real home feels like. Something we either never fit in within our past or had no idea how to create for our own Family. We had this sense that home was always out there ~ a place, a piece of land ~ and if we just found that place we could buy it, shape it, own it, plant trees on it, and make it ours and we’d be home. We spent countless years and thousands of gallons of gas to find that place. When we thought we had found it, we’d stay. Sometimes for months, sometimes for years. But, it never was. We continued to look for that place and then years ago it became clear that home has always been within us. Location free. We’re home where ever we are. We are homemade. We took that in proudly with all the emotional touchy feely things that come along with, but I’ll spare you in this blog post. But, as our kids got older and more independent we had one more place to try out. Maybe the magical combination of homemade with the ideal location just might be out there like some sort of jackpot. Someplace that Greg and I could be happy with even when they left us for the big world. Seattle. One year there. Not it. Happy and accomplished we tried.  And through some sort of clarity from that risk, we came right back to the very place we started everything we have ever loved and have achieved some of the grandest stunts of our lives. Texas. The launching pad for everything barenaked.

Here we are now. We’re happy. We’re content. We’re homemade. With an older and wiser Family. And just like when we started out to find home, we also started out to find our own business. With an opportunity to launch and replicate what we were looking for on those thousands of miles and great times out on the road, we are finding ourselves with a possibility of something we have dreamed about for years. A place that many will come and find that they are home too. Yep, we’re a lot of things. But we’re also BareNakedFamily.

18 Responses to “Finding Home…Ten Years Later”

  1. Johhna says:

    Encouraging and awesome… I am happy for you and I am inspired.

    Love your hearts.

  2. It truly doesn’t matter what others think, find the courage to say, or don’t have sense enough not to say. This life is a personal journey for you and your family. The focus changes over time as your family evolves, but the journey is the same. If you can continue to love each other and your kids through all the changes and come out the other end with a lifelong bond, then it’s a success. The place doesn’t matter, nor does the balance of your bank account. All that matters is the love of family and the companionship of true friends. Bravo to you for what appears to be continued success and as always, thanks for sharing along the way.

  3. Wade Foster says:

    Personally, I think what you guys did was great. It took a lot of guts. Though I have not followed your stories and adventures, I have heard. Sometimes, you just have to do what works for you, as a matter of fact, everyone should. In my opinion, its what’s wrong with our society and culture today, everyone has become so stereo-typical, and opinionated, mostly because of there own inabilities, its easier to put a label on someone else to make themselves feel better.

    You never should feel down about what someone says about you or your ideas. If it worked for yourselves and family, and you are happy, you are a success. I learned a long time ago, happiness is our greatest gift, you have to find it and embrace it, you only live once, and there is a lot to behold in this wonderful world we live in.

    I cannot say we did the same thing as you, but in a round about way we did. My wife was military, and I a small business owner. She loved her career and country, I learned to hate my business. We have two sons, and they traveled with us. As military members, we have moved a lot. We started in TX, and have been around the country. We were living in Biloxi when Katrina blew through, an experience most shudder to think about, a time we would not trade for anything. We have seen country from coast to coast, and my wife other countries. These are moments to treasure, there is a lot of beauty in this world, quite a lot in places most would not think to look. We are now retired, our kids worldly with experiences most kids could not even think of. Personally, I think they had a better more quality in their travels with us, than the illustrious school system. Either way, we had each other all these years.

    We never bought a home, instead we leased as we never could decide what we wanted, or where we wanted to be. When we left TX, my very words were, “if I never see that place again, it will be too soon.” We have made full circle now, with the coming of our retirement, yes, we are back in TX, and while I still have some bitterness with the way the idiots in this state run it, I am glad to be home.

    Its been two years back now, we have moved to my parents old beachouse in Rockport, we love it here. The kids are both graduated, one is now finishing basic training for the AF, the other is working for a bank and studying bank management.

    The one thing my wife and I decided about 10 years back, was with our love of the water, and boating, we wanted to buy a large boat to live aboard and abroad. As we could not subject the kids to that lifestyle, living on a boat is a bit different, especially since they had no experience with it to compare, we would wait and plan it for our retirement.

    As I said we are two years in, back at the coast, and yes you guessed it, we are remodeling, repowering, and preparing our new home. It will be a while yet, as the renovations are expensive and time consuming, but with a little luck, we will be leaving on our journey sometime soon. You see, we never got the “on the move lifestyle” out of our system, and there is still so much unexplored territory in this world for us. We are now anxious to start making those new memories. I hope the journey never ends. We were able to retire young, and with no real responsibilities, and nothing to weight us down, I beleive we are prepared! So yes, I do understand what you did, and I commend you! Enjoy your new life, we will be enjoying ours as well!

    -Wade & Micki

  4. Nathan says:

    Best Family in all of Texas!

  5. Vicki Cobb says:

    It is so good having you close by once again!
    Thanks for including my family in yours.
    Love you all beyond expression.

  6. Tami Mugler says:

    10 years INSPIRING thousands!
    I raise my glass to you all!
    you have raised children that will no doubt enter the world in such a compassionate, unselfish & proactive way that most of us can only hope for our own children.
    We luv u all & our lives were forever changed when you came into it.

  7. Emily says:

    That is such a beautiful pic of both of you! I love your family philosophy. Bryan and I both feel that you guys have the strongest family unit we have ever known, and that is so inspiring to both of us! So is your strong marriage and the amazing job you have done with raising such grounded, creative, incredible kids. I love that you are able to see home as a family rather than a place. So happy to have you all back in Texas–you make Austin feel even more like home for me! 🙂 Lots of love.

  8. I love your site. Congratulations on what you’re doing.
    Just named your site an “Irresistably Sweet” blog over at my site.

  9. Beck says:

    That is beautiful. Thank you!

  10. Laura says:

    You guys have always been centered, now you’re just honing that center down to some more specific geography! Glad for the peace this change brings you. Just want you to know that the book you’re in, Free Range Learning, is now in it’s second printing. Hope your site gets some hits from it!

  11. Just Greg says:

    Thanks Laura and congrats on the second printing!

  12. Quentin Jones says:

    You make me want tear up! That’s exactly what I desire, what you and your family are doing! I am so happy for you guys! And I am so proud to know that there are people like yourselves out there who are doing this! Who cares what other people think (those who have said negative things) what you and your family have done! I am so encouraged and inspired by the lifestyle that y’all have accepted. As far as im concerned, I wouldn’t ever settle down in one place. Live life and make home on the road as you have always done. Wow, I feel a sense on envy coming over myself! Haha home is where the heart is, not the location, and I think y’all have found that! Yay way to go!

  13. Just Greg says:

    Thanks for the words Quentin! Always great to hear from folks like yourself. Hope to see you someday. All our best, -G

  14. Nerissa says:

    Love what you doing, just wish I had the means I would do the exact same thing with me and my daughter. It doesn’t matter what people think, it works for you and your family isn’t hurt, by all means do it. Your family is so well rounded and alot of people should follow your steps, the world would be a better and safer place.

  15. Just Greg says:

    Thanks Nerissa! Appreciate you leaving a comment and the kind words.
    Spend your free time like you’ve won the lottery and you’ll be doing the exact same thing.

  16. allison says:

    I am very happy that you decided to make our town your home. I am happy to have met you finally (after knowing your kids through mine for a while). what a wonderful family. 🙂

  17. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for making Ellen welcome at Corona Coffee….She loves all of ya’ll and welcome back to Texas!

  18. Stephanie says:

    I so admire people who can go against the grain and do what they feel is best for their family, regardless of the labels people place on them as a result. You are definitely admirable and inspiring in my view. 🙂

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