I learned today what it is like to return to the road after taking our longest-ever break from the road since we became expediters in 2003. Learned by returning to the road.
Diane and I woke up this morning in our truck at a freeway rest area in Florida near this morning’s pick up. For the most part, we slipped easily back into the groove but I had thoughts about home that were different.
We left white collar careers to become expediters in 2003. Finding the life and work agreeable, we sold our house, cars and most household goods because we no longer felt the need to keep them. They cost money to maintain and it seemed that the only reason we were going home was to take care of our stuff. With the house sold, our residence became rented space in a relative’s house and we lived mostly on the road.
I reached my limit with winter in 2010 and we bought a vacation house in Florida. We spent January there last year and January and February there this year. Improvements have been made to the house and the furnishings have been upgraded. Unlike the house we sold in 2004, this one is about as maintenance free as a house can be. That makes it easier to own a house while staying out on the road for extended periods.
An important difference between our Florida house and the house in which we rent space in Minnesota is that the Florida house provides space of our very own. I can pound a nail in the wall where I want and the kitchen is not a common area that other people use.
As it becomes more familiar and dialed in to our liking, it is getting easier to feel at home in our Florida space. For the first time since Diane and I started driving truck for a living, I understand emotionally the desire most expediters have to get home to a space of their own. It’s not a tug I feel myself but one that is now better understood.
That understanding did not come earlier because we had no desire to get back home when we were new to expediting. Everything was an adventure and we were thrilled to be out. The house was a burden so we got rid of it. One million miles later, the country is not the new place it once was to us. We have created a space of our own in Florida and doing so has helped me understand the tug expediters feel to get home.
Notice that Diane and I are not calling the Florida place home. It is still a vacation house to us. It is not a home to get back to. It is a house used to get away from winter. Our home remains in Minnesota. It’s where our important stuff is kept. It’s where our people (blood relatives) are or hail from. It’s where we go to celebrate Christmas (the one holiday we come off the road to observe each year).
Our two month Florida vacation was good but we are back to work now. We won’t even think about going back until we have generated $50,000 gross to the truck and probably a lot more than that. We took the first two months of 2012 off. That leaves 10 months to earn our pay for the year.
Today’s load puts us on that path. The pick up went well. We will drive overnight and deliver about noon tomorrow in a northern state.