The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Where the Heart Is

Darden Family 2017

It’s been a little more than three years since our family hitched up the wagon and moved across country from Maryland to California. At the time, it seemed surreal, like more of a vacation than a move. Now, more and more, California feels like home.

Home means many different things to different people. Along this journey, we’ve met families who live in urban cities, families who live very remotely, families in desert towns, suburban families, families with huge houses, families with tiny apartments, and families with mobile homes. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting families from varied ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. They’ve welcomed us into their homes and we’ve welcomed them to ours, and I’ve learned a lot, especially that we are all doing the best we can with what we have and it’s enough.

Our family grew by one as my youngest brother moved in with us this summer to pursue his dream of acting. It’s been great having him here and part of what makes it feel a bit more like home.

We also had another move this year. Moving from our tiny two-bedroom apartment to a small three-bedroom house. I’m grateful for the extra space and I try to stay in that place of gratitude, but it’s easy to slip into comparing it to our larger home in Maryland. I remind myself that we are on a journey, not a race. Where we are right now is where we are supposed to be and it’s enough. In time, we’ll find our forever California home or maybe California isn’t meant to be forever.

As I move into 2018, I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned on this journey so far and all of the people and families who’ve entered our lives. I’m excited about the year to come. My goal is to remain heart open and to lead with gratitude. I’m also committing to writing more here and elsewhere. 🤞🏽


Written by Shara

December 30, 2017 at 11:34 am

Road Trip!

As a kid, I took a few road trips with my mom and sister. We visited family in New York, Georgia and Florida. Pretty much our trips were to locations you could easily access from I-95. I remember those trips fondly because it was time away from whatever craziness was going on at home.

So, last month, my family packed up our mini-van + a trailer full of some of our most-used items and we moved clear across the country. We drove from our home in Maryland (where I’ve lived most of my life) to our new home in sunny California. Now that’s a road trip!

Let’s be clear, relocating a family of four cross-country (without help from an employer or the military) is just plain cray-cray. But, we did it and now we’re closer to my in-laws. We’re also just really happy in our new hometown!

Thumbs Up

My son, all bundled and giving the thumbs up. Ready to go!

Of course, I have to give you a little preview of our road trip. Imagine a mini-van, the third-row seats down, packed front to back and top to bottom — like sardines in a can. Two incredibly excited kids, fully equipped with media, games, crayons and activities, nestled into the second row. A potty (i.e. toddler toilet) placed in the empty space between their seats for emergencies — oh yes we did! Luggage packed on top of the van, which at this point is dragging so low in the back you would think we had a hydraulic system installed.

Oh and we didn’t stop there. We couldn’t. We hitched a fully-packed U-Haul trailer to the back and drove 55 to 60 mph across the United States of America. What an adventure! Right?!

You know, it wasn’t the way I envisioned it in my mind, but what moving experience ever is? We placed most of our things in storage and we wanted to ship it all out to California to meet us there, but $8000-10000 in quotes later, we decided there had to be a less expensive way. And, we were right, but honestly if we had an extra 10 g’s lying around, then we definitely would have shipped our things.

So, here we are and enjoying our escape from the snow back east. I imagine that we’ll have lots of adventures, in fact we’ve already had a few…

Trip to Hollywood

My husband and I on our first trip into Hollywood. See the sign in the back? 🙂

Snowtubing at Mt. Baldy

Snowtubing at Mt. Baldy. If we really miss the snow, we can find some only 40 minutes away.

Playing at the Mall

Here are the kids in the play area at the local Mall.

I’m hoping to keep better track of those adventures and share them with you on this blog. Although, I’m no writer, I find the process of writing and creating to be very therapeutic and hope to have more time for it.

Have you ever traveled cross-country by car? Relocated to another state? I’d love to hear what your experience was like.

Written by Shara

February 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Posted in Moving, Parenting, Travel