The Roots of A Gypsy Girl
Sometimes it feels like picking up and starting over has been the story of my life. Maybe that's because ever since I was little I've felt lost, and struggled to find my place in the world. Maybe it's just in my blood, literally. My great grandparents were gypsies in Canada. It's often made me wonder if the gypsy inclination is hereditary, something you can't help to do, like an itch you have to scratch. Roaming the country was always a fascination of mine and when I was a young girl I dreamed of traveling with a camera in hand. To explore the world, one place at a time, and be wild and free was compelling. Is that how it felt being one of the colorful bands of Gypsies? There was a circus-like vibe when the Gypsies came to town that fascinated and sometimes terrified people. You never knew what to expect watching them show up in colorful costumes, dancing, telling fortunes, and selling their herbs. My grandmother played the spoons and read tea leaves and I guarantee she led a much more exciting life than most people. That's what I wanted; to truly live.
I tried to settle down once, I met what I thought was a nice man, fell in love, was engaged within a year, and married two years later. Being married to him was like someone holding their hands around my throat. I couldn't breathe, I wanted to claw at my throat just to feel a small sense of release. I had no sense of freedom or felt that he was the kind of man that would embrace my wild nature. Instead, he tried to tie me down and kill whatever dreams I had. Despite all that, I stayed with him for ten years. The one gift of that experience came in the form of a little girl that looked just like me.
I left that marriage as a means of survival, I would have died there had I stayed. Since then, I've moved a lot as I struggled to find my place. Sometimes it was from house to house, while other times it was from city to city. My ex called me unstable but every time that I moved, more abundance came my way, better opportunities, and a better life for my daughter. I've certainly had a hard time settling down over the years but I always had my daughter's best interest at heart.
The choice to leave Canada wasn't an easy one but it felt right in my bones. It was time to do some traveling and I planned on hopping around the world while I homeschooled my child. Over the past few years, my daughter struggled with her father and it affected her mental health greatly. On top of that, the country was in lockdown and my daughter was not doing well in a virtual classroom. It was time to make a decision that would greatly benefit her life.
We had talked for years about buying an old school bus and renovating it, making it a home, and traveling from place to place. I knew I had to make a drastic change in her life so that she could go back to thriving, to being the happy little girl that she had been as a kid.
I started researching what it meant to renovate a bus and live on it. Whether you know it or not, #buslife is a thing and people all over the world are embracing that freedom lifestyle. It sure looked good to me. I loved the idea of allowing my child to see the world while taking the time to bond one on one as mother and daughter.
I knew what I was going to do and it was time to put a plan into place. How does one just pick up and leave a place that they have called home their whole life? Sure, I had moved around a lot. but nothing like deciding to do some traveling for a few years. It was breathtaking, raw, but beautiful all in the same moment. I was terrified and excited all at once and that's how I knew that I was making the best decision. I asked my child to trust me that I would give her a life that most people dream about.
The world was our oyster so to speak and my heart beat fast every time that I thought about the adventure that was unfolding in front of us. If someone would have told me that I would one day buy a bus and be a gypsy, I would have likely laughed in their faces. But every time that I looked at my daughter and saw her suffering, I knew that I had to do whatever I could to help her heal from the traumas she experienced. I knew that she needed a fresh start more than I did and I would do everything in my power to make sure that she was okay.
I took a deep breath and changed our lives.