this is the part that worries us the most. I remember when I was in the navy 30 yrs ago returning home after going half way around the world. Seeing home again (trees and even corn fields) was amazing.
It's my belief that if and when we decide to return home to Indiana we'll once again appreciate it. It's just living in the same place for 46yrs (except the 4 I was in the navy) we are ready to do something different.
Our hope is that some days will not be a dream come true. In fact we are counting on that otherwise we might not truly enjoy the good days.
I too spent some time in the Navy, 10 years right out of high school. I got to visit every continent except Europe, got to see how other people live, realized that even my meager military pay was a fortune to what some people have. The Navy also got me hooked on seeing what lay over the horizon and definitely gave me that craving a previous poster mentioned for the sea. I would come home to Kentucky on shore leave and think how great "home" was.
As the years of my service passed I acquired more stuff. I got out of the Navy, married, and lived in southwest Virginia. Virginia because she didn't want to move anywhere else even though the wage scale was much lower there than other places. After 9 years and a divorce, I finally came "home" to Kentucky. Was it special? Was it the place I wanted to be? No.
I found that the same reasons I left in the first place are still here. The only difference is that now I'm older and much more aware of what actually makes me happy. I have a good income, lots of stuff, and a lot more debt, and not happy. If leaving Indiana for a period of time will renew your sense of love for the place, then by all means do it. For me, I've spent 7 years (16 counting my marriage) of putting my wants, needs, and dreams aside for the sake of relationships in a place that people tell me is my "home" but I'm not happy with, living a life that is acceptable to mainstream America. And it SUCKS! And it's all going to change! But that's MY situation, not yours.
A good friend of mine who is married with kids and happy to be here told me something that has stuck with me. "Everybody deserves to enjoy life even if that means following a path less travelled." Being a bit of a free spirit herself, she understands me. I've read many posts in this forum where people say the family thinks they're crazy for wanting to follow such a dream, friends think they're nuts, etc. Just remember that for the most part, these are the same people who told you as a child "you can do anything you want to do in life", "you can be anything you want to be", "nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it".
Personally and for what it's worth, I think second guessing yourself and wondering if it's the right choice is a result of a natural fear of the unknown. I'm willing to bet though that you also experience a thrill on occasion when you discuss your plans together! I know I do when I look at boats on Yachtworld think of my own plans! A little uncertainty is good though. It makes you think, makes you cautious, makes you plan. And it sounds like you have a good plan.
The thing I love about this forum is that it is full of people who have already went down the road we are just starting on. The best part is that they understand the feelings people like us are experiencing because they have been there and they are willing to tell newcomers what to expect. They freely share their experiences and try to warn those that follow of common mistakes and pitfalls. They may not always be tactful, concise, straight to the point, or even good spellers, but they have been a valued source of support, knowledge, and inspiration to a man who has only one friend who understands and supports his dream.
Good luck to you and don't let anybody talk you out of your course.