I can hardly believe it’s been a month since we left Olympia, Washington for this trip of a lifetime. For this leap of faith. For this dream of ours.
I remember our first day on the road so clearly – how nervous I was as we left the comfortable, predictable house and moved into a shiny, tiny home with wheels. As we pulled that home over Snoqualmie mountain pass and set up camp for the first time the emotions shifted between excitement, fear, anxiety, excitement, fear, anxiety, exhaustion, excitement. . . .but we just kept on trucking and it’s gotten much easier as we go. The more we tow, the more we set up/take down the trailer, the more we see – the more comfortable it gets and the more confident we become. The emotions these days are mostly excitement and lots of joy. And for me especially, contentment.
We’ve taken it slow – after only 30 days we were still only about 10 hours from where we started! But the beauty of this trip isn’t about the distance or the miles logged – it’s about the experiences we’re having along the way, the family and friends we’re seeing, and ultimately that we’re enjoying the view along the way.
The FAMILY part has been the highlight. Without the distractions of housework, yard work, a 9-5 job – we’re all present and participating in this adventure as a unit. I’d be lying if I said it’s been roses and rainbows every single second – we have had to adjust and adapt, but at the end of the day we’re a stronger, closer family – creating memories that will last a lifetime.
And the family we’ve seen along the way – how blessed we’ve been in just four weeks to spend time with – my grandma’s sister and husband (Clarkston, WA), my grandma (Coeur d’Alene, ID), my aunt and uncle (Post Falls, ID), my cousins and cousin’s kids (Post Falls) and my sister- and brother-in-law and their kids (Glacier National Park, MT). I had people ask us about missing family when we move – and we do miss our Puget Sound-area family very much – but we are getting the chance to see family and friends we haven’t seen in years during this journey!
Biggest challenges so far. . .
- Finding reliable wifi to be able to work along the road. We have a Verizon JetPack that allows us to use WiFi through our phone – but it’s expensive, so I’m always worried about using the data. Wifi in campgrounds just isn’t reliable – especially when the campgrounds are full.
- Finding inexpensive campsites has been tricky, even state park campsites in Washington were costing us $35+ a night. Ideally we’d find a spot where we could get a weekly rate, but because it’s the busiest time of the year with summer travel – we’ve had limited options for places to stay longterm or inexpensively. I expect this to get easier as we head into fall.
- Meal planning has been a learning process – without my pantry and stockpile at home it’s harder to be creative with last minute, easy meals. I’m getting better at finding recipes that work well on a grill or are easily whipped up in the trailer – and hope to share more about this as I get better at it.
A few thoughts on this past month . . .
- I don’t miss anything we sold or gave away before starting this journey. Not a thing.
- I’ve actually downsized even MORE since leaving Olympia, giving items to family/friends and donating them along the way. You really need so very little material things for day-to-day needs.
- I love that it takes me 20 minutes to clean my entire house – including rooms organized, floors mopped, kitchen scrubbed, fridge organized and bathroom cleaned.
- I don’t miss my dishwasher as much as I thought I would.
- It’s nearly impossible to LOSE anything in this trailer. I spend a lot less time looking for things! 🙂
- I drink a lot less coffee when we’re using a french press instead of using a 12-cup machine.
- We spend an exponentially more time OUTSIDE than we ever did in our house. Even with a liberal covering of 70 SPF I’m dotted with freckles I haven’t seen since I was a kid playing for hours in the yard – and it feels good.
- This country is a BEAUTIFUL place.
- I LOVE that the view out my window changes often. That the birds and plants are new. That there is SO much to learn at every place we stop. It’s invigorating and exciting.
- You can plan, research and prep until the cows come home. But it’s faith, bravery, patience that really MOVE you to action.
- I’m braver than I ever imagined possible.
When we were planning this trip, I would share our plan carefully with people – always with a clause – just in case we hated it and ended up turning around. I don’t know why, but perhaps because I didn’t want to feel like a failure if our big dream turned out to be a bad choice.
Today I feel differently. It’s our dream. We’re chasing it. And we LOVE it. Whether it lasts 2 months, 12 months or longer – I know this was the right choice for us and there are no regrets. We’ve taken more leaps of faiths than some people do their whole lives. We’re stronger, braver people for that.
Who knows where this journey will take us. . .but I’m grateful for every day along the way.