We decided to sell our house and travel full time in the Winnebago, agreeing not to reconsider our choice for one full year.
In retrospect, we were both looking for insurance that the other wouldn’t throw in the towel if things got tough.
We quickly discovered that the nomadic life agrees with us. In fact, we’ve become addicted to it.
Now we’re planning to travel indefinitely, but we’ll be doing things a little differently.
We covered more than 22,000 miles in 2011, criss-crossing the country. Starting out, all we could think was that there was so much to see and so little time to do it … we were going to take in as much as we could.
We dove an average of 65 miles a day for the 346 days we were free in 2011. It turned out to be a lot of time behind the wheel.
Somewhere along the way it hit us that Rod’s consulting business was re-blossoming. Our mobile lifestyle wasn’t incompatible with meeting his clients needs – and that meant that we could cover our bills and keep going. We could travel until we saw it all!
When the time pressure evaporated, our minds turned to what we wanted from our life on the road. I have wandering in my blood – I’m plagued with itchy feet after three stationary days and taking the same route twice is sacrilege. Rod is a nester – he enjoys exploring a place slowly and is more comfortable with the familiar. Left to our own devices, I would never stop and he would never go. And that’s what makes us the perfect combination.
But, even for my gypsy heart, our life in 2011 felt chaotic. Driving, site seeing, and writing the blog have wrestled for my time for the past twelve months. I’ve wondered what our neighbors in the RV parks think of the couple in the GoPetFriendly.com Winnebago who rarely step outside before packing up and moving on. The number of times we’ve pulled out the camp chairs to watch the stars or be hypnotized by the flames of the campfire could be counted on one hand.
The hustle was doable when we thought our trip might only last a year, but it’s not sustainable for the long run. We need time to tackle the bigger projects on our to-do list, get some regular exercise (we’re not getting any younger!), and maybe read a book just for fun. It was apparent … we needed a new plan.
Pulling into Austin last week for a two-month rest was a relief. I’m actually enjoying the sensation of being settled. To complete the effect, we strung a few lights under the awning, got an outdoor rug to make our “front porch” more welcoming, and started making friends with the neighbors. I’m doing yoga, Rod started running again, and we’ll both be catching up on some projects that were sidelined for lack of time. We’re hibernating … until our reservation ends on March 7th.
The plan (and you know I use that term loosely) for 2012 is to visit New England and Nova Scotia. I’m sure there will be as much to see – but a lot fewer miles to cover – than our trip up the West Coast in 2011, and that should mean a better balance for us. Our idea is to stay a week in each new location – hopefully it works out to be a good compromise between Rod’s need to stay and my need to go. Reclaiming those hours behind the wheel should also allow us to do the things that will keep our bodies and our businesses healthy, while we continue to embrace the traveling lifestyle.
What changes are you making in your life for a better 2012?
Don’t forget … you still have time to enter our Pet Travel Grab Bag Giveaway!