Reflections: 6 months on the road

6monthsIt’s been almost 6 months since we set out on our grand adventure. I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learned along the way about the journey, and about myself.

  • Our equipment is awesome. The motorhome we selected, the truck, the motorcycle, and the gear we brought along has worked out just fantastic so far. We researched our options for YEARS, and all of that research really paid off. Our rolling home is beautifully appointed and very comfortable. Using the truck as a trailer for motorcycle and bicycles works flawlessly. For us, it’s perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.
  • I don’t miss all of the “stuff”. If anything, we brought more stuff than we actually need or use. If I had space I brought it, but so far I find there are clothes I haven’t worn and dishes I haven’t used. I’ll give it a bit more time, but we’ll likely continue to pare down over time.
  • Traveling gets easier with practice. As posted earlier, moving from one location to another is quite a process, one that made me rather nervous at first. Now that we’ve done it a couple dozen times, it is much less daunting. We’re also getting more comfortable with maneuvering the beast through roads and campgrounds. It doesn’t mean we’re less careful, just less nervous!
  • This is a great country. Being on the road gives me a renewed sense of appreciation for all that the US offers. Interstate highways. Rest stops. National and State parks. There is so much beautiful scenery, culture and history to explore right here in the US, it can keep us busy for years. I feel as though we’ve barely scratched the surface.
  • It’s difficult to make new relationships on the road. We’ve met some friendly and interesting people in our travels, but it seems always to be a transient encounter. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve struck up a conversation with a great couple, only to find they are leaving the next day. Or we are. Part of the challenge is that we are usually on the go, touring new places. It’s hard to build a relationship when you are both moving targets. We have several future campground bookings of a month or more, and I’m hoping a longer stay will give us more opportunities to make new friends. On the other hand ….
  • Technology helps us stay connected to our friends and family. What did people do before email, the internet and social media?  Make phone calls and send post cards, I guess! I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to stay in touch with our friends and family. Without that, this lifestyle could feel quite isolating.
  • Adjusting to the gypsy life was harder than expected. I totally wanted to do this and am really happy we are on the road. But, I have to confess, I went through a period of feeling …. adrift. Surroundings were ever changing and foreign –  no more familiar environment, friends, and routine. I missed my car and the autonomy that goes with having your own wheels. It’s a challenge to structure a new routine in an environment that is constantly changing. It’s just a really different lifestyle, and it takes time to become fully acclimated.
  • Jeff and I are closer than ever. Living in such close quarters can surely pose a challenge for couples. And I’m not saying that we haven’t had our share of disagreements and adjustments. But I can’t imagine having this adventure with anyone else. The fact that we were both 100% on board with launching this lifestyle helps. He is my best friend and true partner in  life.

A couple of weeks ago, I flew to Chicago for a few days on business. It felt oddly strange to re-assume the business traveler role that I had performed so many times before. The hotel room seemed unreasonably large. It was weird not to have Jeff there;  we texted or talked several times a day. I thought it might feel wrong to fly back to the Fresno airport rather than South Florida, but I found myself eagerly looking forward to returning to our bus.

It’s Home.

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