Today is our four week “roam-iversary”! We are celebrating with a blog post, of course. It is hard to believe that we have been full-timers for nearly a month already. Time flies, eh? I compiled a few thoughts about our journey so far.
Before we began our travels, I figured the constant change in scenery and beautiful surroundings would be my favorite part about full-timing. That has been very fun, but the best part of traveling thus far has easily been the inspiring people that we have met. We have met the most interesting and adventurous people in the past four weeks, and have really enjoyed hearing their perspectives and stories. Just in the past two days we have encountered a couple who has sailed and driven around the world for the past 10 years, a family who took a month off from ‘real life’ to travel the West Coast with their children, and a couple of bicyclists who are working their way from Vancouver, B.C. to Panama over the course of 9 months! We find ourselves more outgoing than we ever were living in one place. When we are waiting for a table at a restaurant, setting up at a campground, or just moseying around a new town, we find ourselves striking up conversation with people around us. When we were living a solitary lifestyle, I can’t ever remember getting the urge to strike up conversation with the person behind me at the grocery store. Every once in a while, the person is less than interested in a long conversation, but more often than not we find that people are eager to share their stories and hear ours.
“What is the hardest part?” I hear that question pretty regularly these days, and the answer is easy. Saying ‘goodbye for now’ to those that we love the most has easily been the toughest adjustment. Some may not have this issue; in fact, we have spoken with some folks who simply don’t mind being away from their families and friends whatsoever. For us, however, it has not been an easy transition. This quote by Yip Harburg sums it up perfectly: “My heart wants roots. My mind wants wings. I cannot bear their bickerings.” Tossing familiarity to the wind and not seeing our loved ones for months at a time is going to be a tough. At the end of the day, all I can say is thank God for technology; FaceTime and long phone calls maintain my sanity!
Another major theme of the past several weeks has been our animals, and how to make life on the road work with them. Traveling with pets is completely doable for many people, but we have found it exceptionally difficult. After a great deal of time, thought, tears and stress, we decided to find our beloved mini pig Winston a wonderful new home. Sparing the details, Winston was not enamored with living in a small box and having his beautiful backyard ripped away from him. We made the decision to find him a home where he could live out his days grazing, rooting and just being a pig! It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do – anyone who knows us knows how much we love our little buddy. Regardless, it was the right choice, and he is now the happiest we have seen him for a very long time. Even our cats are fairly difficult. Aside from one of our cats intense fear of moving vehicles (you can imagine how well that works out), they also enjoy playing kitty night games while we attempt to sleep. We are doing everything possible so that we can all co-exist peacefully, but it is so much harder than I ever imagined. I am a huge animal lover, and am vehemently against those who treat their pets as disposable. More than anything I had hoped to write a full synopsis of how anyone can make life on the road work with pets, but despite our best efforts, it has been tough! In summary, if you are considering bringing your animal with you full-time on the road, know your animal and his/her quirks, and know yourself and your living and traveling style. We have met and know of tons of people full-timing with their pets! Just be sure that you understand the level of commitment it takes to maintain a happy situation for everyone involved.
Aside from the challenges and difficulties, we are in love with this unique way of living. Nomadic life just seems to suit our personalities and our hobbies. Our home is cozy, warm and inviting, and we are just as happy spending a rainy day inside as we are spending the entire day out exploring. Perhaps the most magical part of living on the road is being forced outside of our everyday routine. It is so easy to become obsessed with our habits – same breakfast, same commute, same workout, same evening routine, same TV shows. It’s easy to just go through the motions of the day–our actions can feel mundane and robotic. Traveling changes that; it changes you. No longer can you cling to your routine; you absolutely must experience new things on a consistent basis. This change is scary, beautiful and truly worth it.
We are slowly working our way up the gorgeous coast of Northern California and into Central Oregon. We can’t wait to see how things have changed in another four weeks!