In one of our first posts on this blog, we posted this quote:
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” -Amelia Earhart
At the beginning of this trip we toyed with how to measure its success. Ultimately, we concluded that the decision to do it was success enough and we should proceed without expectations, without fear, without worry of others’ perceptions.
We’ve done something most people only dream about. We dropped everything—jobs, possessions, inhibitions, anxieties—and set out on a travel adventure with few plans, no advance reservations, and the few necessities that would fit in our small camper and vehicle.
This isn’t meant to sound boastful. On the contrary, my goal is to convince you, dear reader, that this type of adventure is a possibility for anyone. As Ms. Earhart so eloquently put it, “You can do anything you decide to do.” The decision is the only hard part.
So, we have achieved success in that we made the decision to travel, seek adventure, fulfill our odyssey of curiosity.
There are many reasons, but we have decided after 9 months and 30,000+ miles that we will head back home to Colorado soon. We will spend the rest of January with Sarah’s sister’s family in San Antonio, then spend a couple weeks with her folks and another sister in Western Colorado before returning to our home in Loveland by late February.
Some reasons for deciding to return home are predictable. For instance, we’ve spent the last month indoors and have realized how much we miss modern conveniences like running water, the spray nozzle in the kitchen sink, a couch, Wi-Fi, going to the bathroom without shoes, showering without flipflops, doing laundry without quarters, a roof when it’s raining, the feel of carpet on bare feet. These are things we will never again take for granted.
Other reasons for heading home are less predictable but not all that surprising. We really miss our friends. We are in touch with a few friends periodically, and we’ve spent some time with friends we haven’t seen for a while, but our core group in Colorado has been on our minds a lot lately and we want to go see them again.
I miss my band. They’ve been playing without me this year and I’m excited to get back and play some tunes again. There’s nothing like jamming in the basement or on stage to bring people together. I’m also starting a new funk band—something I’ve dreamed about since college.
We knew this would happen sooner or later; we’re almost out of the money we budgeted for the trip. We’ll get into more details of how our money was spent in another post because some of our followers are curious about that for their own trip planning. The funds are dwindling and rather than eat away at more savings, we’re doing the responsible thing and hitting pause.
We are extremely excited for new opportunities. We have learned a lot on this adventure—a list worthy of its own post to come soon—and we are eager to apply new wisdom and philosophy to our everyday life.
New possibilities await us in Colorado and we can’t wait to get started.
Looking at a map of our travels, we’ve been all around the continental United States—everywhere except the Southwest. We haven’t yet made it to Arizona, Southern California, and most of Nevada and Utah. There are a LOT of things to see in those places. Our good friend, Don, speaks so highly of the Southwest that we feel like we’re letting him down by not visiting there. All we can say is that we WILL go there someday to do more exploring. We figure we can travel the Southwest easily from our home base in Colorado eventually, when the timing is right again. We’re not cutting it out, just delaying it a bit.
Sure, there are a few other states we intentionally skipped. Oklahoma and Kansas, I’m sorry, but we’ve been through you before and we didn’t feel the need to return. Rhode Island, we weren’t willing to drive through Boston from the north just to see your tiny cuteness. Hawaii, we can’t drive to you—please move closer. Alaska, we’ll meet someday when we can stay for the summer. I promise.
So, in 9 months we have seen 44 US states and 3 Canadian provinces. We have witnessed 26 US National Parks and 4 more in Canada. We have visited 20+ National Monuments, Memorials, Historic Sites, and Seashores. We have encountered more State Parks and recreation areas than we can begin to count. We have ingested a good portion of the beauty, history, and wonder of our great nation.
I call that a success.
See you back at home.