We’re just a few weeks away from our second anniversary of full-timing.
Before we set out, we were given some very good advice: travel slowly.
And we tried. Y’all, we really did. For the first few months, we only moved every few weeks. We only drove 200-300 miles each trek.
Then everything changed. We decided to go to Alaska, and that’s a decision we regret exactly 0%. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend an entire summer surrounded by great friends and absolutely ridiculous scenery.
We learned a lot while we were up there, and not just about salmon and glaciers.
We learned that it was really hard for us to be productive with our work while we were adventuring all the time.
We also learned our rig was really not so great for us.
And we learned we had a limit to our pace of travel, and after we exceeded it, we burned out.
So we made two resolutions for our second year on the road: We would get an RV that was better suited for us, and we would slow down this time. Seriously.
We checked off the first item by buying a Class A motorhome in October, 2015. Driving separately, we made our way all the way from Denver, where we’d purchased it, to Houston, where we’d planned to sell the fifth wheel.
When we finally dropped off the fifth wheel, it had been seven months since we’d left for Alaska, and we hadn’t really slowed down. In fact, we were even more burned out than before.
So we reaffirmed our commitment to slow down. And we really have.
This year, we’ve halved the number of miles we drove during our first year on the road. We’ve also halved the number of overnight locations we’ve stayed in, meaning we’ve stayed put for longer each time.
The good news is it has helped.
Marie is gearing up to finish her best-ever year with her business, and next year is slated to be even more awesome. Josh is also maintaining his business, and he has taken a 100% remote job with a company he loves. We wouldn’t have been able to make these significant strides if we’d kept traveling at a breakneck speed.
We also accomplished some of our travel goals, like boondocking with friends outside Quartzite, Arizona this winter, exploring California’s Route 395 in the spring and spending a significant amount of time in Oregon over the summer.
So that’s the good news. As for the bad news? Well, there isn’t any.
But change is coming.
We like slow travel so much that we’ve decided to find a home base. We’re eager to establish a place that we can call our own, that we can return to time and again. And, most importantly, launch adventures from.
This will allow us to continuing investing in our professional lives, and it’ll also give us a chance to build up another friend group that is a little easier to peg down. We love our RVing friends, but it’s seriously hard to get together when we’re all transitory.
Stopping full-time RVing is a little sad, for both of us. But it’s also going to be pretty awesome.
See, we’d found ourselves being less and less present in the places we were. Increasingly often, trails went unwalked, downtowns went unexplored, and fish went uncaught. (That’s maybe more tragic for us than the fish.)
We were inside more and more. We had new scenery out the window every few weeks, but our ramped-up focus on work and our growing loneliness while isolated from friend groups made us less eager to get out and explore.
Which is stinky, because that’s the whole reason we started this journey: to explore.
So by slowing down and taking RV trips from our new home base, we expect that we’ll be more intentional about our travels, setting aside time to enjoy where we are.
The world’s a beautiful place, and we’re still eager to enjoy it… just at a more manageable pace.
If you’re looking for specifics, we don’t have any to share at the moment. We don’t know when this shift will take place, or where we’ll end up putting down roots. Over the last two years, we’ve found a lot of communities we could envision calling home. We’ll definitely keep you all in the loop as things unfold.
Thanks for joining us on our journey so far, and we can’t wait to share more adventures soon!
What are your strategies for avoiding travel burnout? Are you a believer in slow travel too?
- Year One Retrospective: Five Lessons Learned
- Year One Retrospective: Where We’ve Been
- 15 Tips for Driving Your RV to Alaska
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