We sold our house and set out to travel full time on April 22, 2016, and with 7 full months under our belts, here’s a quick look at our journey so far:
Months traveling so far: 7. I meant to write this after 6 months, which sounded much better. My bad.
Miles driven: 16,459
States Visited: 9 – Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, California, Oregon, Arizona
Cities Visited: 14 – Colorado Springs, Laramie, Salt Lake City, Boise, Tahoe Vista, Portland, Klamath Falls, Morro Bay, San Diego, Coronado Island, Tucson, San Antonio, Dallas, and “the ranch” in Waurika, OK.
Tires Replaced: 4 – It turns out carrying an absurdly heavy load in a 4 cylinder Subaru will bald your tires in a hurry. Travis made some modifications so hopefully we can get a little farther down the road before shelling out another $800 on my least favorite thing to buy.
Number of 5-year-old melt downs: too many to count
Number of adult meltdowns: it would be embarrassing to tell you
Stitches received: 7 – read the yucky scoop here
Bandaids used: 237 (give or take…)
Number of bears seen: 6
Number of bears in the house: 1
Food Eaten by House Guest Bear: 4 pounds frozen wild caught salmon, 2 pounds frozen breakfast sausage, about 5 pounds of mixed nuts, half a jar of of peanut butter – he seriously left the peanut butter container on the kitchen floor with a big ‘ole bear paw scoop taken out of it. Y’all, this could’ve been SO much worse. I also had raw steak in the fridge, 2 chickens marinating in the fridge, and a week’s worth of food for a crowd for him to choose from. He left some trash on the ground, broke the screen of the window he came in (oops), and some slobber here and there, but that’s it. No poop smeared on the walls, no pee, and he left the way he came in. Contrast to another bear story we heard this summer where a bear broke in, downed a bottle of booze, got completely blitzed, couldn’t find the door so he created a new exit through the wall. I don’t think the guy that owns the house we rented would’ve been quite so cool about the whole ordeal if we’d ended up with a bear-shaped hole in the house.
Miles Amanda cycled: 956.2 – I’m pretty proud of myself for this. The vast majority of these miles were cycled between June and September. It seems reasonable to me that I’d weigh 20 pounds less now after all that. That didn’t work out.
Zoos visited: 2 – San Diego Safari Park (which ruined us on zoos forever and ever), Dallas Zoo
Aquariums Visited: 2 – La Jolla and Dallas World – Dallas people, if you haven’t been, take half a day, pretend to be a tourist, and go here.
Churches Visited: 6
Beaches Visited: 7 – Monterrey, Morro Bay, Coronado Island, 4 beaches on different areas of Lake Tahoe (yes they have real beaches on the lake with sand and everything, crazy, I know)
Favorite Activities: cycling, mountain biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, exploring, sandcastle building, and hot tubbing
Number of times Miss Amanda Tiger (my namesake and Kyle’s prized possession and security blanket) got lost, times recovered: 2 – and thank the good Lord, because it gets ugly and sad in our house when tiger has gone missing. If you don’t have children, just liken this to the panic that ensues when you lose your wedding ring.
Times fallen off a paddle board: 2 for me (my first full baptism in Tahoe – heads up, it’s cold y’all), 1 for Kyle, 1 for Travis (or this is what he was willing to confess to)
Weddings attended: 2 – Congrats Fonda & Dana (Portland, Travis’ first cousin) and Brad & Buddy (Dallas, my brother)
Flat tires: ZERO, I can’t believe it either.
Visitors: 21 – so happy to have you all, maybe eat less next summer…
Times I fell off my mountain bike: This is also too embarrassing to share and I also don’t know, but it was something like a million bagillion.
Summer camps attended (by Kyle): 3 – lacrosse (this was a complete and miserable failure, but he did get some good hang out time with his cousin as they ditched practice to hide in the shade and do god knows what), Wilderness Adventure Camp (winner!), and art camp (also a winner!)
- Thus far our Big Trip has been 80% magnificent and extraordinary and 20% unbearable. Kyle has had trouble every time we’ve gone to a new place. We’ve come to call that his “adjustment period.” It’s prone to last anywhere from a week to 10 days. This sucks when we’re only in a place a week to 10 days.
- Moving forward we need to be in one place for longer and have more familiarity and community in those places (our experience in Tahoe was fantastic – we have family there and some of our Texas friends spent a full month there, not to mention a host of visitors!).
- Leaving our home and support system was tough. We don’t regret it for a second, but most certainly miss our community of friends in Texas. This year was an amazing experiment, and we aren’t done traveling full-time yet, but this will come to an end at some point. We ultimately need more stability for Kyle. The good news is, we’ll be 43 when he goes to university and can do this all over again. Hopefully we can sustain travel with some semblance of a routine for a few more years though, because Travis and I happen to love it!
- The most surprisingly profound facet of our trip is how we’ve been affected by visiting different churches. I’ll elaborate on this more another time, but we’re enthralled and excited about what different Jesus followers are doing around the country.
We don’t have our 2017 travel plan hashed out yet. We’re embracing the art of not having a plan, something I’ve never been good at, but it suits me and us well for now. I’ll keep you posted.