Lessons From the Road...

You know how you spend hours and hours (perhaps even a few sleepless nights) plotting out the next leg of your journey (or vacation) to make it the best possible experience for everyone? You plan, research, Google, Phone-a-Friend, read Yelp reviews (only the 5-Star and 1-Star reviews) and even bust out the handy dandy Atlas (the huge paper thing resembling those old fashioned maps from elementary school) until you not only have every pee-stop highlighted but you feel like you've already made the journey. And then it all goes to crap and your just driving willy-nilly down the freeway wondering if your going East or West (and find out you're actually going South).

Well, that's us. Our adventures have evolved from Tour Guide style planning to "Well, let's hope there's gas somewhere along this county road". If you know me personally, you know I am a planner (okay, okay...I'm an over-planner). I have planned the hell out of all kinds of things I want to do or learn...which I've never done or learned....but I could...with a little refresher and maybe just a bit more planning.

I once bought everything one would need to learn how to scuba dive...everything...the mask, the fins, the regulator, the weight system and buoyancy thingy (it's a technical term), a dive watch that had a lot of dials but didn't seem to be able to tell me the actual time...everything. I bought it all because I lived in Pennsylvania and, I mean, have you heard of all of the wonderful diving available in PA?? No?! Me neither. But a few days prior to making this major purchase I had talked to a Navy Recruiter who assured me that my dream of becoming a Navy Seal was not only possible, but just a signature and oath away. If it makes me sound less impulsive, I was only 17 and recently moved away from my parents who were still living in Alaska. Needless to say, I never learned to dive nor did I join the Navy.

So I am learning that flexibility is key to traveling in the Mutiny. We generally have a basic idea of what direction we want to head or sometimes have an event to eventually get to (currently we have a wedding to attend in July in Wisconsin). But on more than one occasion we have been surprised by the unplanned/unknown stops that have led to some of the most fun and interesting experiences. We have to pay attention to the weather...avoiding freezing temperatures if at all possible and most importantly, the crazy, severe storms of the Midwest. Hail and tornado warnings will keep you humble when you're rolling down the road in a tin box.

The other thing that has really started to sink in is that this is our lives...we are not on vacation (although we are going to some major sight-seeing destinations). This means that many of our days are spent just like they would if we lived in a regular old house. Now hold on to your hats, I'm about to blow your minds...we actually watch TV, read, goof off on the computer and take naps. I know, I know...that hardly sounds adventurous and there are those who would argue that with all that nature out there we should be outside...all the time. I've run across people (on RV forums) who claim they are never inside their RV and have no need for stimulation other than the beautiful world around them {insert a lyrical tra-la-la and chirping song birds}. But I wonder what they do when it rains? Do they honestly get up at sunrise and then return just in time to lay their exhausted heads on the pillow and then do it all over again, day after day after day after day?

Even Avi agrees that naps are good.
I'm not going to feel guilty (or inadequate) for spending lazy days inside my RV...perhaps watching The Real Housewives of Orange County a lovely documentary on our National Parks while others "claim" to hardly have time to eat, what with their zip-lining, birding, hiking, scaling mountains, spelunking, tagging polar bears and scuba diving (and that's just one day). Come on...there is no shame in a day full of nothing. Hell, we've been on the road for 8 months...we couldn't possibly be on-the-go every single one of these past 240 days!  Excuse me but part of the full-timing life-style is letting go of expectations and pretentious attitudes.

I'm not saying this isn't fun or adventurous or that we never get outside. It's quite the opposite. And yes, we mostly post on Facebook our "exciting" pictures because, really, do you want to see photos of us doing laundry or washing the dishes, or changing light bulbs, or reading a book? This is real life too. We get headaches or stomache trouble...or days we just don't feel up to being adventurous. We also take time to 'recuperate' in parks or towns that maybe don't have a lot to offer as far as stimuli...simply because we need to rest or do laundry or quit spending money 'doing things'.

But for now...the sun is finally shining and the tornado watches are gone so, without a plan we are off to explore and be adventurous. Perhaps we'll even manage a nap a little later...or maybe even watch some TV. But of course we will first post some pictures to Facebook to make our friends think all we do is go, go, go...

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