today marks the day. the sixth month anniversary of loading up the car, waving goodbye to lake erie, cleveland, ohio…..and heading out on the great adventure.
we honestly had no idea what we were doing.
like, no clue.
I mean, sure we’d plotted out a general course…looked at a million blogs about how to do what we were doing, but, seriously.
not a clue.
so here’s a bit of what we’ve learned:
–you’re going to need half of what you think you’ll need.
–travel slow, and if you find a spot that looks good, stay there.
–always stop for the brown signs on the highway exits (they mean good things: national parks, state parks or really touristy fun stuff!)
–buy a national parks pass. just do it. the national parks are the best idea the US has ever had.
–if you find a spot you like, stay there! (btw: free camping is abundant, you just have to know how and where to look for it. we’ve spent a total of $16 on camping in 6 months, all of that in Texas.)
–adapting to your environment is key.
–travel bloggers on instagram are not showing you everything (like where do they poop?)
–you’re much tougher than you think.
–time is a social construct. (think about that one….I must ask at least once a week, “wait, what day is it?” because we don’t have to be anywhere, do anything, on anyone else’s time….weekdays or weekends don’t matter. it’s weird and takes time to get used to.)
–this country is huge, beautiful and is so vastly different if you just travel more than 300 miles outside of your comfort zone. if you don’t like where you are: move! there is so much out there to see and experience.
–people out there (away from the cities) are much nicer, kinder and more generous than you know.
–don’t wait. we’ve met so many women, couples in their retirement years who’ve said to us (all_of_them_have_said_this) “we should have done this at your age, good for you guys.”
where we go from here:
today we are in yakima, washington, on our way to a town north of seattle for the week. we are then boarding a plane friday for anchorage, alaska.
we’ll be working up there for the summer outside of denali national park.
I can say this: we are excited to be off the road for a while, but last night as we spent our last night in the car (fittingly in a walmart, just like our first night in new jersey) we were talking about how we are actually going to miss the freedom we’ve had, the autonomy, the rising with the sun, going to bed when it gets dark, and the general not-seeing-any-other-humans that has been so great. we’re going to have a bit of a time adjusting.
but it will also be nice to have showers and meals and a bed whenever we want.
that will be nice.
so, stay tuned from alaska!
All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life