5 Week Roadtrip... I'm never doing that again
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I’m freshly back from 5 weeks on the road, and it was definitely a learning experience!
When you picture a roadtrip to a bunch of old, charming southern towns, how do you feel?
Yeah, that’s how it was…mostly. But here’s why I’m never doing that again!
Russell and I have grown fond of changing our routines, but we found that some of our routines are grounding in a very good way. Turns out some things are liberating to be away from, and others are liberating to be attached to.
This trip was the culmination of digging up our roots from societal norms and testing out some ideas we’ve had for awhile. A year ago, we went to an RV show in Orlando, and since then, we’ve wanted to buy an Airstream and travel cross-country. But before we outlaid that kind of cash, we wanted to test our roadtrip stamina. Turns out it’s not our thing.
This roadtrip wasn’t a vacation for us. We planned to work and adventure concurrently, like those trendy digital nomads. After all, it looks like it’s all fun & games on YouTube! :P But we found out that we both have a hard time focusing on work when we’re in new places we want to explore. Along with the small issue that Russell doesn’t like to drive, but he REALLY doesn’t like me to drive.
35,000 Daily Decisions
Did you know the average person makes 35,000 decisions every day?
Add in the unknowns of being in a new town and living in a new house every week, and it requires a lot of attention to travel full-time! Every time we wanted to go somewhere, even just for a coffee, we spent 10 minutes on research. That’s a dozen more decisions for a cup of coffee…
We were surprised, but this trip was kinda tiring, whereas our shorter travel experiences have been so inspiring & reviving.
So we tried it, we didn’t like it, and we’re moving on.
In the near future
I think we’re done traveling like madmen for awhile. Spending 9 of the past 12 weeks out of town is probably enough.
(I always overdo it. I’m a risk-loving maximalist with an addictive personality. Help…)
For now, we’re looking forward to digging into the life God has for us in our hometown each day. We have a few excursions planned for the rest of the year, but we’re most looking forward to working 20 days/month again.
We’re thrilled to love the work we do, and we feel so “off” when we’re just consuming and not producing. I mean, I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old, and this year I’ve journaled less than I have in the past 20 years! Crazy! …I feel kinda crazy, like I’m bottling up all these ideas, and I’m fired up to start writing again.
What We Learned
We learned full-time travel life isn’t for us. We learned how much we miss our work and growing in our vocations.
We learned morning coffee routines are sacred.
We learned how freeing it is to live out of a (shared) suitcase full of clothes for weeks. We learned we don’t need all the stuff and closets we have, but we also learned how much we appreciate good wifi, daily personal time, Konga snuggles, and rich coffee.
We learned just how extroverted I am and just how introverted Russell is.
We learned to detect & be grateful with our daily divine assignments, and we learned to cherish some previously unappreciated things back home.
We learned vacation isn’t life, and its value is in its scarcity. Like sugar, good for flavoring, not so much for mass consumption. We learned work isn’t a life-sucker but provides meaning for our days. (Though the wrong job can definitely be a life-sucker.)
We learned we like to travel to expand our minds, but the more we see, the more we unabashedly adore St. Petersburg. She’s a rare jewel on this planet, y’all!
We learned to try things we’ve previously rejected, some of which still aren’t for us. Breaking our sleep routine? No thanks. London fog with lavender? Yes please!
What we learned about God
We learned some things about God; we learned some things about ourselves; but mostly we unlearned some things we believe about God, namely that our beliefs may be fragile, but He isn’t. He can withstand our doubts and questions, and when we have the faith to doubt our programmed religious beliefs, we will most sincerely experience Him.
When we undress our white male 2019 republican southern American God, we find out just how infinite He truly is.
We found out the limits of our courage to question our beliefs, and we learned to ask — no, beg — God for more faith to see Him as He truly is.
Some of y’all may be panicked by all this “questioning beliefs” talk, but I’m more convinced of a good, loving God than ever before. And I’m more convinced in the Holy Spirit’s accessibility & proximity than ever before.
I’m just less convinced that an ancient council of religious scholars and our Jewish & Catholic roots are supposed to dictate how we experience God today.
I’m not losing my belief in God.
I’m digging in.
As Jesus said:
But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to remember everything I’ve told you. Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Don’t let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and don’t permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
I’m digging in to God, and I hope you’ll come along on this journey.
Check out the photos from our trip through Miami, St. Augustine, Savannah, Atlanta, North Augusta, and Charleston: