Tag Archives: reflections

Reflections from 4 months on the road

pirate sign

We are just over the four month mark, which also means that we are past the half way point in our adventure. Time has flown by and I can’t believe that we are already plotting out what the path homeward looks like.

There are so many things that I have loved about the past few months, along with a decent amount of learnings and “hmm…” thoughts.

What I have loved so far:

  • The simple things like our breakfast routine – it’s simple, consistent and leaves me smiling every day
  • The quirky conversations that come about when Hunter and I are doing school work – I am amazed every day with the thoughts that flow through his head and, although often not related to the topic at hand, these are some of our best conversations. They also bring a lot of smiles & giggles.
  • Living in a small space allows me to witness to Hunter’s down time. He is happiest playing in a quiet corner with lego, playmobil and trucks. The imagination and play by play conversations between characters that are happening blow me away. Right now he’s sitting up on the bed, having laid out a full lego war scenario, while I sit at the kitchen table writing.
  • As much fun as it was to visit family over the holidays, and to have space to spread out, I love the simplicity and stability of our life in the camper (or “the bubble” as I lovingly call it, where everything else exists outside our bubble).
  • Experiencing the diversity of people and places as part of our journey

Some general thoughts, observations and learnings:

  • The hardest changes to deal with are the little things – different grocery store layouts & brands, finding places to get your hair cut, a massage or aesthetics done. The magical internet and sites like YELP certainly help. Patience and flexibility also help a lot.
  • Buying National Park passes (US and Canadian) are bargains. We have paid for them a number of times over.
  • Good internet connectivity is harder to find than you think. It also plays a critical role in staying connected with friends and family and is more central than I had anticipated.
  • The only things I really miss from home are my bathtub (oh, to have a long soak with a glass of wine and a good book!) and my friends. Tim misses his workshop and Hunter misses his BFF.
  • When picking campgrounds, I spend more time reading review sites than the actual campground website. I am grateful to all the people that share their thoughts on YELP, Trip Advisor and RVparkreviews.com. We have had very few poor campground experiences BUT it does take a lot of research time on my part
  • Roadtrips are amazing things for bringing school to life. Our last 10 days in St. Augustine, Savannah and Charleston have really solidified Hunter’s American History learning and brought history and geography to life
  • When 3 people live together in a 100 square feet, privacy is pretty hard to come by. Intimacy is like being 18 and living in your parent’s house – creativity is a must…
  • Interstates are interstates and highly interchangeable – you rarely see anything great. They are however very good for speeding up travel time.
  • Diesel pumps at gas stations are not as common as you would think, especially in California and Florida.  Diesel prices are highest in Southern Florida and cheapest in central Texas.

I’m excited to see what the next few months bring our way!

Reflections after 2 months on the road

Family photo - ElwhaAfter 70 days living in a camper (NOT a trailer!), I polled the family to capture our thoughts and reflections so far:

Favourite places so far:

Favourite experiences so far:

Thoughts and Reflections at this juncture:

  • We have done amazingly well living in a tiny space with 3 people, especially on the rainy and cold days
  • We are learning how to balance exploring and activities with just “being” – this is recent and I’m sure will take some more work to fine tune. Hunter is pushing us on this one…
  • It is amazing how much stuff you can live without – for example, we have a small selection of clothes and do laundry every two weeks and yet even then we are only washing about half of our clothes
  • We are still growing into home school. We are on our second approach and it seems to be working better. I now lay out a weekly curriculum, similar to Montessori at home, and Hunter has to get it done that week. When, where and how are up to him. This way he knows his goals and I only have to really plan the minutia once a week.
  • The snow seemed to be chasing us for much of the first 2 months and that had a big emotional impact on all of us. The last 2 weeks in southern California have been wonderful (highs of 21c, lows of 10c) and we are hoping for more of this
  • California has alot of people and is really expensive! It’s a trade off for the fun time at the ocean…
  • You can learn so much from others – just keep talking to people you meet and be curious, ASK QUESTIONS!
  • Good, solid internet is tough to find and not to be taken for granted.
  • Clean showers with full height shower heads are not as standard as you would think or hope… Why do people install short shower heads? I can’t imagine how it is for the many people that are taller than me!
  • We are beyond thrilled that the truck has performed so well – going from a cranky, persnickety truck at home, it has started every day and driven well for over 10,500 km so far! Obviously it just wants to be used, loved and warm 🙂
  • Research, Research, Research and then go with the flow. Knowing what our choices are (especially regarding campgrounds) makes it easy to adapt on the fly and make the most of opportunities.
  • Most important – be thankful for the graciousness of strangers and enjoy creating new friendships along the way as part of the making of memories

Time is just flying by and it’s hard to believe that we’ve been gone for 2.5 months. We’re all still looking forward to the adventures still to come and the family and friends we will visit along the way.