We leave Monday!
We're in whirlwind mode now. I thought it would be a good idea to have the house on the market while we're away. Now, that seems to be eating into trip preparation time. Regardless, we awoke early today and took several last loads of Stuff to Sarah's mom's house for her garage sale this morning. Luckily, our friends Sam and Karla swapped cars so we could use their Element. It's amazing what you can get into the back of one.
Now, we're preparing to complete more tasks on the house punch list. Moon, our friend and rock'n'roll realtor has been over a couple times in the past week to take pictures to help sell the house. It's insane how many things you realize you're living with that need to be addressed for sale. Today is patch and paint holes in the wall day!
The most important part of this day to me is that it's Sarah and my one-year anniversary. We went on our first "Official Date" to the Rokerij last June 9th. Time flies, and it's been a great year. Tonight, we'll celebrate our good fortune! I'm so happy Sarah and I are creating this adventurous life together.
We've finalized Monday's itinerary. Hit the road at 7 a.m. right after we check our dog Nipper into the Canine Country Club. We'll be driving to our first tourist destination, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We've been to the more popular South Rim several times, but now get to see the harder-to-get-to, more scenic North Rim. After that, we'll drive though the long afternoon daylight to see the Utah sites and grab a night's sleep in a room in Salt Lake City. We're shooting for $30/night average. It looks like that may be tough to achieve as the hotel industry seems to be on a $65 minimum average. SLC will cost us $46. Priceline and Hotwire the days before our next stops will be invaluable.
The plan is to wake up Tuesday and check out our first potential new hometown, Boise (one of the bigger towns we're considering on our journey).
That's my download for now. We'll be adding pictures, maps, links and more throughout the trip. Bookmark this page and come back daily.
Today is Saturday and Randy and I leave for our road trip first thing Monday morning. Yesterday was my last day working the temporary position I've held for four months. Temp work made sense as a way for me to make money while Randy wrapped up his job and tried to get his house in order to have it on the market during the trip. Recently I also moved out of the town house I was renting and moved in with Randy, which helped save money for our pending travels (and corresponding unemployment).
So, all in all, the past several months have been about as transitional as possible for each of us. It has been an exciting and liberating, while also hectic and stressful time. Every detail depends on several others. We have (well, mostly Randy has) been working on getting the landscaping, swimming pool, and house exterior and interior in shape to be shown to prospective buyers. Plus we have been sorting through all of our belongings (although most of mine went into storage when I moved in) to get rid of unnecessary clutter and hopefully make some money, trying to find a place to board the dog for the while we are away, and having my car serviced to be long-distance ready.
I/we have been trying to balance staying focused on all that needs to be done with managing the stress it all entails, while at the same time keeping in mind that we are choosing all of this - in order to do something exciting, enjoy some traveling now while we are at flexible points in our careers and lives, and hopefully pave the way to a simplified lifestyle somewhere beautiful and affordable. I recognize the value of delayed gratification, but it is sort of an ironic reality, really, that slowing down requires so much work! But I believe what is in store for us will be absolutely worth the effort.
Randy and I seem to sort of trade our moods back and forth; we each alternate between optimism and discouragement, stress and excitement, ambition and feeling overwhelmed, uncertainty about the future and yet thrill at having such freedom and so many options, and on and on the feelings come and go. Mostly, I think we are both so very, very ready to leave the busywork behind, head off on this long-planned trip, and start the next phase of our lives. I look forward to taking a break from all of the planning, and spending the trip just being in and savoring the moment.