Today is our three month anniversary of going full time. Man, has the time flown by! Here are the stats for this past month:
Milles on the Motorhome – 3,685!
Miles on the Jeep – 1,201
For total miles traveled = 4,886 – Whew! that’s an average of 163 miles per day driving – Thank you Tom! For those interested, we were over budget on gas & diesel at $1,273.
Number of different camp-spots – 17! And of those, 11 were overnight stops. Yes this month was on the move. Total cost for those stays = $348 for an average of $11.60. Barely over our goal of just ten dollars per day.
Number of Times Joy Bumped Head on Cupboards – hardly any!
Number of fish caught – zero.
We have definitely learned that pacing is important. As in slower. Not that we’ve done that yet – just learned it! Not only is it nicer to have time to thoroughly enjoy an area, but the less time Tom spends behind the wheel the better. So we are trying to plan our future travels at a slower pace.
Our biggest surprise continues to be how busy we are. Even when we’re not moving from place to place. I guess we (and I mostly mean Tom!) had this idea that there would be a lot of down time and it could get boring. Not so!
Yes there has been some down time. It’s been wonderful! I’ve gotten to enjoy some great novels and Tom has had time to practice fishing. But we (and I mostly mean me) are getting the hang of spending most of our time outdoors. Getting in touch with nature has been the best part and except for the past few days of heavy travel and family visiting, we have been very active in the hiking/walking department. And it seems there’s always some museum to visit or state park placard to read. So it’s nice to always be learning something.
We spend a lot of our time (mostly early mornings or evenings when there’s no campfire to sit around) on the computers. I’m thankful that Tom is so active on social media – it makes us feel connected and I love when he tells me that so and so is doing this or that while I’m working on budgeting or tagging pictures or editing videos. I’m so thankful to be doing this (full-time travel) in an era with communication towers.
That has been a surprise – or maybe a fear realized: the lack of cell coverage in the midwest (Nebraska and South Dakota). We started out with two mobile plans – my phone on Verizon with 2 gigs per month and Tom’s unlimited data with T-Mobile. Verizon definitely worked better in those states, so we ended up upping our Verizon plan to unlimited data. A nice fix, but costly (and un-budgeted). So we’re still working on our connectivity and looking at other options.
I don’t know if we’ve gotten any better at trip planning or not. But maybe as it doesn’t seem as stressful when we leave somewhere and don’t know exactly where we’ll be that night.
One idea that was in my head before we left was that I’d be doing all this research on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to see in an area when we got there.. While I did a little of that on the fly I mostly relied on roadside signs (like the famous ones for Wall Drug) or the pamphlets we picked up at visitor centers.That may change in the future, but right now I already feel like I spend too much time on the computer and I’m okay with just letting things unfold. Although I’m sure we missed a couple of notable places to visit because of my lack of planning – like the missile silo tours in South Dakota that require reservations weeks in advance. Of course that type of advance planning isn’t possible anyway with our hurried schedule. So no biggie.
Our relationship is still in tact! I know that’s a fear of a lot of couples who say they would kill each other the first week. We didn’t think that would be a problem and I think in many ways we’re getting along better than ever. One thing’s for sure: fights can’t last long in such tight quarters – you’re forced to work it out. When your spouse (or SO) is the only person you know in the whole state it’s hard to stop speaking to them!
Well that’s about all the wisdom I have at month three! This month was our best by far as we got to go to so many places we’ve never been. Starting the month in Colorado – goeing east – and than finishing in Oregon was a whirlwind of activity but we spent the majority of our time this month in South Dakota – our new home state – and that was the best!
Peace & Love, Joy