We feel it is only right to share the good, the bad and the ugly of our journey. Not everyday is perfect, we have set-backs, hiccups and frustrations too. In a world full of perfection, fake perceptions, and carefully polished FaceBook lives, we want to be transparent about the reality of our life on the road. We love our life and feel incredibly lucky to be undertaking our current adventure. Most days are pretty great, but there are also days that make us want to scream, pull out our hair (or make Matthew wish he had enough to pull out), or occasionally explode in tears.
Take, for instance, our current situation. We planned on driving from Benton, KY to Houghton, MI to catch our boat to Isle Royale National Park where we’d be backpacking until Saturday. But the ole’ car had different plans when it decided to up-chuck one of it’s spark plugs in a sudden explosive blowout. Instead, we are spending two days waiting at a hotel next to the auto repair center for the car to get fixed (fingers crossed for tomorrow!). We missed our boat out to the island (which was the last one of the season) and we’ve had to rethink our plans for the trip.
We aren’t really surprised, because we’ve gotten used to the fact that these things just happen after spending the last 14 months on the road. In our travels, we’ve had 3 flat tires (though none on the RV), 2 tows (the motorcycle broke down one day and the RV got stuck in a driveway on another), had to replace the RV refrigerator (which is expensive for being so small!), spent days trying to find and fix a propane leak on the RV, had a water line come loose under the sink and soak the inside of the cabinet, punctured a small hole in the siding of the RV after scraping against a sidewalk pole, and I’m sure there is more I’m forgetting. Really, compared to some RVers, we’ve been pretty lucky with the frequency of our mishaps. But that doesn’t change the fact that these things really put a damper on our plans and sometimes cause us to question if we want to continue.
It’s a huge bummer, I wish our original plans for Isle Royale had worked out, and I’m guilty of tearfully looking at other travelers and their online lives while saying “why do these things only happen to us!” Then I remind myself that these things do happen to other people, they just don’t publicize it or we overlook it while enjoying their fabulous photos. On the plus side, we never stay at hotels and it feels kind of like a mini luxurious vacation. There’s a pool and hot tub, we get free breakfasts and never-ending coffee!
Of course, things happen even when you aren’t driving your home around. It’s frustrating then, too. We’ve definitely come to appreciate the network of support available in a fixed location – knowing where to go for help, when stores are open, and having access to friends and family for rides when necessary. On the road we’re all alone, depending only on each other and the internet – when we have signal.
Life is unexpected and messy and things don’t always go as planned, but that’s what makes it beautiful, spontaneous and exciting. The gravity of any situation all depends on how you look at it. A set-back can turn into a horrible disaster if you let it; it can ruin your day or week, make you steep with anger, and blow up into a million other problems, such as fights with your loved ones. Or you can chose to go with the flow, accept that crap happens every now and then, handle the situation with confidence and find a way to make it into an unexpected adventure. Is our life perfect and does everything always go smoothly? Heck no! But we love it anyway. And we hope you love yours, too!