What is it like to give up everything for a life on the road? I’m giving up things like cable television, the small apartment we live in, our beds, our desktop computer and high-speed internet. Looking at it, it really isn’t so hard to give all that up. We purposely weened ourselves from creature comforts and are barely holding on to the last ones we have before we leave. We don’t have any delusions of grandeur, we know we are going to run into issues that we haven’t thought of and won’t be prepared for. We know we are giving up life’s little luxuries that we often take for granted. Air conditioning and heat and comfortable mattresses. The things that make us comfortable and lazy.
In seven days, we have to decide whether or not we are leaving this April. A 60-day notice is required to vacate this apartment, and the end of January is our cutoff. We are basically looking at boondocking in the Denver area for several weeks while Maizy finishes her last days at work. If we don’t do it we are stuck here until October.
So what does it feel like? Between nervous and excited, I ‘m somewhere in the middle. It’s a daunting task. We have to maintain our well-being, keep a van running and make sure our daughter is getting a proper kindergarten level road-school education. Penny will be 5 in April. What can we teach her on the road? What lessons can be gleaned from an extended field trip across the USA?
We’ll teach her how to read a map, a real one, just incase Google Maps is unavailable. We’ll talk about geology and how mountains are formed and she’ll see first-hand what we humans are doing to the environment. She’ll see drought-stricken California and flood lands in the south. She’ll see the Pacific and the Atlantic and the great lakes. We’ll show her the redwood forests in the northwest and the Catskill mountains to the east.
We’ll try to see everything we can, and it will take a while because we don’t plan on driving much faster than 65 miles per hour. We’ll take our sweet time traveling the back roads of America. this trip will be a transition into a new chapter for our family. Maizy wants to be a mom to the only child she will ever have. She doesn’t feel like she gets to enjoy motherhood because she is always at work. She feels distant. Penny needs her! I’m a great dad, but Maizy is a force of nature as a person. Smart and kind, determined and persistent. She wants to be more involved in raising her daughter and I want the same. Nothing can replace a mother’s love.
Maizy has a master plan in the form of an excel spreadsheet that covers every angle of this journey and then some. A strict budget, a detailed itinerary, safety precautions, emergency funds, health insurance, home school curriculums, you name it she has planned for it. The only thing left now is to just do it. Get in the van and go. We will work odd jobs and volunteer, we will meet new people and see things we’ve never seen before. In the end we will find our home and settle in for the rest of whatever time we have left. We’ll live life instead of watching other people live life on our screens. We are turning off the television and getting off the couch and going to explore.