I won’t be doing this again for a while. My house is too small, and everyone has different needs. They’re all great kids, but I’m exhausted.
I discovered while on my road trip that if I really wanted to make time to write, I could. I drove all day, then, because I had made a commitment to myself, wrote a little and posted a mostly pictorial blog every evening. And still had time to chill.
I started a writing course on OM called A Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self. The first assignment is to identify obstacles in your life. This is what I wrote:
Obstacles to writing –the answer would be making time, and I discovered on my trip that I can make time if I want to.
Obstacles to….. Actually, I feel like I am in a place of doing what I want to do, for the most part.
In the past, obstacle was fear – Fear of the unknown, of what people think. That was probably my longest running fear. Fear of change. I’ve come a long way, baby.
So, I put a date on my calendar to do each lesson. And we will see how it goes. One thing I have learned in life is not to fret if things don’t work out exactly as planned. Or, if I’m not enjoying something I’ve decided to do, it’s ok to change direction. But I hope this works out, and my plan is to write in my journal every day and do at least one blog post a week.
I’ve enjoyed the five days off since I got home. I was totally exhausted, and napped several times a day for the first two. Then I caught up with the grandkids, and rested some more after that!
Tomorrow (Monday) I will go back to work. I signed up to work a full week for someone who is on vacation, so my week will have a different focus. I’m still committed to write.
I traveled 4400 miles in 15 days, and crossed state lines 21 times. Only two of those states were new to me – New Jersey and West Virginia. I think I’ve been in 44 of the lower 48 states now.
My time on the road, driving, was about 80 hours. I slept on 2 couches and a day bed for free, 3 hotels, and 9 airbnb’s. I spent $2200, about half of that for lodging, around $400 for gas, the rest for food and miscellaneous. Not bad, really, I had budgeted $3000.
I feel overstuffed with travel, kind of like that overstuffed feeling you get after a Thanksgiving feast. You look forward to the meal, enjoy it immensely, and afterwards think you might not ever want to eat again. That’s kind of how I feel about travel right now. Stuffed. Not only did I take this trip, I spent two months in Chattanooga and two months in Carson City (for work) this year. I looked forward to it, enjoyed it, but right now, I don’t want to make any more travel plans!
The best food I ate was that prepared by my kids. The rest of the time I struggled to find anything that was really good. I ate in the car on the road for lunch quite a bit – leftover pizza, cookies, and apples. The apples I picked in Massachusetts saved my life, I think. I got a really bad pizza in Niagara Falls. I’ve learned to really dislike eating out. Yesterday at home was lovely. Oatmeal for breakfast, omelette with the eggs and veggies I was given in New York for lunch, and a delicious butternut squash soup made by my husband for dinner.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live other places, and staying in airbnb’s gives a tiny taste of that. They were mostly great, but a couple of the beds were like marshmallows. My favorite, I think, was the one near Goshen, NY with the fabulous patio.
Most places have keurig coffee makers.I really dislike that kind of coffee. I did bring my French Press and supplies, but water heated in the microwave for coffee just isn’t the same. I was glad for coffee shops.
In this not quite post pandemic world, masks are still a thing. In some places, all the signs were down, in others, masks are required. I pretty much wore my mask when I went inside anywhere. Why not? Even though I’ve been vaccinated, it certainly doesn’t hurt me or anyone else to wear a mask, and it could make a difference for someone.
I didn’t do anything “touristy”. Even when I went to Niagara Falls, I only paid for parking, and spent time in the public areas. I didn’t go to museums or other attractions, although I sometimes enjoy doing so. Sleeping in a different place every night and having those experiences was really what I wanted out of this trip, after seeing my kids of course!
So now, I will nest at home. I will enjoy cooking, crocheting, playing with the grandkids, embracing the uncertainty of life as it unfolds. I will start working full time again, after the first of the year. I plan to keep writing here, just not as often.
And, no doubt, at some point, I will be on the road again.
It was bittersweet to say so long to my two precious kids. But we had a great visit, just the right length, really, to catch up and hang out. They are both happy in their lives – although adulting is hard. We had breakfast together, then I hit the road.
I made a new friend, the lady who rents a room to my daughter. She and I had a lot in common, and I hope to keep in touch. We traded books and she gave me this:
I had planned a fairly short drive for today, so I could arrive a little early, and just enjoy chilling out. The drive was easy, and I arrived at my airbnb around 4. It is close to Goshen, NY- just perfect, with a lovely patio just for me. I picked up a couple of bottles of wine along the way, and plan to open one, and hang out here all evening.
Addendum: I was just finishing this post, and my host came out. She has chickens and a little garden, and gave me some eggs and fresh produce.
I had a good nights sleep, and enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee “at home”. The morning was cool and the day promised to be clear and sunny.
We enjoyed a couple of hours in the morning browsing in an antique store.
After getting a delicious lunch at a local market, we went apple picking.
It was a wonderful day.