It’s been over 500-days since we left on The Big Big Trip. Looking back, it’s difficult believe that it’s been that long. When we started talking about this adventure, we originally envisioned a trip of 12- or 18-months duration. Based on that original timeline, either we should be fondly looking back on our travels from the comfortable confines of a new residence, or preparing to settle in at that new location. At this point, I can’t imagine being back in the throes of a normal sticks-and-bricks/9-to-5 lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong; our dreams do not involve an indefinite continuation of this nomadic lifestyle and we look forward to the day when our primary home doesn’t have wheels. However, we aren’t quite ready to make that commitment, park the rig, and settle down somewhere with a white picket fence. There are still too many things to see, too many places to go, and too many things to do. That being said, we do need to shake things up a bit and therefore are rapidly approaching a major lifestyle adjustment.
Although I gladly gave-up my former career and retired from the Navy for the sake of this adventure, Anna’s journey down the on-ramp to the Big Big Trip was a little harder. While I easily walked away from a career with which I had become disillusioned, Anna never shared those feelings for her career. Anna had a vocation that she loved and calling that fed her soul on an almost daily basis. She willingly gave up that daily nourishment to vagabond around the country in a 240-sqft trailer with her family. I’m forever thankful that she reluctantly put her career on-hold to make The Big Big Trip a reality. However, the reality is that she must periodically practice medicine in order to maintain both proficiency and marketability. Knowing that requirement, we agreed that we would take a strategic pause at some point mid-journey so that she could spend time working. As the Big Big Trip progressed, the timing of that strategic pause began to look more-and-more like the winter of 2017/18.
Late this past summer, Anna started talking to Headhunters and polishing her CV. We were well into the search-phase when the Michigan detour threw a monkey wrench into our plans. Luckily, Anna acquired several lucrative targets and managed to engage a 16-week gig that should be very rewarding. However, that job is 2,300-miles away and by early December we will be in Portland, Oregon.
In order to let Owen to enjoy Halloween with his cousins, and to give ourselves five-weeks of flexibility to drive 2,300-miles, we set our departure date as November 1st. We have tentatively planned several stops along the way, as well as a weather-dependent Thanksgiving stop in Colorado. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, we will be in Oregon by the 5th of December.
We have researched RV Parks around the Portland area and have one picked out for at least two-months of our four-month-long stay. We also intend to get some work done on the trailer while there, so we may end up in no-shit rental place for four to six weeks while Ultimate Airstreams work their magic. I will take over the roadschool homeschool responsibilities, as well as fine-tuning my Mr. Mom/Stay-at-Home-Dad skills (Portland should make that transition pretty easy!) So here we are sitting in Michigan on the cusp of Day 500, staring down another cross-country trek and a major (temporary) lifestyle adjustment. As we prepare to turn the page to a new chapter of the Big Big Trip, it seems like a good time to take stock of where we’ve been and what we’ve done over the past 16-1/2 months, although I’ll tackle that with the next post.