When I first got going on this blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what direction I wanted to take with it. I knew I wanted to make a log of our adventures, but I wanted it to be more than just that. There was so much going on in our lives the weeks and months before we launched our trip that I went ahead and starting writing pre-trip, just to help me get some of the thoughts and emotions recorded, as well as create something to help answer the bazillions of questions we got about why and when and how once word about our plan had spread. Since that time I’ve had more time to consider what exactly this blog is and will be for me and my family, and I have a little more of an idea of its purpose. Although I’m sure it will continue to evolve, when I’m drafting the posts in my head they usually serve one of the following purposes:
- Travel Updates for you: We are so grateful that we have friends and family all over the place who are rooting us on during our adventure, offering us support and encouragement, and wondering where the heck we are! I try to write descriptive posts about our experiences so that anybody wondering what our days are like right now or where we are traveling can find out as much or little as they’d like.
- Travel Updates for us: Writing these posts really helps me remember not only the big, grand vistas, but also the funny or meaningful small moments of our journey. I want to be sure to record these things as we go along so that we will have them to look back on for years to come. I met another wonderful family just before we left Wenatchee who took a similar year-long RV adventure about 2 years ago. The wife/mom of the bunch blogged about their adventures as well. Once they returned home they had the entire thing printed as a hardcover coffee table book. I had the honor to flip through it – what a treasure! So as much as I am writing and sharing these publicly as we go along, to a large degree I am writing this chronicle for the benefit of the 4 of us down the road.
- Random thoughts for you: For those just hoping for trip updates, I fully recognize that some of my blog posts might get a little sentimental or heavy. Some of my posts may even err on the side of oversharing. Well…that pretty much sums up hanging out with me in person, as well! So for my close friends who occasionally miss my presence….just open up one of my blog posts & I’ll monologue for awhile about my thoughts on life…it’s just like being with me in person! (except this way I can’t drink all of your coffee…) I try to do a good job of categorizing my posts by type, so if you’d rather not see the inner-workings of my head & heart, fair enough, just stick with the posts categorized as “travel updates”.
- Random thoughts for me: This trip is definitely a JOURNEY for me and my family in multiple senses of the word, and that was our intention all along. We are thrilled to get to see many places on the map – some we’ve seen before, others for the first time. But this trip is more than just a road trip for us. We deeply desire a chance to step out of our normal life and reflect on where we are, want we want, and other cliche phrases inserted here. We hope that these shared experiences will draw us closer together as a family and maybe even make us better people. I don’t want to get overwhelmed in the daily little jobs to be done – booking campsites, finding reliable wifi, washing what are apparently giant pans in a tiny sink – and forget to really take advantage of this time to contemplate and grow. Writing these posts really helps me dig deep in my thoughts and articulate what I’m experiencing. Sometimes I don’t even know what to expect until I sit down at the keyboard and it all starts rushing out of my brain! So I want to keep writing my mental, emotional, spiritual processes as well because it helps me process what I have the opportunity to learn on this adventure. I owe it to myself-3-months-ago who swam against the current to make this trip possible, and I owe it to everybody who doesn’t get to be so lucky, to make the most of this rare and amazing experience of putting normal life on pause and living out a dream. I hope that when I look back at my posts in a year or 5 years or 20 years that I will see a trajectory of growth and change. Although what’s more likely is what Brad suggested today…that in 10 years I will read this and say, “Hey, those are exactly the same thoughts I’m having now!”
So – all that to say that this wordy mess is kind of for you, but it’s mostly for me and my family. Don’t get me wrong…I love knowing that people who love us from all over the place are along for the ride with us by reading the posts. Relationships are a core value for me, and putting my heart out there somehow helps me still feel connected to my people. But I’ve also learned that positive feedback is a double-edged sword for me…the better the compliment, the more afraid I am of disappointing someone with the next post. A dark voice in my head right before I push “publish” EVERY TIME whispers, “This one isn’t very good. You are going to let everyone down this time.” But so far I’m just choosing to tell that voice to SHUT UP, and I press publish anyway. I’ve had what Glennon Doyle Melton calls a “vulnerability hangover” a couple of times, but I would rather have the whole story than the polished version. I’m hanging on to a Brene Brown quote, which I believe that she borrows from Voltaire, “Perfect is the enemy of done.”
I’m living an adventure straight out of my dreams, and I want to record as much of it as I can. So I’m making my goal each time not perfect…but DONE.
Now…wanna run down a sand dune with me?