What’s Next

April 12, 2019

Three years ago today I responded to a Craigslist ad:

“Hello, I’m very interested in the 5th wheel you have for sale. My husband & I & our 2 young daughters plan to downsize this year & move into an RV for 1-2 years and travel the country. Your RV has all of the things we’ve been looking for… ”

 

Pictures from the Craigslist ad. They had us with that bunkroom…

A few days later we were inside the trailer that would later be dubbed “Stumbo” (named after the gracious sellers)opening cabinet doors, pressing on walls, walking across the roof…we had no idea what we were doing.

 


 

As of today we’ve been on the road for 965 days, and we still have no idea what we are doing most of the time. We still regularly make mistakes that are too embarrassing to even put in print. (But if you know me – you know that any in-person inquiry will reward you with way more than you ever wanted to know about my life!)

But one thing that we have figured out is that our full-time travel will come to an end in May, so we only have a few more weeks left on the road.

This morning as we battened down the hatches (quite literally as the wind in NM today is INSANE!…oh wait, now it’s snowing) and hooked up to relocate Stumbo to another part of the country, it occurred to me that we will only do this a handful of times more.  This realization makes me nostalgic, but not sad.  I’m actually feeling really ready for this adventure to come to a close.  I could not be more grateful to have had the opportunity to travel across the country for the past few years.  But I feel like we have completely wrung out every last drop of fun from the experience. We’ve sucked the marrow from the bone.  We have carpe’d this diem…and now it’s time for the next thing.

The next thing for us is shaping up to be yet another chance to reinvent ourselves in Spokane, Washington.  Brad is closing down Apt Design, the graphic design business that first supported us in Wenatchee for 10 years, and then allowed us to live out this travel dream of ours.  Brad has continued to design websites, create print marketing, and partner with all sorts of organizations as an all-around tech guru the entire time we have lived the nomad life, managing to churn out his most profitable year ever while traveling full time (an enormous concept to describe in a 3-word phrase), supporting my part-time work,  enhancing the girls’ homeschool education, and taking some very grueling prerequisites online to prepare for OT school.

In February he was accepted into the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington. His classes begin in June.

The story of how and why Brad has decided to pivot from graphic design to the medical field is his own to tell, but I could not be more proud of him and can’t wait to see him grow personally and professionally as he takes on this new role.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. September 2016
Death Valley National Park, California. October 2016
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. November 2016
Celebrating 100 days on the road, Albuquerque, New Mexico. November 2016.
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. April 2017
Times Square in New York City, New York. April 2017
Niagara Falls, New York. May 2017
“Cloud Gate” in Chicago, Illinois. June 2017
The smallest town in the United States, Monowi, Nebraska, July 2017.
Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota. July 2017
Watching the solar eclipse in Glacier National Park, Montana, August 2017.
Crescent City, California. November 2017
Mobius Arch outside of Lone Pine, California. November 2017
Joshua Tree National Park, California. March 2018
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. May 2018

 

So…our travels are coming to a close, and it’s time for nostalgia and celebration and grand finale routes.  But also, to be honest, as we approach a finish line of sorts, I feel this intense pressure to have learned something from these travels, to have a list of the ways we’ve changed, and to be reentering a community with tangible ideas about how our lives will never look the same.

But in reality, all I have is a grateful heart, a mind busy with ever-evolving ideas/memories/hopes, and a really long to-do list.  We are looking for a house, I’m searching for full-time employment, and the list of things we need to do once we actually have a home address again seems to grow every time I blink.

But per usual – I’m excited.

And as for the lists of lessons learned, I’m sure that my full heart and busy brain will continue to mull over these experiences and spit out random thoughts about our travels for months and years to come.  So be ready – they could be coming at ya anytime. And fair warning….I have no idea what I’m doing.

7 Comment

  1. Kelsey says: Reply

    I love this and you and Brad and the girls and your words and, as per usual, I’m so excited for what’s to come. XOXO

  2. Sara says: Reply

    I don’t know why, but this brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps, because your authentic, brave approach to living is inspiring and touching. Granted, you inspired me as kid, so no surprise. So happy for you and your family to have the incredible, connected experiences you have had. Best wishes to you!

  3. J D Yingling says: Reply

    I have enjoyed following your travels and adventures. May God bless Brad in his career change into OT and your family transitioning back to living in one place. Make sure you build some time into your schedule to write a book about your experiences and lessons learned – It would be a great read!

  4. Janet Clark says: Reply

    Sarah,Brad, and Girl’s, What an AMAZING EXPERIENCES /TRIPS, you have taken! Great Parks, Landscapes, Meeting Special Grinds, New People, Who Became Friends, All of this. was Wonderful!!
    Congratulations Brad, on your Acceptance into Spokane University, and working on your Occupational Therapist Degree!! You Will Be a Great Therapist!! God Be w/ Your Family, either in Wenatchee, or Spokane!
    Thank you for Sharing this Wonderful Travel Experience, and for Wonderful Photos Also!❤❤❤❤

  5. Janet Armes says: Reply

    I’m so happy you took the time when you did. Most people wait until they retire and then the kids don’t get to take part in it. Congratulations to Brad. My daughter applied to all of the Washington schools for physical therapy grad school and finally settled on the only one that would admit her at the time…St. Augustine in San Marcos, CA. Of course after she was started in the program she was accepted by UPS and UW, but she stuck with CA. I have so enjoyed seeing all of the posts of the wonderful places you have seen and the experiences you have shared. Hugs to the girls and to you, Sarah. I know you will find what you need in Spokane.

  6. Mom says: Reply

    So well said, once again. Maybe authoring is in your future. Many more great reads to come! We are so happy for you all, for the journey experienced and the ones to come!

  7. Shannon Dickerson says: Reply

    Hello Sarah and family.
    It was a pleasure to meet you and your girls with our travels. I am a amazed with your adventures. Spokane seems like a great place to spend some time. I’m glad your hubby was selected at the number one choice.
    Shannon Dickerson
    Leaving Boulder City on May 8th. Heading to BC Canada.

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