Answers for the Teeming Curiosity
I am very grateful to Kevin, who actually had a ton of questions for me about our Traveling CrazyPants Rodeo, because now I can talk about myself (FINALLY!), and because I don’t have to come up with an original topic.
I am actually teeming with curiosity (I’ve a salve for the burning) in a disoriented sort of way because it is so unique. The first question that pops in my mind is if the Adventure has thus far met your expectations? Did you romanticize it? What was the biggest surprise, good and bad? What do you miss most about geographic roots, if anything? Is it still open ended? How far in advance do you plan? Are you traveling to meet people or to see things? What motivates your locations? The kids? Fancy? Squirrel! Do you do geocaching or such games? Will you be going international? Perhaps now is a good time for a deep breath. Yep.
Your Obligatory About Page does seem wanting of a mention about the Grand Adventure. At the moment, it’s like a steganographic thread woven through your blog for the cognoscenti (whee! I love my fancy words)… or is that a feature rather than a bug?
The Adventure has exceeded our expectations in a lot of ways, and fallen short in other ways.
Seeing other places, seeing them with my kids, watching my kids see them… it’s all been magical. The Oregon coast and Yellowstone in particular have been truly awe-inspiring. I would recommend those places without reservation to anyone who wanted to visit someplace new, even if for a short time. There is something about touching a sea star with your own hands, or seeing a big horn sheep with your own eyes that no book will ever be able to replicate. I hope my children remember those things forever. I would also recommend staying in vacation houses rather than hotels – aside from a few small issues, our experiences have been great.
Other things, like packing and unpacking and worrying about the fact that we are towing all our worldly possessions behind us in a 5×8 trailer and constantly making mental lists of Things Not to Forget is wearing. Being the Mom and Chief Nester of the operation, it gets old cleaning grime that is not mine and rearranging the furniture in every house to suit us better – and then remembering to put it all back. However, one trip to the beach or glass-blowing museum generally makes it all worthwhile.
I did romanticize some bits. It’s hard not to, when you are embarking on something you’ve been looking forward to for so long. I imagined more reading Little House on the Prairie aloud in front of a roaring fire whilst homemade cookies were baking, and less worrying about money or cooking or cleaning the kitchen.
The biggest surprise, frankly, has been how hard it has been on me. This whole crackpot idea was mine, so I initially spent a lot of time being very concerned about everyone else – making sure Jim would have a place to work, making sure the kids would have all their books and legos, making sure everyone’s needs would be met - and I sort of forgot how much of a nesty homebody I am. It’s hard to cook in different kitchens, it’s hard to do school at different tables, it’s hard to sleep in different beds… I’ve learned a lot about myself and my family through this experience.
Self-realization: So. Unpleasant.
Oh, plus it’s Super! Expensive! to live this way, which I had not fully anticipated.
The biggest best surprise has been that the kids really are very adaptable. I worried that they would find it chaotic, but they seem to find it exciting. All they need is Mommy, Daddy, Legos, and noodles for dinner, and they are happy as clams.
The thing I miss most about Colorado is my Best Friend in the Whole Wide World, L. She is a sister to me, and I miss her very much. I also miss my dear friend and knitting buddy, Sharron. The second thing I miss the most are our doctors. The pediatrician, the eye doctor, the dentist… we would have gone to the doctor more times than we did, and I spent a lot of time fretting about random kid issues. Teeth coming in all wrong. Foot Warts. Eczema. Ring Worm (still fighting that one, btw). I also miss the familiarity, but I can’t decide if that’s lame or just human nature.
The Adventure is still sort of open-ended. At this point, we are vaguely thinking we’ll maybe settle down again in February-ish, but we don’t have any firm plans.
I plan as far in advance as I can stand, because it’s very time-consuming and kind of stressful and I can only take so much. If I were giving out advice to someone who wanted to do this, I would say to plan your whole trip in advance before you leave home.
Planning: It’s a Good Thing.
We are traveling to see places, not people. I am not what you’d call Super Social. A lot of my friends live in my computer, so they are with me everywhere I go. We’ve discovered that the kids like the Big Nature-y Stuff and the Interesting Factory Stuff the best. So we shoot for places like that with a variety of things to do; but sometimes I have a freak out moment because everywhere is booked or very expensive and we end up in Arizona in July. On purpose.
If we were traveling just to suit me, we would go to places with great shopping and room service, not places where I have to pee in outhouses. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.
We don’t do geocaching, but I know we should because it sounds like something they would like. I’m kind of Meh on the whole thing myself, though. Isn’t that mostly outside? Are there ever any geocaches in a Coach store?
International? Unlikely at this point, although I could see visiting Canada.
I speak Canadian, you know.
You are the second person to suggest putting all the Adventure posts in one place, so I created a link in the sidebar which goes to all the posts, in chronological order. See it? On the left? I get a little carried away when I make buttons.
Thank you for the questions, Kevin. I love questions.
Anything else y’all want to know? Don’t be shy.