How One Weekend Adventure Changed My Perspective On Traveling

I am an all-or-nothing person.

Moderation is a challenge for me. I like to take things to the extreme. When I first discovered minimalism, I wanted to get rid of everything (including our tv — at which point my husband put his foot down). I used to alternate between eating extremely healthy and eating all the foods with no restrictions whatsoever.

I like being “all in”.

I want to be “all in” in every aspect of my life, but sometimes that’s just not possible — or it’s not the best thing for me.

About a year ago, I found out — via Instagram — that people living in little vans and RVs and airstreams and traveling full-time was a thing. I was already obsessed with the idea of tiny homes, so this was the next best thing. A tiny home that went wherever you wanted it to go!

My husband and I love camping and hunting and being outdoors, so this seemed like an awesome idea. Being “all in”, I immediately did all the research and figured out how much it would cost and what we would have to do to make it work.

We’ve had countless conversations over the past year about wanting to travel full-time — at least for a little while — and how we can make this happen. A few months ago, we arrived at the idea that we really do not need a van, or a motorhome, or an RV, or an Airstream that is completely perfect and built out to our exact specifications.

We have so much camping equipment. We have two different tents, we have sleeping bags, we have a sleeping pad, we have a camp stove, we have backpacking gear, we honestly have it all. As amazing as it would be to have an adorable little airstream perfectly built out exactly the way we want, we really don’t need it.

All we need is a vehicle (hello, new truck!) and the camping equipment we already have.

So I started planning this amazing road trip. I thought, what if we could each take 4-6 months off work and try to travel around the United States in that amount of time. I spent about a month planning this road trip in detail to try and get a better idea of how long it would take and how much it would cost and where we wanted to go. And then I finished planning and I was immediately depressed because the soonest we’d be able to go on this trip is 2021.

I spent a few weeks whining and complaining about how I had this great trip planned and I wished we could just pack up and go, and then I realized that I was looking at this the wrong way. I had an all-or-nothing approach — either we could do this big road trip or do nothing.

I had also started listening to a couple of great podcasts. Before Breakfast, which is a short, daily podcast with productivity tips to start your morning. She talks a lot about time and time management, and how we really do have so much more time than we think every day and every week. I was also listening to She Explores and Women on the Road at the same time, and found a few podcast episodes about women who are part-time travelers.

After our weekend camping trip in Moab over Memorial Day Weekend, I asked my husband what he thought about doing more weekend trips and he was like, “hell yeah!” so we decided to go to Capitol Reef a few weeks later (last weekend) — and it was amazing!

It was about a 3 hour drive. We left by 4:00pm on Friday, spent about an hour looking for a campsite, and still had everything all set up by 8:30pm — and it was still light out! We still did a full day of hiking on Sunday and left at around 4:00pm, made it home by 7:00pm and unpacked the car, started the laundry etc. and still had time to eat dinner, relax and watch tv.

We had planned on trying to do a trip every other weekend, but I asked Kevin what he thought about going somewhere every weekend. Again, he gave me the “hell yeah!” — so we will be driving to Moab again this weekend!

My heart is so full and I am so happy.

For so long, I have been feeling like I don’t “do” enough on the weekend. Either I’m not productive enough or I don’t rest enough. I always end up dissatisfied with how I chose to spend my weekend come Sunday night. But as we were driving back home from Capitol Reef, I kept thinking about how much we got done. We hiked like 20 miles in two days! We saw so many beautiful places. We drove through some really cute tiny towns. We had time to relax and read a book.

There is so much more time during the weekend than we think. Weekend travel might not be for everyone — we are certainly enjoying the ability to pack up and leave without having to worry about kids or pets — but it’s something that has really changed my perspective on traveling. I think we have found a sustainable way to be part-time travelers with full-time jobs. At some point, I would definitely still like to have a chance to travel full-time, but for now this is a great balance for us.

I used to think I needed to take the entire weekend to rest and recharge to prepare for the next work week. This was probably old programming from my swimming days when I was in school all day and also swimming like 20 hours a week. That was the equivalent of a 60+ hour work week. Now — working 40 hours — I definitely do not need to use the weekend to “recover”. I felt more rested and recharged after camping all weekend than I normally do after I do nothing all weekend!

So, if there’s anything in your life that you’ve been wanting to do but you can’t find the time, you might want to take another look at your weekends. And if your job is so exhausting and draining that you need the entire weekend to recover from it and prepare for another week of work, maybe it’s time to find a new job.

I’m sure at some point we will want to spend a weekend at home — relaxing — but for now, we are going to go until we burn ourselves out! I’m going to wait until we’ve gone on a few more trips to do a post on our budget and how we’re making this work money-wise — but it is affordable, it is doable, it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.

We are so fortunate and privileged to be able to travel, even just on the weekends to places 3-5 hours away. We are so lucky to live in Utah where there are so many amazing places to visit. We have amazing full-time jobs that provide us with enough money to live in a great apartment, pay our bills, and go on these weekend adventures. I am so excited to share these weekend adventures with you all — and I want to thank each and every one of you for your love and support. Our home isn’t just wherever we are — it’s who we have around us — and we have such a great community of family and friends supporting us and cheering us on as we embark on new adventures.

This past weekend was a great reminder to myself that we don’t always have to be all-in. Our dream life might not look exactly like we pictured it, but we can still figure out creative ways to do everything that we want without having to wait for the next phase of our lives when everything will magically be possible.

I hope you all find a way to take one step closer to living your dream life today.

Published by Sami Hertel

Oregon native, current Utah resident, blogging about my adventures on lifeafteroregon.com!

One thought on “How One Weekend Adventure Changed My Perspective On Traveling

  1. This is how we have lived our life and it has been an adventure. We didn’t even let our kids stop us, our oldest went camping at 4 months old. We didn’t want to wait till we retired to go explore like so many of our older friends and family did. Of course we would like to go back and spend more time in some of the places we have gone. It can be done, don’t have to stay in an expensive motel, we camped and we do hope to get a travel trailer soon cause it would be nicer at our older age. Good for you for exploring and experiencing God’s beauty. Thanks for sharing

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: