"What do you do with your time?"
Before embarking on this journey I also wondered what people did if they weren't going to work every day. I can tell you that our days are full! And no two days are exactly alike.
Sometimes the days are filled with driving to the public library to find wifi and research sailboats or make campsite reservations. Other days are filled with fun activities like hiking or hiking, or to mix it up, hiking (we are on a budget after all). Regardless of what we are doing, everything takes longer. A shopping trip to Walmart takes twice as long because each Walmart is just different enough that you can't find what you want. Cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen also takes longer as everything is hand washed & dried. And the goofy dog is anxious about all the change and requires both of us escort him on all potty walks.
As we move through different aspects of this journey our time is split up differently but in general we spend a lot of time researching online, driving, cooking, and walking the dog.
"Is it like being on vacation?"
The short answer is yes and no.
The long answer is that during a dark period I wrote a loooong short story on why our lives do NOT feel like we are always on vacation. It included being stressed on a tight budget (only buying necessary and pratical items doesn't feel like a vacation), gaining weight (without the hope of returning to "normal" life and losing it), and, at the top of the list, not leaving daily life behind (being a nomad means daily life comes with you and tasks that are easy from home are complicated by not having easy access to secure wifi or privacy).
But then it is like being on vacation too. We have flexibility with our time, we see new things daily, and we aren't completely stressed out all the time.
I really love seeing the happy go lucky side of Rob every day. I am thankful that we have this time together and are creating memories which will "warm the cockles of our hearts" as we age.
Questions and Answers
Ask us anything, well....almost anything! If you have a family friendly question (something you would ask it in front of your 8 year old niece) just send us an email or ask a question on Facebook and we will answer it here.
"How long will you be gone?"
This question doesn't have an answer other than, as long as it's fun.
We have a budget and fully anticipate having to stop along the way to work and earn money to keep going. Or, if we run out of money and we aren't enjoing the journey, we will start something new somwhere new.
Believe me, being this vague isn't easy for me! I'm a planner and an organizer who likes to know what is going to happen on any given day. You won't believe me but sometimes I miss the structure of having a job--really, I do! And now that I'm in my 40's I often think we are completely crazy for doing this and worry about everything that can go wrong.
But, as Patricia (Meg Ryan) says in one of our all time favorite movies Joe versus the Volcano: "Joe, nobody knows anything. We'll take this leap and we'll see. We'll jump and we'll see. That's life!"
So we are jumping and we will see!
"What do you eat?"
Honestly we eat better than we did while working! Generally speaking we eat out very little saving those excursions as treats. So we spend a lot of time grocery shopping and cooking (and cleaning up).
Breakfast is cereal & fruit, lunches are salads or sandwiches as we are usually driving or hiking, and dinners include a meat, starch, and veg.
I found a great app called Recipe Gallery which allows me to scan all my favorite receipes and view them on my phone as I'm grocery shopping and while cooking. It helps me keep meal planning easy and expands the variety of our foods.
With all that said we are still figuring it all out and have noticed that we spend a larger portion of our buget on food purchases than we had anticipated. So we are now in the process of watching the costs of individual items and paring down our overall consumption (which will hopefuly benefit our wallets and our waistlines!)
"How do you find a place to camp?"
The short answer is by dumb luck!
The longer answer is that we are getting better at finding places that fit in our budget and provide the services/amenities we want.
We can survive 1-2 nights without being connected to power or water camping on BLM or National Forest lands if we plan ahead and fill up the water tank and top off the camper battery. But that is only if we use the bare minimum of lights, heat, refridgeration, and water pumping (to get the water from the tank to the faucets).
Preferably we camp where we can plug into power and connect to water like at National/State/City parks, and hopefully have wifi or cell coverage to reserach the next stop.
Anyway, to answer your question there are some great apps to help locate campgrounds. We use Allstay which shows BLM, National Forests, National/State/City Parks, private campgrounds, and even WalMart parking lots. The website Campendium is also a great resource.
"Do you get sick of each other?"
Why yes, of course we do! We get under each other's skin and have been known to snap at each other. But that's pretty darn normal.
We've been married since 2002 and have been working on our communication and understanging since day one. By this point we both know ourselves and the other person pretty well and know when to pull back and give space vs. when to jump in and help out.
One of the best parts of this experience is that we are getting to know each other even better and are gaining greater insight into ourselves.
Just the other day we were deep in a frustrating discussion about the best way to solve a problem and were both getting irritated. We eventually came to an agreement. Then a short time later Rob shared with me the root of his frustration which made understanding his perspective soooooo much easier and ended up brining us closer together. Awwwwww! :-)
"Do you know how to sail?"
We actually get this question a lot, maybe because we are from Colorado? But, YES! We know how to sail!
Lucy learned before Rob sailing on Lake Dillon, Colorado (rated one of the world's best sailing destinations), on the Hudson River, and in Australia.
Our first boat together was a trailerable 23' San Juan sailboat that we salied on Lake Dillon, Colorado. We also took it to Elephant Butte, New Mexico for a weekend excursion--fun!
Sailing was something we both enjoyed doing and loved doing together so we quickly expanded our sailing horizions by taking American Sailing Association (ASA) classes in Florida and then Rob took an advanced course in Greece.
Those classes qualified us to bareboat charter which we did in Mexico and Scotland. Yes, Scotland. You wouldn't believe how many people hear that and exclaim, "nobody sails in Scotland!" Indeed, sailing in Scotland is not like sailing in the Carribean! ;-)
"Why are you in Washington?"
--Rob H., CO
The answer is that we both melt in high heat so the idea of spending summer in Florida or Mexcio is just as bad (or worse) than rain. Add to that our timeline of starting sailing in the summer which would correspond with hurricane season in Florida and we decided to look elsewhere.
Washington offers a mix of weather, water, and mountains. It was also within driving distance so we could bring the dog and as many of Rob's tools as possible (he plans to not only work on our boat but to earn some income working on other boats too), and it offers blue water sailing options.
The plan is to spend the summer in the San Juan Islands and, as the cooler weather arrives, sail down the West Coast and ending in Mexico for the winter. After that...who knows, the Pacific Islands? The Panama Canal? South America? Or back to land? Time will tell! In the meantime, Washington is pretty awesome.
"Why did you become nomads?"
Rob was born with great curisoity and with a high need for adventure. He craves the physical and mental challenges of the unknown like other people crave coffee. Self reliance is his overriding philosophy, and, in Lucy's humble opinion, he is a genius at problem solving in high stress situations. So basically he was made for living outside the norm and thrives under pressure.
Lucy was born with travel in her blood--among other things, her mother hitchhiked across Europe in the 1940's! Lucy followed in her footsteps as an exchange student in England and then traveled in Europe (via train) and later became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Southern Africa. The only continent Lucy hasn't visited is Antartica. In Rob's humble opinion, she is an organazational genius with a wide world view.
Together we agree that we compliment each other and the nomad life was our solution to how we could travel a lot of places without spending a ton of money. Rob rolls with the punches more easily than Lucy (the nomad life isn't all unicorns and rainbows) and it may not be forever, but right now it works for us.