Friday, August 19, 2016

Tips from the road

As Bob wrote recently, we have started our grand tour of the U.S., a quest to visit churches and friends which will take us up one side and down the other of the continental U.S. over the next few months. We do like to travel, but we also like to come home after a trip! Several months straight of being on the road is a completely different ballgame than a two-week trip. Fortunately, expectations and mental preparation are a big part of making it work. The wonderfully hospitable and inspiring people that we get to connect with along the way are the ‘diamonds in the rough’ that make this journey sweet when it could be really tough.

Lessons learned from life on the road:
1. Make sure my digital watch is on the right time zone so that the alarm doesn’t go off at 4AM.
2. Regular exercise – even in irregular places and times – is a great boost to help us stay sane.
3. Bob can pack for a whole month in a carry-on suitcase.
Bob with suitcase
4. Mcdonalds has great cheap smoothies…and they are ubuiquitous.
5. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I lay there for a few minutes, working out “where am I? And how do I get to the bathroom??”
6. Routine is very helpful for making life less stressful; but it is all about perspective. Even when each day is in a new place, I appreciate the little pieces of life that are consistent, like brushing my teeth or praying with Bob, which help me to create a ‘road routine’ in my mind.
7. We can do a week of lunches on the road with a loaf of bread and a package of ham and cheese. That way we can find a park to stop in for lunch instead of a fast-food restaurant. Being around some ‘green’ and being able to take a short walk is so refreshing during a long drive.
Picnic on the road
8. Audiobooks are a wonderful thing! We just finished listening to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – a timeless classic. And the best part - you can check out audiobooks digitally through Overdrive with your library card!
9. Friends are a wonderful life-giving blessing. We try to connect with as many as we can while we are traveling. Even when we feel tired and time feels tight, we always feel refreshed and grateful for a conection with kindred spirits. Thank you, to our friends old and new, who make this journey sweet.