It’s been a SUPER long time since we’ve posted anything. This wasn’t our intention when we started this whole thing but there have been quite a few things that have not gone as we intended when we started this whole thing. We’ve been dealing with something this last week and so far the major lesson we’ve learned is how to deal with set backs and still continue to run, or in some cases limp, toward our dreams. We’re still out here, and we’ve finally started to wander again.
Last week we hit a big, tall, strong, brick wall that sent our original plans into a complete tailspin. When we started this journey the plan was that Jason was going to quit his job and do computer contract work from the road. We would travel where the work was and move on when it was done. When he gave his notice he and his boss were able to come up with a plan that would allow him to keep his job and work from the road, which was amazing and we were so thankful to have that part taken care of. It was the final piece that needed to be in place that would allow us to live the way we wanted. By the time we actually left, he heard the company was most likely going to be sold. The writing on the wall seemed pretty clear and we figured we would need to come up with another way to earn a living once everything was finalized. We hoped that Jason would be able to continue to work for a least 2 or 3 months during the transition period and then we would have a little time to rethink our strategy and decide if we wanted to continue on our journey. Well, he got the call we were dreading last week and by the end of this month Jason will no longer be working for AWS. Of course the only way to handle this situation was to completely PANIC! I can’t explain the range of emotions that went through both of us that day eventually leading to the feeling of complete and utter defeat. That’s it! After a streak of really cruddy luck, The Road had kicked our asses! We were going to have to sell the RV and the truck and go home and get jobs, a place to live, furniture, dishes, winter coats, you name it. I was mostly depressed about the winter coat thing! Since we left we’ve had the strangest string of bad luck and with each weird mishap we wondered if this wasn’t the time for us to pursue this. We’ve been so very fortunate these last few years that we didn’t know how to handle these types of things. But who really does?
We spent the better part of “Dreaded Phone Call Day” staring at our computers looking at jobs on Craigslist in Ames, Fort Collins, Boulder, Pensecola, and even San Fransisco. We looked at apartments in all of those places too. We took a long look at our finances and once we figured out what Jason would get in unemployment benefits, we became even more down and our new friend, Panic, come back. I don’t know who can survive on that amount of money even for a little bit. If we would have stayed in our house, we would have lost it for sure. I guess we’ll get to figure out what this Obamacare is all about too. We ran through so many different scenarios trying to decide the best course of action and by the end of the day we decided we had no choice but to sell the RV and truck so we would have some cash to live on and free up some funds from insurance payments and the ungodly amount of gas we kept putting in that thing. What we couldn’t decide was what the heck we were going to do after that. All we knew was that we literally just started our travels and we couldn’t bear the thought of ending our wandering so abruptly. We weren’t ready to go home and that is the only thing we knew with certainty. We were also starting to feel like Iowa was becoming less like home and we wondered where home really was anyway.
After one day on Craigslist, we struck a deal with the first person that came to look at the RV. When she left all I could think was “Damn that was fast! Now where the heck are we going to live?” and “Crap! We should have listed it for more money!” Luckily, we had a couple days to get our stuff out and figure out our next step. Jason will get a paycheck through the end of this month. Plus we’ll have the proceeds from the house sale and the money we’ll get from selling the RV/Truck so we’ll have some funds to sustain us for a little while. Once we close on the house, we will have very few monthly bills so aside from food, shelter, and car payment, we won’t have much else going out. The idea of going back to freezing cold Iowa wasn’t good (that winter coat thing!) We didn’t get to see one tiny little smidgen of all the places we had planned to visit so we weren’t excited to stay in Colorado either. We finally decided that just because our situation changed drastically, it didn’t mean we should have to give up on our dreams all together. We just had to come up with another way. Finally, we rented a small storage shed in Fort Collins for our most of our stuff, bought a roof rack for the car for the rest, and our Gypsy Wagon has become our beloved Mini Cooper with St. Christopher hanging from the mirror to assure safe travel, a big sleepy dog in the back , and the world’s smallest, feistiest wiener dog on our laps to protect us from highway robbers.
We decided to head West and visit all of the strange, wonderful, and quirky places that we saw in movies and travel books that gave us our case of wanderlust in the first place. Traveling by car will save us quite a bit in gas money and will allow us to move around a little quicker. Finding affordable lodging is going to be the biggest challenge, but we figure if we choose spots during the off season we should be able to get some great deals. In keeping with our recent luck, we made plans with the mechanic in Fort Collins that is working on our truck after the emergency brake blew apart. (I have to say that we have always been Ford people until we bought this one Chevy and it has been in the shop more in the last month than most of our Fords put together!) Then we finally took off today and as I write this we are sitting in the Econolodge in Grand Junction, Co. I get to check another state off my list as we head into Utah tomorrow where we’re hoping the weather is decent enough to check out Zion National Park. We plan to hit Palm Springs, CA this week where we’ll spend a few days checking out places like Salvation Mountain, The Salton Sea, and whatever else grabs our attention along the way. From there, we’ll head back to Colorado to spend Christmas with the kids. We plan to use these couple weeks to figure out whether we want to settle somewhere and get jobs, or find a way to continue to travel the country and earn as we go. I don’t know what’s in store for us or how long we’ll get to roam around our beautiful country, but I can say that I’m never happier than when I’m sitting next to my husband in a car on the highway, with music on the stereo, and miles of road ahead of us promising all kinds of mystery and adventure.