Travel Update October 2020
It's officially been 99 days since we closed on our house and started the journey to travel the world. It just doesn't seem real in so many ways! There are still many stories to be written but why not share a travel update as of October 2020?
Here's a short recap of places we've been, where we're heading next, and a few thoughts about traveling full-time.
Where have we been?
Donetta and I have spent our time west of our home state of Oklahoma. We drove to Colorado and got high to kick off our new adventure. We spent time in Estes Park and then hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, which was freaking awesome! Though I never did come face to face with a bear ... that was disappointing.
From there we visited South Dakota and Mount Rushmore, banged out a few beers with friends and family in Minnesota, drove through North Dakota which was nice but not very exciting, then I soiled my pants at Glacier National Park. Despite the nightmare of driving what I now call Hell's Highway, Montana is a beautiful state to which we will return.
The next stop we made was Yellowstone National Park and I had a deeply spiritual experience. God showed up in a "big" way and the timing couldn't have been better. We frolicked in the hills of Grand Teton and took many pictures of "The Big Tit" before seeing our friends, Jared and Rachelle, in Wyoming. And if you ever get the opportunity to ride shotgun with Jared, be sure to buckle up and take anxiety mediation since 95mph is his cruising speed. LOL
Hello to the BIG 5-0 for James!!!
After we survived all the mountain driving, we decided to kick it down a notch to celebrate my 50th birthday. Our generous and close friends, Brent and Michelle, welcomed us into their Las Vegas home for a couple of weeks. We drank many great beers, had priceless conversations, and I even became a Cleveland Indians fan. Yeah, the guy who hates baseball. :)
Our two awesome kids, Kayla and Tyler, joined us for several days of fun and laughter. There may have been some gambling in the process with only Tyler winning any money. We partied with Brent and Michelle's family at their oasis and I got to give all my love to their dog Minnie. It was special because I still really miss Bandit.
We then spent a week in Cathedral City before suffering on the beaches of San Diego.
Where are we going next?
It's not going to be easy leaving San Diego. After all, we get to spend most of our days in 70 degree temperatures by the Pacific Ocean, drinking in the sunshine and SoCal vibe. But we're about to get back on the road and head East.
Next week we'll FINALLY get to visit the Grand Canyon which has eluded us for years. After that we will start our way back to Oklahoma to see family before returning to Colorado for a short stay (weather permitting) and then embarking on travel to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and Branson, Missouri. We decided it would be best to stay closer to home between the holidays.
That will get us to the end of 2020 and then we'll decide from there what the next adventure will be. Of course all things are subject to change but this gives us a plan for the next 60 days.
Do we still love traveling?
As a part of our travel update for October 2020 I thought I'd share a few thoughts about whether we're still enjoying this lifestyle and the lessons we've learned.
Without a shadow of a doubt, we love traveling full-time and have no regrets.
Of course we miss family at times but the trade off is living our dream. Technology allows us to keep in contact with the people we love and that makes life easier. We certainly don't miss the Oklahoma weather or home maintenance. Even being in small spaces with Donetta hasn't killed our joy of being on the road.
I have felt more peace and happiness personally since we started this adventure. Even friends and clients say my voice sounds happier on the phone. HAHA! My severe depression is gone and the minimalistic lifestyle is so freeing. Overall things could not be better for us. We are truly blessed and thankful.
That being said we have no plans to stop traveling anytime soon.
Maybe at some point we will have a home base or stop for a short while to build a new business opportunity in Oklahoma, but I don't think the digital nomad passion will ever fully leave us. Traveling the world is in our blood.
What advice can we give?
For those of you who dream of selling everything and traveling some day, we can share our advice of what we've learned so far. I know as time goes on, we will have more insights to share with you as well.
There is never a perfect time to travel. You just have to go for it and do it. If you wait for that perfect time or situation it will probably never happen. Stop worrying about Covid 19 or what could be. Don't let fear control your decisions. There is no guarantee of tomorrow so don't live with regrets.
Some hotels will negotiate on pricing. Most of the places we've stayed at have been generous and given us way better rates than what's advertised online. I call them direct to discuss the possibilities of getting a better deal due to our budget and usually get 25%-50% off. It's a lot of work but worth it.
Make a budget but be flexible. Setting a limit on what you can spend is a great way to go but sometimes you have to throw it out the door. Pricing for hotels, gas, food, and good times will fluctuate depending on where you are. Some days you will come out great and others not so much. Just remember it's all about the experience.
Take your time and enjoy the ride. If you decide to travel full-time, don't be in a rush to get to all the places you want to see. There is ALWAYS more you can do, but when you focus on that you can miss the magical moments right in front of you. It's better to slow down and take your time to experience all the road and life has to offer.
Treat other people with respect. When you visit new places or live in hotels, you can see the worst in people. Hotel staff put up with a lot of BS, so be kind to them. Keep your next door neighbors in mind too. Having sexcapades anytime is acceptable, but slamming doors at 2 am is not. And don't be a rude jackass to people of other cultures or beliefs. That's just not cool.
Plan tourist activities in advance. If your plans involve ANY type of tourist destination, you'll want to research the details like parking, hours of operation, and traffic. Covid 19 has caused some places to close or adjust normal operating hours. Traveling at certain times of the day can make your ride a lot more enjoyable and less likely to get stuck in traffic.
Stay in hotels with a kitchen. It's great to visit and support local restaurants and breweries but doing so can destroy your budget and waist line. Being able to cook your own meals will save you lots of money, plus it's easier for people who follow a keto diet or have other dietary restrictions. It's harder to find places with kitchens but worth it.
That's a wrap for our Travel Update October 2020!
There are so many more stories about people we've met and places we've visited to journal about on this blog. But at the same time we're also trying to enjoy the moment. It's a delicate balance between work and play at times. Some days I get to write more and some days I'm falling behind. Binge watching Cobra Kai or Schitt's Creek certainly doesn't help.
Anyway, we hope that writing about our experiences will inspire or help other people to travel in 2020 and beyond. There is so much to see and do in the world and it can literally change your entire perspective on life.
If you would like help pursuing your travel dreams or have advice for us, please comment here. We'd love to hear from you!