Starting on any journey is always filled with expectations on how things will go, and this was definitely true for me. There are expectations I have definitely not been able to meet or accomplish along this journey.
The biggest expectation was that I thought I would have time for other activities beyond exploring. The back of the Rav 4 is filled with 15 books I had hoped to read, and all my painting supplies. The amazing part of this journey is that there is always something to see or do. While we drive, I’m more interested in seeing the world go by than reading my books. I do feel like painting at times, but we don’t usually make it to camp until 10 pm when it is too dark to paint and I’m already too tired from the day. Plus, looking and exploring new things all day long is tiring just in itself. At home, I have so much routine which gives me energy for my creative pursuits. But this journey, I’m constantly seeing something new and learning more than I could imagine. By 8 pm, I’m exhausted and my brain can’t absorb much more. I was definitely surprised by how tired I get from this journey. But it’s just a good sign that I’m having an amazing trip and fully living it 🙂
When we do take breaks at cafes, I typically work on this blog and charge my camera batteries. There is so much to describe from what I’ve seen so far, each blog takes awhile to write. (I admit I’m horrible at editing my own work, so I know there are grammatical errors when I publish). I am using my photos from my iPhone for the blog, so that saves me some time since I’ve already edited those pictures. The photos from my camera will be a post journey memorial since I’ll need to sit down and work on them in the time I don’t have on this journey.
Now, this is not a complaint in anyway. I love everything that I am seeing and doing. I just really underestimated how much time we’d spend exploring. But I’m so glad there is so much to see and experience. I was also feeling a bit guilty about not getting to paint much, but I will be able to paint from all my photos so I’m not going to worry. I do own Jerri a painting, which I will finish before I get home 🙂 (probably in Texas, when I’m visiting family and it’s easier to clean up)
Another expectation was how many clothes I was going to need for the trip. I packed 8 outfits, with an additional layer for cold weather. I should have only brought 3 outfits with me. At some point, I might ship some of these clothes back to my parents house in Utah. My dad is complaining that he brought to many clothes as well. We also brought a cooler that we’ve only used to store hats. It might be time to load it up with all our extra stuff and ship it back. My mom does want us to ship her a lobster, so maybe we just put it all together :-S
Finally, I had originally wanted to go on this trip alone as a growing experience. So I’ve teased my dad a bit that he crashed my trip. But honestly, it has made it a lot easier to not be alone on this journey. Navigating around is so much simpler with my dad driving and me just telling him where to go. I don’t know if we would have made it through Chicago without both of us. Those roads are crazy confusing. Plus, if I had gone alone, I would need to stop every 5 minutes to take pictures and not get anywhere. With Dad driving, I’m able to watch and take photos along the way. I can also really pay attention to the world around me since I don’t have to focus on driving. I might tease dad when he gets impatient or in a hurry, but it’s been great having him on the trip. Plus, Dad would rather be driving, so I’ve been able to be the passenger the entire time, and usually he lets me explore what I want to see.
So if you plan to do a road trip across the US as well, here’s my advice. Leave the books and art supplies home. Grab your camera and journal. Pack and then cut everything by half before you head out the door. And last, find a travel partner so you can have a chance to actually see the world around you and not just concentrate on driving.