Slowing Down the Pace

We’ve been on the road for 27 days, almost one month.  Timm and I had a check-in discussion to evaluate what we like and don’t like about how we’re planning and living our trip. There are many aspects we love.  However, the pace is too fast, it feels like we’re rushing through this adventure of a lifetime.  Just like in regular life, we get caught up in the day to day and forget to evaluate and change our situation for the better.  It seems obvious but it took a little reflection to realize “This is our trip.  What we don’t like, we can just change.”   So we’re doing just that, slowing down the pace.

The first problem is we weren’t’ getting enough “down time."  To date, our routine has been to have a travel day, spend 2-3 days in a spot, then drive to the next place.  We realized that this pace is too fast.  We were trying to cram hikes into those 2 days, which leaves little time to just hang out and REALLY take in a beautiful sunset or talk to the neighbors or rub Darby’s belly.

Timm relaxes outside our RV by giving Darby a belly rub.

A second problem with this pace is that within the day itself, it was too rushed.  We get up, eat breakfast, check email, pack lunch, hike. Come home around 6 p.m., eat dinner, clean up, shower, write a blog article, go to bed.  Most times, Timm was grilling out in the dark with a flashlight.  This is a sure sign that we are trying to cram too much into the day.

Most RV parks charge a penalty when you change your reservation. The final problem with going to so many parks is that it hindered our flexibility to say “I like this place a lot, let’s stay a few more days.”  By staying in fewer places, there are fewer ripple effects of adding or subtracting a day on the fly.

As a result, we’re now staying in our favorite locations longer and skipping a few parks that aren’t as interesting to us.  We’re doing a few shorter, less intense hikes.  We’re also creating more flexibility by not booking the next RV park until we know when we want to leave our current spot.

In the below picture, Timm pretends to play golf, desert-style.  Notice the rock instead of a ball on his tee.  Flintstone Golf!  Laughter at silly things is a sign that we’re doing this trip right.

photo

Today is an example of our new approach. We planned a 1.5 hour drive to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to hike a 6 mile, 1600 foot elevation gain trail.  Instead, we’re “staying home” and sort-of blowing off the day.  Timm is outside putting out the awning and petting Darby’s belly.  I may get out my guitar, something I’ve always wanted to get good at but never had the time.  Maybe in a few months, I’ll post a video playing The Long Way Around by the Dixie Chicks?

I hit the highway in a pink RV with stars on the ceiling
Lived like a gypsy
Six strong hands on the steering wheel
I’ve been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
But I’ve always found my way somehow
By taking the long way around…

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