After two nights in Delaware, we decided to head directly to New York (to my parents’ house) because we were in need of some R&R. We have intentions of cleaning out Michael’s truck to limit some of the items we are bringing for the next leg of the trip as well as transferring a bunch of our items to my MINI for the second leg of the trip, which will cover Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Challenge 1: It was definitely a learning process for us, as we were unsure as to what items were needed for our trip. We definitely ended up over-packing, so it was sometimes difficult for us to locate items we needed throughout the days. In addition to the excessive items we had in the truck, we also did not have a solid plan of attack when moving from one state to the next. Often times we found ourselves staying up until 1AM or 2AM in attempts to search for things to do and places to stay at our next location. Towards the end, we got better at selecting our hotel or campsite options. We have learned that for every state or two that we visit, we need to allocate some time for us to just do nothing: sort of like traveling is our so-called “work” time with a much-needed 2-day weekend “break” every week or so. Moving forward we will spend more time planning and booking most of our campsites and hotels more in advance.
In addition to finding the time to do nothing, we also have learned a lot more about each other during these past few weeks of traveling on our own. Because we previously interacted a lot less throughout the day, we felt time was insufficient. Now we see each other 24/7! We sort of think of this as our mid to late twenties crisis or mini retirement before moving full-force into our busy lives. It’s funny how time just flies by so quickly. There are so many things we were planning on getting accomplished: studying, relaxing, exploring, taking photos, updating family and friends back home, learning, planning a wedding, and more!
Challenge 2: At times we have realized it has become a challenge to balance all of these things at once. We need to come up with a better solution to managing our busy lives and communicating with everyone at the same time. It’s difficult because we are on a semi-vacation, but we are also “plugged-in” at the same time. So we constantly need to have access to internet and our phones need to be turned on at all times. We do not have the leisure to “escape” yet. We believe the third leg of our trip (to start in September) will give us a chance to really be able to travel further west. That will be a whole new perspective. Throughout the first leg of the trip, Michael did not feel as though we were far from home and really traveling. I actually felt like we were in different places, but it’s interesting because camping in different states does not give us a lot of time for exploration within city limits (unless we drive, park and explore). We should figure out a way to be one with nature and also be able to travel in urbanized areas.
Challenge 3: We found it really difficult to keep track the days of the week and which state we were currently in (even though we only hit eight states, including Illinois). So we are thinking that maybe we should put post-it notes in the car of the city/state and day of the week/date it is in the car (similar to a makeshift calendar).
Overall thoughts: Because the first leg of our Journey Across All 50 has come to an end, we wanted to express some of our feelings and thoughts aside from describing all of the sights we have seen, food we have tasted, and things we have done. Without the support from our family and friends, this trip would not be possible. And, we wanted to send out love to everyone who has been following along in our journey.