Six Months On The Road: Five Things We Missed

Today marks 6 months since we set off in our truck/home on this grand adventure. Over the past 6 months, we’ve driven over 17,000 miles through 16 different states (though we only touched a corner of Kansas).

In the past 6 months, we’ve made new friends all over the country. We’ve talked about what our post-travel life, whenever that is, will possibly look like. We’ve learned new skills, from milking goats to riding horses to building green.

One of the most important things that traveling has shown us though are the things from our previous lives that we miss. It’s been a great time to examine our priorities and figure out exactly what we really want in our post-travel life and what is secondary.

Of course, we miss our family and friends. That goes without saying. Beyond that though, here are 5 things each of us have missed and that we look forward to getting back to one of these days.

Her Story

There are DEFINITELY things I have missed while we’ve been traveling. Are these things worth giving up a life on the road? Not yet. But when we come home for a visit, I always realize what things I have missed the most. Here are my top 5…at least for today!

Baking – I’ve mentioned this one before, but I definitely miss baking, specifically in my own kitchen. Although many of our WWOOF, HelpX and WorkAway hosts (plus my mom on our 2 visits home!) have been nice enough to let me invade their kitchens to get my fix, baking in a foreign kitchen just isn’t the same. I miss having my Kitchen Aid mixer, my King Arthur pans, and all of my other tested and well used baking gear…from which I know the results to expect! Thank goodness I was smart enough not to sell any of the baking supplies when we were preparing for homelessness – I’ll need them when we eventually put down roots again!!

My Own Place – Although some may find this shocking, I don’t mean my own place away from Scott. Even after spending almost every moment together for the past 6 months, I still love him and enjoy the time together. What I do mean by “my own place” is that I miss having my own home as opposed to always living in someone else’s house or even in a hotel (sorry, our wonderful truck and tent just aren’t the same either). There’s just something wonderful about sleeping in your own bed, showering in your own bathroom and not feeling like a guest 24/7. We have stayed with absolutely wonderful people on our trip who have made us feel like a part of their family, but it’s still hard to always be adjusting to new living arrangements and habits. Even staying with friends & family on visits back to Louisville can’t replace having your own home.

A Routine – As much as I like adventure and new experiences, I also like structure. So I miss the routine you have with a job, a home, and a traditional life. I am a planner and I like to be organized (no matter what my old office used to look like…). It is definitely easier to stay organized when you have a fairly consistent daily routine, and I am probably a more efficient person when I have a more regular schedule. When we do the various farm stays with WWOOF, WorkAway and HelpX, I enjoy the schedules that come along with our visits, but obviously those 2 or 3 week schedules are short-lived.

Feeling Pretty – I would never describe myself as a girly girl. I’ve always been much more of a tomboy (come on, how many girly girls would give up a comfy life with a nice apartment & steady income for camping and shoveling animal poop?). That said…I still like to feel pretty every so often. In my former life, I definitely indulged. Monthly visits for waxing at Clique and haircuts at MnO Salon, occasional manicures and pedicures, and plenty of days where I wore cute dresses, strappy sandals, contacts, and make-up. These days I rarely change out of jeans and t-shirts, I almost never do more than throw my hair in a ponytail, and I only put on make-up & contacts for special occasions. And as sweet as Scott can be, it’s just hard to feel cute when you’re wearing boots covered in goat poop.

Down Time – Life on the road is definitely busy. Whether we are working on a farm and getting up early to milk goats or visiting National Parks on off days or our “touristy” times, there is always something to do. We don’t want to miss seeing any of the cool spots along our route! On the rare occasions when we don’t have work or some cool place to visit, there are pictures to review and posts to write for our blog. I miss the occasional Sunday afternoon of baking for the fun of it or just vegging out in front of the TV with a marathon of old movies.

His Story

Here are five things I’ve come to have quite an appreciation for while traveling. I’m in no way ready to stop the travels just yet so I can have these five things back, but it’s been nice to see just what I really look forward to having in the future. More importantly, traveling has given me a good idea of the things not to spend my time, energy, and money on in the coming years.

A gym and a track – If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s being active and staying in shape. For me, that means lifting heavy weights and running fast. While I can do sprints most anywhere, doing my workouts on a track adds something to it. We’ve only had a few chances to get to an actual gym and do some real lifting, which I took full advantage of, but I look forward to having a gym one of these days.

Playing drums – I might not be the next coming of John Bonham, but hammering on my drums is one of the most enjoyable hobbies I’ve ever had. For now, I’m relegated to tapping along on the steering wheel while we drive, much to Edie’s amusement.

A kitchen that isn’t in a Rubbermaid container – We have a pretty sweet camp kitchen setup. It’s basic, but it gets the job done, enabling us to make some rather gourmet meals even when out in nature. I do look forward to having a kitchen that I don’t have to pack back into a Rubbermaid storage container when the dishes are cleaned though. It’ll also be nice to have a pantry and spice cabinet instead of two more Rubbermaids.

Not repacking my life every few weeks…or days – It’s great fun going here and there, seeing the country and so on. But there’s definitely something to be said for having a closet and a chest of drawers rather than living out of a suitcase…or rather half a suitcase because Edie gets the other half.

A mailing address – If you want to add difficulty to your life, try going without a permanent mailing address for months at a time. When you need to have something shipped to you, you have to figure out where you’ll be and when, then hope the timing works out properly for the package to arrive.

The Real Story from Knox

Mommy and Scott aren’t the only ones missing things from the old life. This dog also has a few things he misses.

Grandma! – Of course, I miss Grandpa and Aunt Julie too. But I’ve really missed Grandma and the pancakes, ice cream, popsicles, eggs, and sausages that go with all of the cuddles, petting, belly rubs, and general loving.

Horses that don’t fight back – One of my favorite things about Louisville: horses that just stand there while you bite them. All over the city are these horses with crazily colored fur. There’s one that’s blue on one side and red on the other. There’s even one that has fur that looks like a city park. When I see one, I always bark, growl, and bite it on the leg. And since I’m so intimidating, it just stands there…it knows not to mess with Big Bad Knox.

My friends at Bed & Biskit Pet Lodge – Trips home are always great because I get to go visit the nice people at Bed & Biskit Pet Lodge (I promise I like you, Dr. Kaur…even if I snarl at you every time I see you!). I used to get to see them daily while Mommy was at work, but now I only see them a few times a year to get my hair cut. Even though they sometimes give me shots or make me wear one of those lampshade things (like when I ripped my nails on Grandma’s fence…), I always enjoy my trips to the daycare.

My ladies back home – Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting new ladies around the country. I’m talking to you Mishka, Peanut, Goodall, Sasha, and Macy. But there’s something about the old shorties back at home that I just can’t forget. So here’s a shout-out to my old favorites: Tia, Tori, Lexi, and Georgia. No matter what, I’ll never forget the good times we had.

Knowing where I’ll wake up – Like Mommy and Scott, I do enjoy the road. How many other dogs have peed on trees in 18 different states and get to look forward to another 10 or 12 more in the next few months? On the other hand, like a kid, I enjoy some stability. So it’s always a surprise to me when they pack up the truck and load me in. Inevitably, I fall asleep, waking up a few hours later in another new and strange land with new smells, new sights, and new trees to christen.