I now understand just how incredibly lucky I was to have traveled around the country last year without any major setbacks or obstacles. This year has been something completely different. Sounds negative right? Not even close! You will find out what I mean at the end of this.
Thinking about taking on a life on the road like me? Or maybe you just want to road trip for week and leave your everyday problems behind? Let me address a few realities for you and then I will revisit that question.
The one thing to know about life on the road is that it is much like life anywhere else. You WILL have to face your everyday problems.
Things break and yes that includes your own body. Just because you are traveling and having fun doesn’t mean that your body is free from injury or your vehicle from routine wear. A couple things to consider when thinking about that: You may have to drive several hours to the nearest medical facility. You may have to pay a good deal of money when you get there since your insurance only covers certain facilities or procedures. There may be considerable down time needed to heal up after a medical procedure or injury. Where do you do that and how?
I recently had to have a cavity filled while in Austin Texas. Much like the “insurance” most people suffer under, mine declined coverage. So I paid out of pocket and had my first filling completed on the road. I had a few days of discomfort and moved on in my travels knowing that I would eventually need to have a root canal months down the road. Well, as you can imagine I was not able to wait that long.
While in the middle of the Grand Canyon, I started having root pain that was debilitating and I couldn’t put things off any further. I left the Grand Canyon and drove over an hour to a small town called Kanab. The Dentist there offered a root canal but after learning the price and the amount of follow up needed, I opted to have the tooth “extracted” (which to me sounds like a pleasant way of saying ‘forcefully yanked out of your mouth while listening to cracking noises and feeling like your head is going to break’.) Side note: If you’re ever in Kanab and need emergency dental work, the Kanab Family Dental Office really was a great place. But getting back on point, I had spent a total of 750$ between the two dental visits and all of that was up front. Ouch.
Your body isn’t the only thing that can break and have routine wear. Yeah, your vehicle is much more susceptible to problems on the road. When things happen, they wont happen while your driving past your local dealership. Oh No. They will happen when you are out somewhere remote and when you would least prefer, forcing you to pay out of pocket for a 3 day rental car in Moab.
Just like the vehicle used for towing, the travel trailer (or in your case; your RV, trailer, rental van, or your friend’s mom’s Subaru) can have issues too. My travel trailer is an Airstream and while I truly believe their problems are about half that of any other RV or trailer on the road… it’s not indestructible. Replacing both batteries in the Florida Keys to a tune of 675$ was not ideal. Nor was it cool when the tires on the rear axle almost blew from outside edge wear and needed to be replaced in Nevada with a setback of 300$. I could go on (literally, I have a list) but then I’d miss the point.
So what am I driving at with these short stories of disappointment. The answer is this: Be Prepared. Make sure you have the means to take care of the frequent small problems as they arise (and they will believe me.) I am not just talking about having a small box of cash tucked away somewhere for emergencies either. I am talking about mental preparedness as well. Mental preparedness is the single most important thing to have with you at all times and I will be addressing that in the next blog post!
Here is the light at the end of the tunnel to my ‘reality check’ of a blog post…. All the short stories of disappointment you will have when traveling for any length of time will become something. They will become long lasting memories of that time you stared ‘Suck’ right in the face and won! I want all of you to know that you have the power to overcome it all. No matter what obstacle you are faced with. It could be a huge life altering one or a tiny ‘I just want to whine a bit and then eat ice cream on the couch’ kind of obstacle…. You CAN move on. So if you take anything at all from this post, listen up. Never say No to something because you are afraid of setbacks or things going wrong. They are going to do that no matter where you are. And if you understand that simple fact, wouldn’t you rather be living your life when they do happen?
Thinking about hitting the road and traveling for any length of time? I sure hope you DO! I can promise you that if you are present in your journey and you have a positive state of mind, that trip will be life changing!
Have an awesome story on about your own setback that ended up being something good? Please shoot me a message or a comment below.
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Next up… Spelunking Spider Cave!