Is It The End of The Road for Us?

There were a lot of challenges last year and it was exhausting.

Is It The End of The Road for Us?
Photo by Taylor Leopold on Unsplash

Holy crap! It’s already 2024. 😱

Why does life seem to speed up so much the older we get? The days continually rush by like we’re doing 100mph on the highway. Everything becomes a constant blur.

We’re always busy, always rushing, always doing something to occupy our time. And then at some point our vehicle breaks down and time runs out.

We come to the end of the road. The adventure is over.

It’s kinda depressing to think about. To know that we can travel throughout our lives without ever taking the time to truly enjoy the scenery or never being able to remember the journey because we were moving so fast.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to pump the brakes.

Slow down.

Enjoy the ride.

I also can’t believe it’s been three months since we’ve posted anything online.

It’s like we just broke down and abandoned our vehicle — a sad feeling if I’m being honest. Not something we wanted to do, it just happened unfortunately.

Last year was just so different for us.

We started off 2023 with an amazing adventure to the Netherlands, spending two months with my awesome family in Maastricht. Then there were visits to France, Germany, Belgium, and Canada.

After logging many miles of roadtrips around the United States, we finally reached Alaska to celebrate our 50th state together for two glorious weeks. But it was cut short when our dream cruise was canceled the day we arrived at port. Which reminds me we need to post about that!!!

So that took the wind out of our sails and we left with broken hearts.

Ever since then we’ve been sitting idle in Oklahoma with a new truck begging for some serious adventure.

It’s been good though because we were able to help our mothers with health needs while catching up on our own doctor visits. Plus we’ve been able to spend time with family members we love.

This is Bella. She’s a lovely mess and very fun to hang out with.

We also helped our daughter Kayla move into a large new place, which has also provided us with a great place to stay and a family cat named Bella to love on. She’s become my “furry granddaughter” even though I’m allergic to cats. 😂

Overall there are no real complaints. I mean how can we really complain about traveling and seeing so many incredible places right??? #RealWorldProblems

Yet in some ways, it feels like the end of the road for us — traveling full-time that is.

Donetta and I have absolutely loved our adventures and we can’t fathom a life of settling back down. But things have rapidly deteriorated in the travel world.

I’ve written about some of the challenges before and they only seem to be growing. There’s also a couple of new potholes we didn’t expect that have really affected our plans going forward.

Our business income is changing so we have to adapt for the future.

We’ve always known the importance of multiple revenue streams because the marketplace and economy is constantly shifting. And since we work for ourselves there are luxuries not afforded to us as it might be working for someone else. So we’re launching a couple new businesses to help offset the loss of income in others.

Then there’s the new comfort of a home-base.

We decided to rent a room at our daughter’s new place which is a hell of a lot cheaper than staying in hotels and with way better amenities. Plus we love spending time with Kayla, while being able to have more of a daily routine. Besides, packing your stuff on a regular basis and driving to new locations is fun, but also exhausting at times.

While I don’t love Oklahoma anymore, it does provide us with some great options.

Back in September we started the research for outfitting our truck with a rooftop tent (RTT) and other items to give us the ability to go “glamping” while traveling. There’s plenty of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) options for free camping out West, as well as other places across the United States to live from a vehicle.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who live the van/truck life or RV lifestyle, but we’re still undecided if this is the right choice for us, even though it is a cost effective option for seeing the country in a new way.

All that being said, it’s a very difficult choice to make.

The other option is we can apply for a digital nomad visa in countries like Portugal, Spain, Belize, Costa Rica, or Croatia. This would allow us to explore new cultures while being extremely cheap compared to American standards. This is something we are discussing, especially since we could live in the Netherlands part time too.

Ultimately my dream would be a combination of having a tiny home near the Rockies in Colorado (because that feels like home) while traveling for extended periods of time throughout the year, both here and abroad.

I think this is the long term plan but the requires some serious money. 💰

Right now we’re about to head back to Sedona and Payson in Arizona for a few weeks. We love those areas and have spent quite a bit of time there. The hiking is amazing and it’s so peaceful.

We will spend some time seeing our friends in Las Vegas in March before getting a FREE week’s stay in Lake Tahoe.

In May, we’ll journey back to Alaska for a free cruise, replacing the one that got canceled last September. This will also be during our wedding anniversary so this will be a fantastic way to celebrate!

Then we’ll be in Orlando in July for Donetta’s Scentsy convention before leaving to Europe for two months.

We’ll commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Market Garden in the Netherlands, when many of the Dutch people including my grandparents, were liberated in WWII. And then hopefully we’ll visit Northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and more of Germany and Belgium on this trip.

That’s the plan right now.

Obviously it’s not all that bad in our lives. HAHA!

Donetta and I are very fortunate to have experienced what we have — both in travel and in our relationship together. There’s always things we could’ve done better along the way, but every night we go to bed with no regrets for our decisions.

I think this is what life is supposed to be about.

So often I hear people say they wish they could live their dreams. One day when they reach 70 years old or have plenty of money for retirement. One day when the kids are grown or they have their shit together.

Then one day becomes never.

Knowing there are absolutely no guarantees in life, you cannot choose to wait. We’ve almost died a few times just driving on the road the past three years. All those dreams could’ve been gone in an instant. The same could be for you.

My advice to you is to GO and experience your dream.

Stop making excuses.

Stop overthinking it.

Stop planning for one day.

Start doing.

I don’t know what the future holds for the two of us, but I do know it’s been the most awesome ride of my life. As long as Donetta and I have each other and our health, everything else is a bonus.

Happy New Year! I hope 2024 will be the start of your own adventure. 🍻