We’ve been on the road full-time for two years now, as of mid-June. We started our journey with the thought that we could probably see and do everything we wanted to do in about three years. We were so wrong. If anything, our list of places to see and things to do is growing exponentially. And because we like to travel slowly, and to take the time to linger and become “temporary locals” in places that we find captivating, we will likely be traveling for a good long while yet.
We’ve seen and done a lot in our two years of full-time travel (and in our many years of previous travels). But there’s a lot left to do. Still on our short-list is a meandering journey up the east coast for a summer in Nova Scotia, wending our way back down through New England for the fall colors. Another summer will be devoted to the Canadian Rockies. Colorado is calling, as is Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming. Alaska? Maybe. And we never tire of our explorations in the Pacific Northwest, the San Juan Islands, California, the Southwest, and the South.
We’re so glad we pushed ourselves out of our cozy and familiar lives in Ashland to embark on this journey. I knew that if we didn’t do this now, there would come a time when we would regret the road not taken. That doesn’t mean that we don’t still miss our hometown and our community of dear friends. We’re grateful that we’re still welcomed with open arms when we return. And I’m keenly aware of all that we’re missing by not staying put in one place.
Sometimes I’ve wished I were one of those people who say, “Yep, lived here all my life. Never left. Everything I need is right here.” But as much as I love the deep roots of home and close friendships, I’ve always had in equal measure the desire to experience other places, and other ways of living and being in this world. For now, continuing our lifestyle of traveling full-time feels like the right choice.
We still often look at each other and say, “Wow, we’re actually doing this!” I’m not sure if that feeling will ever wear off—I hope it doesn’t. Even with the bumps in the road—and there have been some significant ones—this has been a wonderful journey. We’re excited about what lies ahead. And we’re delighted that you’re coming along with us.
Here, a selection of photos from our second year on the road:[portfolio_slideshow]
If you are going to go all the way up to Nova Scotia you should really go the rest of the way over to Newfoundland. We’ve been here 6 weeks now and are loving it!
That sounds great! Newfoundland looks gorgeous. Definitely on our list for when we make the trek to Nova Scotia. Thanks for commenting. :-)
How you managed to pick through 2 years of just stunning blog post pictures to come up with this terrific group of professional shots I just do not know. But hats off to you for doing it. I really loved looking at each and every one. We’ve definitely had some bumps on our 5 years and some real restrictions but we wouldn’t change fulltiming for anything and hope to do it until they throw us off the road. Congratulations! Hope to see you somewhere in Florida this winter.
Sherry, I only picked through photos from year 2 — but it was a daunting project (albeit wonderful to relive our memories). I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. And I’m so happy to hear that Florida is still in your plans for this winter — we’ll definitely be seeing you!
Congratulations on your two year travel-aversary! I can completely relate to everything you said about not knowing when you’ll “be done”. We also thought after two or three years we would be ready to settle down, but 3+ years later there is no end in sight. I enjoy not knowing. There’s something very appealing to a future that is open to endless possibilities. Wishing you many more years of happy travel!
Thanks, Amanda! Yes, it is very appealing to have a future open to endless possibilities. And also sometimes crazy making, because there are so many great options.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly and filled the 2 years has been!! We are in your shadow…celebrating 2 years on the road…I think we took off a month or so after you & Eric. We can’t imagine living our lives in any other way at this point:-) Thanks as always for sharing!
Bettina, it is difficult to imagine settling down again at this point — I suppose we’ll know when the time comes, but for now, there are so many more trails to hike, rivers to kayak, and birds to see! Happy on-the-road anniversary to you two, as well! :-)
Cheers to you Laurel and Eric, it was quite a ride. We too are stumped when asked similar questions. I guess it is the not knowing that kept us going through and enjoying this lifestyle.
While it’s true there are bumps on the road, to me those are just jolts to remind us of why we are doing this and not be complacent.
Even if we have finished our 49 state goal, there is still lots to do and see in this beautiful country.
Great collections of photos of the year that just passed.
I sure hope our paths will cross again.
Congratulations, and here’s to more safe travels!
Thanks, ML. It has been quite the ride, in many ways. Traveling definitely helps to keep us out of “ruts.” You and Steve are grand travelers and adventurers — we will be happy to go out of our way to meet up with you guys, hopefully many more times in our travels!
You’ll know. We, and friends of ours who were fulltimers, never pictured leaving the full-time life… but one day it was just time, and we knew it. Some leave to tend to family needs, some due to health problems, some because they once again see advantages to staying put. And I am pretty sure that no one who considered themselves fulltimers ever saw and did everything they wanted to before they hung up the keys!
Both Odel and I consider the years we spent fulltiming to be the best of our lives. I’m happy that we knew it as we did it, and never took our freedom for granted. We have wonderful memories of our years of travel and are amazed by how those travels improved our appreciation of life, even now that we no longer fulltime. So glad to see you getting the most out of your travels.
Laurie, I always love hearing from you. You and Odel were a great inspiration to us in taking the leap into full-time travel. We are so grateful to have this opportunity — traveling full-time is enriching our lives in ways that we couldn’t have imagined, including creating a store of memories that will sustain us throughout our lives.
I guess to those not on the road asking us how long we plan to do this is a fair question. We started our sixth year in mid June:) We thought we would do a year and then probably be a little bored, and we would volunteer in the National Parks. Boy, we were so wrong. We haven’t been bored one day and don’t see an end any time soon. There is still too much yet to see. This country is very large. And Canada is so close!!
We loved our two visits to the Maritime Provinces. One of our favorite locations yet, however, was the Canadian Rockies and our time in Alberta. Hiking in Jasper and Banff NP and the surrounding area was unforgettable!!
We sure are all blessed aren’t we, as we journey through this life of retirement:) Love that header photo:)
Congratulations on six years, Pam! Your hiking experiences in Jasper and Banff have inspired us to travel there. With so many places to explore, we can’t imagine being bored, either. :-)
Laurel, you and Eric will love Alberta!! September was a great time to visit. It was still quite crowded and we did have to make reservations ahead.
Nova Scotia?!! What a wonderful trip that will be. I love that province. I lived in PEI (Prince Edward Island) for a few years when my mom moved up there while I was in college. You must cross over to PEI while in NS. And now there is even a bridge which wasn’t there in my day. I lived in New Glasgow, close to Cavendish Beach, where the Anne of Green Gable books were based. I agree with your friend about going up to Newfoundland, though that’s a long trip. If you go there, you must read the autobiography called “Where I Belong” by front man for the wonderful Newfie/Canadian band Great Big Sea.
Janet, I didn’t know that you lived in PEI! That’s one of the places we’re looking forward to exploring. Thanks for the book recommendation for Newfoundland — I love reading about places that we’re planning to visit.
It is a wonderful lifestyle! So glad you two are having fun despite the occasional bumps in the road. Wishing you many more years of happy travels…as long as you feel like continuing!
Thanks, Lisa. It truly is a wonderful lifestyle — your recent travels in South Dakota and Wyoming are giving us lots of great ideas for future ventures.
Happy 2 Year Anniversary. The 2 year point for us now seems so far away. It’s been 7 months since we hung up our keys after 9 wonderful glorious years on the road. It warms my heart to see others who have followed behind enjoying the same freedom and daily wonderment that we did. I still miss the travel and our rig, only recently selling it to a new pair of brand new full-timers. I miss the lure of new places still unseen and don’t think I will ever completely get over the wanderlust, but it is what it is.The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Many more happy days and years to you.
Thank you, Jo. Your stories of your travels helped us make the decision to go full-time. Nine years on the road is quite an accomplishment! That seems like a long time from the standpoint of only two years. But considering the length of our list of travel desires, we could easily end up out here for seven more years!
Congrats on the start of your third year. August signals the start of our fifth year as full-timers and we have no regrets. We are just leaving Michigan, heading toward Newfoundland.
So much to see and so little time….
R & K
PS – See you in Florida this winter.
Yay, congratulations on year five! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures in Newfoundland. Will we have to wait until we see you in Florida? :-)
Ooof, I hope not… Hope to have a new blog post up soon…
Congratulations on 2 fantastic years of adventure. Seems you and I started our full-time journey at the same time. What a wonderful collection of photos that took me a while to go through. Here’s to another 2 years of fun excursions. Happy trails.
Congratulations on your two-year anniversary, as well, Ingrid! It took me way too long to choose photos and upload them, but I was hoping that people could browse through them in about two minutes. :-)
Congratulations on two amazing years on the road. I love all your photo choices Laurel. It was interesting to go through your beautiful images and know the location quite often, having been to many of the same places ourselves. It is probably the not knowing when to call it quits on the road that keeps it exciting, knowing there is always something fascinating just around the next bend. So glad that our wandering ways brought us across your path. Here’s to many more years of grand adventures!
I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, LuAnn. It’s fun knowing that you’ve been so many of the same places, and even better experiencing some of the same places with you guys. Yes, here’s to many more years of grand adventures!
Wonderful to travel through the last year with you through your amazing photos, seeing a few familiar places and many grand ones yet to come. We just got started and already get the question – we just smile and say “When we don’t want to do it anymore.”
I like your answer, Jodee! It’s such a wonderful and expansive life adventure, and one that we’re so grateful to have the opportunity to experience. Cheers to you on beginning your journey!
Thanks for sharing your adventures and pictures. We thought we were ready to stay home a year ago. We just returned to living on the road and feel lucky we have the same nomadic desire.
Debbie, I admire you for being willing to follow your heart’s desire. Even though I still love “home” I sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever be able to settle down again in one place.
Congratulations on two years on the road.
I love every entry and envy you both so much.
Take care and safe travels.
Thank you, Carol. It’s been a wonderful journey and we’re very grateful to have this opportunity. Glad to have you along with us!
Since so many of us have that urge and never follow through with it, it’s lovely to have your blog (and you!) to live that life vicariously.
Thank you, Gretchen. Were it not for our traveling lifestyle, we wouldn’t have met you! Your friendship has definitely enriched our time on Lopez Island.