Now that we are back home from our month long trip in the van we have A LOT of time to think back on our journey.
•First, it is important to state that we did not bring a GPS on this trip. We used a National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas. Yes, Mike has a GPS on his phone. We did use it to find odd things like a laundromat or local Planet Fitness. We used the atlas for 99.9% of navigation and planning. This was one of the best choices we made.
•I realized in the final week of our trip that I don’t need anything that is in my apartment right now. I can live without it all, and have done so for a month.
•The best souvenirs are photos and memories (and stickers, according to Mike). With that said, you don’t need to photograph everything. I took a lot of photos in some places, and never took my camera out of my bag at others. The only souvenirs I bought were small thank-you gifts for those who helped me while I was away and small things for the kids to hopefully inspire them to explore when they can. I also got myself a t-shirt and earrings.
•As much as I love food, you don’t need much to live on. A good chunk of our meals were oatmeal, eggs, PB&J, or Ramen Noodles. With that said, I can’t tell you how awesome a salad bar sounds right now.
•It is so important to find at least one person whose adventurous spirit overlaps with yours. If I didn’t have Mike I don’t know whether I would have taken this trip. We are both not satisfied with the standard timeline and guidelines for life. We have dreams of our own that involve being free to roam and explore. The choices we make every day, both big and small, are made with this in mind. We were able to fulfill a dream together, and it has been a beautiful experience. We are closer now than we have ever been, and *insert mushy line here*!
•You should always do the things you’ll later on wish you had done. Conversely, don’t do things you’ll later on wish you hadn’t done. Some have heard me say this before. It is something I have given as advice, and something I use to help myself make decisions, like my decision to pull the trigger on this trip. You will have very little, if any, regret in life if you follow this.