It is not the kind of tired that can be remedied by a nap or good night's rest. I feel drained and mentally exhausted. The van is running again, at least we think it is. There are still times it chokes going up steep inclines which leaves an uneasy feeling that we may break down at any time again. We are looking for a home and traveling in-between locations, however the travel aspect is becoming less appealing. Before we got this van, we were jerking our lives around pretty regularly between housing and jobs. And now that we have the freedom to go anywhere and make our home, we feel burnt out and drained. I am starting to come to the realization that we all need a good rest. We are not tired from vanlife alone but rather from the constant blur our lives have been over the last couple of years. I think it is time to slow down and recharge with a more meaningful direction.
We hiked up Bannock Trail yesterday.
lIt felt good to be outside and get in a killer leg workout. We gained just below 2,000 feet of elevation with baby in tow on our backs the whole way up (We took turns, thank goodness). Being outside always makes me feel 100%, especially when doubled up with a good thigh burner. I have felt selfish lately, though. I want to see the world, climb new peaks, and explore new countries, but Olin is my first priority. And, I am pretty sure she is having a great time on the road, but deep down- I feel the need to create a more stable environment for her to grow up in. When I was younger, my mom and I moved around a lot. And to be honest, I loved it. Nothing ever stayed the same for longer than a year. We lived in houses, trailers, and apartments all around different towns. Maybe, that's why I always crave new places and environments. But, I want Olin to grow up in a home knowing that she always has a place to come back to when life gets big and confusing. And I want to make that my number one priority in making a safe place where she feels comfort and security. And while I am so beyond thankful for the places we have gotten to see together as a family, I believe it is time to settle into somewhere for a bit. Somewhere we can commit to a garden and getting to know neighbors. Somewhere we can feel proud of our values and share them with those around us. And somewhere we can have a purpose in a genuine career. A desk to sit at each night and commit to finishing a book. Or a shed to put a wood shop in. A yard, so we can get another dog or two. Eh, I don't know. All I do know is that we are searching, and relentless searching can be very tiresome.
What's our next move?
So with the van under repair, we are a little behind schedule. But at the same time, we never really had a set schedule so we have narrowed the rest of the trip down to give us time to find a spot for winter. As long as the van continues to run, we are heading to Yellowstone in the morning. And okay, I know I was just whining about everything, but I am absolutely stoked to take Olin and Taco to see Old Faithful for the first time (and see some more bison!). That just never gets old. After Yellowstone, we are going to drive through Bozeman, MT, Leavenworth, WA, and Bend, OR. Along the way, we will be checking out smaller towns that surround those areas and keep applying to jobs. We even looked at a house here in Idaho and both Collin and I felt a sense of home around it. We just haven't been able to land good jobs in this area and have agreed to check out other places to see what opportunities are out there, knowing that we can always come back.
Which town do you think we should stay in this winter and why?
We seek advice from friends and family, and fellow roadies. We want to be in a place where we can find stable work and affordable housing, ideally near the mountains with lots of snow and place to ski (yes I did say affordable housing and place to ski in the same sentence). Advice in the comment section, please- we need all the inputs we can get. Try to settle in and buy a house? Stay in the van through summer and rent through winter? Remote work opps? Good jobs and cities? Cool mountain towns? Give us what you got, don't be afraid to get mean- constructively mean though cause I am sensitive here.
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Dogs & Diapers
Dogs & Diapers