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The Decision to Temporarily Stop Traveling

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 | 17 Comments

As I’ve mentioned in the last few posts, Shelly and I decided to stop traveling for awhile. When we started traveling, we had open-ended plans. We would travel until there was a compelling reason to stop. Here are a few of those reasons:

1. Kids and school: The homeschooling experiment has resulted in some interesting outcomes. We somehow managed to keep our kids at grade level, but they’ve gotten more real-world application than theoretical classroom application. In other words, we’ve done a great job preparing them for life, but not a great job of preparing them to be students. Since they’d likely be reintroduced to the formal schooling system at some point, we were increasingly concerned they’d have a tough time adapting to the “sit still and follow orders” environment. Having them spend a few months in the local school system should give them that exposure.

2. Finances: Traveling via RV is expensive. Our 6-8 miles per gallon Suburban is an expensive means of moving from one place to another. Also, the frequent travel requires short-term stays in campgrounds, which results in much higher rates. Staying in one spot cuts our expenses in half.

3. Kids and boredom: Our kids are experiencing a desensitization to the wonders of travel. In the beginning, they were in awe of the experiences. Today we could see a herd of pink elephants trampling out a wildfire started by a dancing bear smoking a cigar and they’d barely look up. We’ve effectively seen most of the cool shit in the areas where we travel, so they need new experiences.

4. Kids and our sanity: With the boredom comes annoying behavior. Every parent can relate to this one. Ty (3) is especially annoying, though that’s more of a function of age. Mom and dad need some quiet time.

5. New personal challenges: I’ve spent four years deeply immersed in the barefoot running world. I have no plans on backing away, but I also need something new. Explaining why calves hurt for the 10,000th time gets, well… a little boring. This is the main reason I’ve started delving into the science of gait and engaging more of the trail/ultra world. I’d also like to explore a completely new industry, though I’m not quite sure what that will be.

6. Winter: We learned this lesson the hard way last year.Travel trailers and snow/cold do not mix well. Oh sure, we have a healthy aversion to cold, but there are a lot of logistical issues winter brings. staying in a moderate climate is MUCH easier.

7. We like San Diego. Good trails, the ocean, fresh produce, good restaurants, cool people, polite drivers, lots of sun… what isn’t there to love?

While we’ll be staying in this area for the foreseeable future, we still have the ability to travel at a moment’s notice. If we do get tired on the area, we can leave. We also have the ability to travel to conduct clinics, which will likely continue.


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  1. Sandra
    November 14, 2012

    I love reading about your running adventures, but I can’t help but ask you about homeschooling. We’ve always thought about homeschooling, for the same reasons I’ve read you mention on other posts–my husband is also a teacher–and I admit I was living vicariously through you when you up and pulled them out. But you did it at such an amazing time, to travel the country with them. Now you are staying put for a bit and they are back in school…just curious, any chance you really would have pulled them without the travelling? Are they enjoying being back in a typical school environment? Do you think you’ll go back to homeschooling?

    • Jason
      November 14, 2012

      I’m not sure if we would have pulled them had we not traveled. We definitely would have investigated alternative routes (like Montessori).

      Homeschooling for us had some definite pros and cons. We used much more of an unschooling model than anything else, which was good in that it encouraged self-exploration and creativity. We were surprised both our kids integrated as well as they did; their knowledge base was ahead of most kids in their current classes. The down side- they were getting bored. It was tough to challenge them without overtly forcing curriculum.

      The decision to put them back in school is more experimental than anything. Odds are very good that we’ll do more traveling once spring arrives, so we’ll likely go back to homeschooling. This experience will ultimately help us improve our homeschooling skills and help give them the experience of traditional schools for the future.

      They like some aspects of school and dislike others. They seem to view it with a detachment other kids don’t have. They see it as just another experience almost like outside observers; not a required part of life as most kids do.

      • Sandra
        November 14, 2012

        We’d use an unschooling approach as well. Even though they’ve asked to try homschooling, its hard thinking of taking them out of their school routine with friends/community without doing something fabulous like travelling the way you did…I know they’d end up missing that community eventually, along with my husband and I. Thanks again for sharing your experience, its pretty inspiring :)

  2. Barefoot TJ
    November 9, 2012

    I doubt you will ever tire of San Diego. It’s a good place to raise your kids, as long as you choose the right part of SD. You’ll love it. I think you are making the right decision. You all need the break. -TJ

  3. alvinj88/bisaya muleng
    November 8, 2012

    well more power master Jason! but I still think you’ll be back. lol

  4. chrisdonkey
    November 8, 2012

    Really enjoyed reading about your travelling experiences. Sounds like the end of this particular road. Godspeed on any new adventures.

  5. Becky Bivens
    November 6, 2012

    I loved San Diego. Good choice. We will miss your traveling adventures but it sounds like you need a rest. Good luck. Love you all :-)

  6. John
    November 6, 2012

    San Diego…damn, definitely (and infinitely) better weather than PA…

  7. Ben W
    November 6, 2012

    Learning something new is my favorite thing to do, so I understand and appreciate your desire to grow and push yourself. Your choice of San Diego only confirms your common sense. Enjoy the time. I look forward to learning from your new adventures.

  8. David
    November 6, 2012

    Okay, fine, but I lived through an Alaskan winter in my RV…with no hookups. Down 1/4 mile of gravel road, which the borough refused to plow. I don’t think it ever went below -40 that year, so how hard could it be?

    It was interesting. I’d do it again, too. If I didn’t have the wife/kid thing going. In fact I really wish I could get that kind of time to write…but it wouldn’t be a good trade overall.

    As things are, though? Okay, I agree: it can be tough.

    Next up: You start telling people why horses don’t need shoes either? ‘Cause they don’t. {8′>

    • Jason
      November 6, 2012

      If I were single, I think I’d try the winter thing. I spent three years in Michigan’s upper peninsula, so I *have* experienced cold… I just don’t like it. The challenge would pique my interest, though.

      I had a good conversation with two farriers recently. I didn’t realize the horse shoe deate closely parallels the human shoe debate.

  9. HeatherW
    November 6, 2012

    We’ve moved nowhere near as frequently as you have, but my daughters have developed attachment issues as a result, and do not trust adults other than my husband and I. We’ve been told that getting them involved in a more stable community will help their mental health. Are you starting to see any issues like that cropping up? If so, have you had any success at dealing with them?

    • Jason
      November 6, 2012

      Actually, our kids have the opposite problem. We can leave for a week and they barely react. I’m not sure if it’s due to anything we’ve done, rather it’s a function of their personalities.

  10. Damien Tougas
    November 6, 2012

    I am going to assume that you guys probably got pretty lean on belongings and stuff that tie you down to be able to travel like you have been. Probably the best thing you could do is to try to maintain that leanness so that you are free to do the things you want. Like immerse yourself in something new.

    We have spent a lot of time structuring our lives so that we have the freedom to explore and do interesting things. Those interests may change with the seasons (and seasons of life), and not being too tied down by the “system” is key to being able to achieve that.

    • Jason
      November 6, 2012

      We’re still living in the travel trailer, so we’re severely limited on possessions. Actually, our lifestyle won’t really change at all other than slightly different activities.

      I agree about the staying lean thing, though. I think that’s ultimately what gets too many people bogged down… too much stuff. :-)

  11. Chris
    November 6, 2012

    #5- Obstacle Racing

    • Jason
      November 6, 2012

      I like the idea of obstacle racing as a means of training, but I’m not a huge fan of the obstacle race culture. I prefer the more laid-back small scale ultra community.