After spending about a year and a half on the road chasing adventure, the last month or so of rest has resulted in a great deal of personal reflection. Shelly and I finally have time to begin to digest all of the awesome things we experienced on our journey. Part of this reflection involves implicit planning.
We’re basically applying Pareto’s principle to our hobo lifestyle. We’re determining what 20% of our experiences resulted in 80% of the positive vibes, and what 20% of our experiences resulted in 80% of the negative vibes.
Some things are obvious. We know we loved the open-ended mountain running. We loved meeting new people and creating adventures with our close friends. We loved seeing new areas and trying new foods. We loved conducting the running clinics and attending the Merrell Down and Dirty races. We loved being able to spend significant time together as a couple. we even liked getting to know our children on a level that isn’t possible if we had a “traditional” lifestyle. Surprisingly, we liked the actual living arrangement of the RV lifestyle.
We also know we didn’t like the long travel days or staying in areas for only a few days. We didn’t like certain geographic areas (cough, cough, Midwest, cough). The lack of mountains sucked. We didn’t like the financial burden of high gas prices associated with frequent travel. Being with our kids 24/7 for all that time got pretty brutal, too.
Our current “staying put” time has also resulted in emotional reflection. As I discussed in my previous post, I’m beginning to fully understand my motives for running, teaching, even blogging. That has helped me develop a slightly different take on life which has influenced everything I do from running races to navigating the relationships with those around me.
All of this has resulted in some interesting ideas for future adventures. The adventures will still be based on running, but will be of a significantly different flavor. Now that we have a clearer picture of what we truly like to do, we can customize our adventures a little better. We want to do more mountain running and probably less racing, spend more time with friends, and try new hobbies. We’ll also likely explore new location-independent business opportunities to help fund our adventures.
Until that time comes, we’ll continue to enjoy the low-key “rest period” we’re experiencing right now. The physical and mental break gives us time to recharge and reflect. It also gives us time to explore things that are difficult to experience with extended travel, like developing a sense of community, enrolling our kids in school, and experiencing “weekends” again. We have some debt to pay off that resulted from the last few months of extended travel, and eliminating that responsibility is important to us. Working our “normal” jobs also gives us some enjoyment. It’s also giving me an opportunity to write about non-running topics that fascinate me, namely relationships and sexuality (not getting enough or have a partner that wants too much? Check out the newest post about partners that have mismatched sex drives). We’re learning new skills, meeting new people, earning a little extra cash.
In short, this rest period is providing us with a contrast effect. We had exciting, awesome adventures for a long period of time. This rest period not only gives us a break, but allows us to see the adventures for what they were- a life-changing experience. This break will also create the same effect for future adventures. Let’s call it ‘lifestyle cycling.”
I highly recommend it.