writing from: joshua tree national park
Well friends, we've been on the road full-time for a little over a week now and it honestly feels like we packed up our apartment in Texas years ago. This past week has been so full. One thing people kept asking us before we left was "does it feel real yet?" and "at what point do you think it'll feel like real life, not just another trip?" and we had no idea how to answer those questions. Now, looking back, there was never a single moment it started feeling real. We met some friends for lunch the day we left, just an hour after packing it all up and pulling out of the driveway, and it felt funny to be sitting at Subway in Kerrville doing something so normal - lunch with good friends - but our entire life was packed into our rig, just sitting in the parking lot waiting to begin our biggest adventure yet. When we all finished eating, they asked us where we were headed. Such a simple question, but it carried so much weight in that moment. We had no idea. We knew the place we'd like to camp that night, but we had no clue what the next few days, weeks, or years would hold. They sent us off with hugs and prayers and we headed West on I-10. Something we've done so many times, but this one was different. This one had no end cap, no itinerary (unless you count "be in LA in a week and a half" an itinerary), and seemingly no limits.
Looking back, that would've been the time for it to "hit us," but there was no big moment. That being said, this has felt different from our past trips from the moment we set our first camp. We have had so much more time to chill, explore, and change plans last-minute. My favorite example of this is the day we randomly saw signs for City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico and decided to go see it. When we got there, we parked the car and hopped on our bikes with the crash pad (for bouldering) and a camera. We just biked around, stopping at whatever rocks looked fun to climb. We had no schedule, no pressure to send the best routes or get the best photos, just the joy of biking around a new place and stopping occasionally to practice our crafts. It was a beautiful example of WHY we did this. This past week has been amazing for so many reasons, but I'd say one of the biggest is the freedom we've experienced. We are so incredibly thankful to have found a craft that we love, that allows us to work with amazing people and travel to amazing places, that gives us the freedom to pursue the things that fill us with joy every single day.
Another huge thing we worried about before setting out was finding community. When we chose to do this, we made the extremely painful and difficult decision to leave an amazing tribe. We gave up living in close proximity to some of our best friends. We worried we wouldn't be able to be as social once we were on the road, but this week has proven that fear wrong. Not only were we lucky enough to spend three nights with a good friend in Zion National Park (one of which we hottubed until 1:30am talking about just about everything under the sun), but we also got to meet up with some new friends (a photographer I had befriended on FB and her husband) that we absolutely loved getting to know and I'm sure will be some long-term adventure buddies. As I type this, we're in Joshua Tree National Park with plans to spend the day with one of Callen's old friends.
It's amazing to me how many of our preconceived fears have already been addressed and how fulfilling this lifestyle has already been. We still have plenty of fears, and it definitely hasn't been perfect (I had a pretty solid melt-down tears and all a few days ago) but it feels so right. We are so happy. We are so thankful for the desires God placed in our hearts to get our here and do this, and for the company He's provided along the way. We're also incredibly thankful for our extended community, every person that has said a prayer, sent well wishes, and taken the time to follow along. Here are a few photos from our first week living life on the road!