End of the Road

Red Rock Road Southern Utah

Our RV road trip is nearing an end. Some months ago we realized that this chapter of our lives was coming to a close. Now, the next chapter is starting to come into focus.

Over the next 18 months we expect to mostly complete our tour of the United States. We’ll spend this winter making our way up the Pacific Coast and be in position to hit Alaska next summer. Over the fall we’ll work our way back down through eastern Washington, Oregon and California. By the time we reach Yosemite National Park, we’ll mostly be done RVing.

From there we might go on a short tour to promote Shannon’s upcoming book, Writers between the Covers (depending on release date) or drive back east to hit some of the places in the middle of the country we missed. Either way, sometime in 2014 we expect to be finished with our North American road trip.

What we won’t be finished with is travel. After thinking through all of the various options, we expect we’ll trade in our RV and most of our things for a couple of backpacks and finally begin our long-delayed world tour.

The thought of getting rid of most everything (again) brings familiar feelings. The RV has been our home for the past several years and there’s something comforting in the idea of hanging on to it. But, the truth is, we’ve been here before. It’s hard to see what about our current situation is really different. Having decided once to sell everything we couldn’t bring with us, I expect we’ll make that same choice again.

The upside of shedding the RV, our car and everything else is that our already low financial overhead will drop to a pittance. Our fixed monthly expenses will consist only of health insurance and a global cellular plan. That’s it. The rest of our budget will be available to cover travel expenses.

Once unburdened of our things, we’ll buy a one-way ticket somewhere and start making our way around the world. We’re thinking of heading east to Europe first, maybe starting in Iceland on our way to the U.K. and beyond. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to Europe and both of us are anxious to get back. It also seems like a good place to ease into a new lifestyle: noshing a croissant and sipping espresso at a sidewalk café in a century’s old piazza has delicious appeal.

How long this next chapter lasts is anyone’s guess. When we set out in the R.V. we figured we’d do it “until we’re done.” It looks like that will turn out to be about four years.

We’re similarly placing no restrictions on this next leg of our trip. We don’t plan to hurry around the world in a single year or two the way some RTW (‘Round the World’) travelers do. Places we like we’ll probably explore as thoroughly as we did the U.S. I expect in some countries visa expirations will be the greatest motivating factor in moving us along. We don’t really know, though. Mostly, we’ll just figure it out as we go.

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30 Comments on “End of the Road”

  1. rambler79 October 3, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Love your attitude! And Love the photo!

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Why thank you!

  2. Animalcouriers October 3, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    We look forward to you coming to Europe and all the images you’ll post then.

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Us too. LOL.

  3. cyclingrandma October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Lucky you!

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Yup. We even wrote a recent post on that. ;-)

  4. the drunken cyclist October 3, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Glad to hear it is not ‘really’ ending!

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Just a Chapter Ending, really.

  5. nikki October 3, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    For us sometimes we find it hard to stay in the moment when we are already looking ahead. I will be curious to see if you find yoursleves doing the same.
    I can’t wait for the scaling down to the backpack posts!

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      Hi Nikki,
      We have such a great itinerary in front of us (the California Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest) I doubt we’ll have much trouble enjoying the moment. I do expect that we’ll be checking in with you to see what you learned selling Windy. At the moment I’m avoiding thinking about how we’ll sell the RV we’re living in without simply giving it away.

  6. Mazigrace October 3, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    You are living the dream! How exciting. You are going to love Alaska. Contact me if you want some insider secrets.

  7. lyonsroarforgod October 3, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Wow…sounds wonderfully exciting! Enjoy every moment. :)

  8. BagspackedI'moff October 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    This bit made me smile ”Our RV road trip is nearing an end…..Over the next 18 months….” It was also mightily impressive: I was expecting you to say over he next couple of months not 18!! Well I suppose nearing to an end can mean different things to different people:-)
    Re the RV. A possibility. (Please note this comes from someone who knows zero about selling cars, RVs or anything similar) How about selling it (or even giving it away or at a lower price) to someone who is about to embark on a similar road trip to yourselves. That way you know it will be put to good use and you can enjoy thinking about the next owner’s adventures!

    • Brian October 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Ha. True, “over the next couple of months” probably more commonly follows “nearing an end.” But in our case, we’ve gone from having an infinite time horizon to one of just 18 months . . . seems right around the corner in comparison.

      As far as the RV goes, we could think about it a bit more creatively. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. www.travelwithkevinandruth.com October 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Your thoughts are much like ours. We aren’t ready to give up the motorhome yet but we certainly enjoyed our summer backpacking in Europe. Like you, we love to enjoy the trip and take it slow.

  10. otionblog October 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Sounds like a fantastically flexible plan! Enjoy, and congratulations to you both!

  11. earthriderjudyberman October 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    I want to wish you and Shannon the very best. I’ve enjoyed being along for a part of your journey.

  12. Emily Rain October 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    The photo gave life to it. Whew. Wonderful.

  13. Ms. Jolly Blogger October 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    S great that you’re able to travel so freely for that long! I hope I get a chance to travel like that one day….wonderful picture! :)

  14. Karen Purcell October 4, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Awww feels kinda sad and yet you’ve got another 18 months to go! Chapters closing always makes me sad for a little while and then I get a real rush of excitement and then on I go! If you ever get to Cardiff – look us up. If we are still there….went travelling west at the weekend and decided once the kids leave home it would be fab to retire to a little cottage sandwiched between the sea and the mountains and live very simply, so-called ‘retired’, grow our own food and just enjoy Creation! We did a lot of travelling before kids so don’t feel so much like jumping on planes these days! Plenty to do in Europe though…….looking forward to the Alaska photos…should be awesome.

  15. bpntrp October 4, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Enjoyed your post. The photo is what attracted me. It is just wonderful, like everyone said. You are welcome to Nepal. SMiles from Kathmandu..

    • Brian October 6, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      We are greatly looking forward to Nepal. See you soon. :-)

  16. Barbra & Jack Donachy October 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Look us up when you get to beautiful Seward, Alaska. Alaska is an amazing place…the real definition of the word awesome.

    Barbra and Jack on the sailing vessel Bandon, Seward, Alaska

  17. blinkpack October 9, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    Josh here from the BlinkPack blog. I wish I had found you sooner. This is a great blog, and though I am finding it at the end of the journey, I am excited to connect with all you have learned. I am hoping my family and I can make a similar break somewhere down the road. Are there any posts you have that could help me understand how to start thinking about it? Cheers!

    • Brian October 9, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Josh,
      Better late than never, as they say. Your question (“how to start thinking about it?”) is a really broad one. You’ll find some answers in a variety of posts we’ve put in our How To section. Let us know if you don’t find what you’re looking for in there.

      Happy travels,
      Brian

  18. Arizona girl October 12, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Very exciting and admirable!

  19. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad) October 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    It is amazing how much stuff one can let go off and still live happily! We sold off everything to live in our Motorhome and now have too much things that we dont really need or use :)
    Interesting times ahead – love the idea of backpacking. Especially the freedom to come and go!

  20. top rated carpet cleaning services August 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back
    down the road. Cheers

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