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8 Favorite Destinations, Year 4

Hike to Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

Four years ago we set out to travel the country fulltime in an R.V. When people asked us how long we planned to live in a motor home, the best answer we could give them was “until we’re done.” We didn’t know how long it would take for us to see everything we wanted to see or how long we’d enjoy (or tolerate) living in what amounts to a fancy truck. We now know.

It took us just shy of four years to zigzag across the country from Maine to San Diego and make the roughly 250 other stops we wanted in between. Year four took us along the West Coast, out to Hawaii and up to Alaska, where we completed our westward migration.

With our domestic travels largely completed, we traded in our motor home for a couple of backpacks and set off to see the wider world.

If you ask us now how long we plan to travel this way, lugging all our worldly possessions on our backs, the best we can tell you is “until we’re done.” We may not know the path ahead, but we do have pretty clear recollections of the year we’re leaving behind.

With that in mind, here’s a list of our favorite destinations from our fourth full year of fulltime travel. As always with these posts, the destination header links to the original blog post on the topic. 

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An Honest Appraisal of Our Alaskan Travels

Trail of Blue Ice, Alaska

It was the best of times, it was just meh sometimes, it was an occasion for adventure, it was an occasion for boredom, it was a place of indescribable beauty, it was a place of insufferable kitsch – in short, Alaska was what we brought to it and sometimes what we brought just wasn’t enough.

Before leaving for Alaska I spoke with a woman who owns a campground that is a common launching point for road trips to the great white north. She said that people returning from their dream Alaskan excursion tell her they either loved the trip or hated it. Before actually going I couldn’t understand how anyone could hate Alaska. Now that I’m back, I can perhaps see where they’re coming from even if I don’t share the intensity of those feelings.

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Sitka Harbor, Alaska

Sitka Alaska Harbor

Colorful Creek Street, Ketchikan

Creek Street Ketchikan Alaska

Back in the day, this former red-light district perched on the banks of Ketchikan Creek drew “both men and salmon upstream to spawn.” Summer still brings the salmon, but these days tourists have replaced the Johns, and chotchkie shops now fill the colorful structures that once housed Ketchikan’s legendary bordellos.

Surprising Sitka

Sitka National Historical Park

Colorful totems were the main draw in Sitka National Historical Park. That is, until we saw a man striding through a clearing in the woods with a cello in hand. Intrigued, we hung around and were treated to an impromptu mini concert by Zuill Bailey, Artistic Director of the Sitka Summer Music Festival, who was using the spruce forest as the backdrop for a promotional video.

That was the warm-up act.

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