Planning South Dakota

As you all know, it is by far one thing to HAVE an idea, and a whole other ball game to IMPLEMENT it. I can have them all the live, long day, but man oh man does it get hard to actually get it done. What I mean is that planning is fun, it is, but the “where to stay” part has me stressed out a bit.  I knew the West would be a challenge because I don’t know many people out there, but I also knew that the wide open spaces means fewer hotels and availability on camping.  Some book a year in advance for that spot in Yellowstone or Yosemite. I just want to be able to experience them, even if I can’t stay there.  So with a bit of panic in my step, I started hunkering down on where I would be sleeping in each State so that I didn’t wind up without a place to stay.  (Although I will be prepared to sleep in my car should the occasion arise).

The first month of my trip is the familiar- GA, TN, KY, IL, WI, and MN.  These are the ones that I have traveled through many a year to get to and from Disney when I lived in WI along with ones where family lives (WI and MN).  They aren’t easy in any way, and I actually will be doing all brand new stuff in each, BUT, they are familiar and I am staying with family and  friends so it makes it easier in that way. So the first real “ON MY OWN” State will be South Dakota.

Now, I was here in 2018 to see the Badlands as I passed through with Craig. It was one of THE coolest Parks I had ever seen, although Glacier is still my favorite.  I was so bummed I didn’t get to see Mount Rushmore along with many other places, so the first task is always finding a home base for the week.  That in itself takes some research…do I hotel in one place for the week or bounce around as I tour the State?  The issue with that is availability during the summer months.  And with this being the summer HOPEFULLY post Covid, I believe it will be the busiest summer for travel on record. Keep that in mind if you are making plans as well.

So I decided on Rapid City, South Dakota as my home base.  It’s close enough to Keystone, which is Mount Rushmore, and 44 minutes away from Deadwood. Yes, DEADWOOD!! There is a creepy, haunted hotel there I would like to take the ghost tour of, including the fun of the whole town.  I am also an hour or two from the Badlands, so I can check that out again as well.  I am thrilled to have found a hotel for the week so that I can just enjoy myself and not worry about moving around every night.  Obviously, I am not sharing where I am staying, but AFTER the trip I will post my spots for those interested in staying in these areas. 

They have lots of ticketed things to do, including a train ride in Deadwood, and I would LOVE to do that. BUT I am waiting to make sure attractions WILL be open, and not get blindsided with another shut down or wave.  I think everyone is being cautious with plans at this point, but hopefully I can book tours and such by May.

Have you been to South Dakota? What should I see that I haven’t mentioned? I invite all tips and tricks as I have only been there once and would love the details on the stuff I am just not seeing online or have simply missed.  Also their state motto is “Under God, the people rule.”  Being a Believer, NOT an Evangelical, I LOVE this statement. It has a bit of moxie in it, with a side of Country pride. It makes me think they are a God fearing State, and it will be interesting to see if that motto is “felt” in that State.

The State Slogan is: “Great Faces. Great Places” LOVE IT!!  Writing a blog is like writing a book report every day, if you are that on top of it, and so is the research and information. I feel like I am back in grade school again, learning the capitals and the state birds (Pierre and Chinese-ring necked pheasant). Listen, now you know, and knowing is half the battle!  If I have to learn, y’all are going to learn with me. So there ya go, fill me in, tell me what you did or are going to do in South Dakota. See you on the road!

The Host with the Most

I have FINALLY gotten my butt in gear, and booking has begun!  So many of you have offered your home, and I cannot WAIT to see you, tour with you, and get to know you better.  On a live stream this morning, I was chatting with a friend and she mentioned she had a cat and was I allergic.  I thought “Hey, that’s a good post” to put out so people know what to expect hosting me in their homes. I see this a time saver, and if you’d like to host me in your home on this trek, please email or message me, and we will talk!

  1. I don’t have ANY allergies.
  2. I have a cat and dogs, and usually am pet dehaired.  I know how to act with and around them, so no worries. The only thing I ask is that they don’t roam around me while I sleep…I don’t want to accidentally hurt the monster under the bed.
  3. I don’t bring any pets.
  4. I bring my own air mattress and such.
  5. If you would like to tour with me, or like to show me your city, Im all for it! I will have ideas with me as well, so I am usually up for anything. Except HEIGHTS.
  6. I DON’T DO HEIGHTS.
  7. I am up for adventurous eating except spicy foods- they don’t seem to like me and the worst thing to me is getting sick while on the road.
  8. I do have a car, obviously, so a safe place to park her would be great.
  9. I LOVE when my hosts offer to drive me around because I obviously don’t know your area. I am fully ready to help with gas costs, so please let me know.
  10. If you are unable to hang out with me but able to allow me a bed/space at your home, I am happy with that as well. I am not there to interrupt life, just a safe place to put my head at the end of the day.
  11. Anything else you can think of, let me know, and like I said, email or message me if you would like to hang out or host.

I hope this helps everyone interested in hosting me, THANK YOU to those who are already, I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

Planning Georgia

FQAT0813

So before the Sale happened and my February disappeared into thin air, I had a schedule.  One thing they will suggest to a blogger, is to have a set amount of things you’d like to write about, then when, and so on. It keeps the writers block from becoming a writer’s month long wall, and I have to say that it works, WHEN I stay on schedule.  But than the sale, life, throw in some 3 am thoughts in a post, and well, I haven’t been back to that list in quite some time…UNTIL TODAY!! Because I will be visiting all 50 States, I thought it best to write about each one in what their motto is, what I “think” it is, and what I hope to do there. This engages you to come along with me on a journey when I talk about YOURS so that you can give me hints, tips, and if I am right on or dead wrong! So let’s do it in the order I am driving… and for those wondering, I count Florida later.

Georgia is my official FIRST State of this epic journey and I am SO excited because there is so much to see there!  So let’s talk their motto first- Wisdom, justice, and moderation.  Ok, so my thought process immediatedly jumps to the “moderation.”  Possibly they drink a lot? They drank a lot when they decided on this? Someone couldn’t keep their hands off the chocolate? WAS their chocolate yet? Moderation clearly could be anything, but I like the simplicity of this motto.  I have read them ALL and I have to say, this is one of the saner ones. I love wisdom, all about the learning, and justice…well, you hope people get it, but we all know better. It’s also the Peach State….and I don’t remember ever having a peach in GA…did I Christa? LOL

I have been to Georgia many times before for several reasons, one being it is unavoidable driving from Wisconsin to Florida over the last 20 years, so there’s that. Two, it’s Walking Dead territory, so the “Dead Head” that I am, I had to see Senoia aka Woodbury and the rest.  If you haven’t been, it’s a MUST! I am blessed beyond words to have a dear friend, Christine, in Savannah who I have toured with and a dear friend, Christa, in the Newnan area who tours with me there, each on the other side of the State.  Not to mention Martha I got to have lunch with, it’s just a beautiful area that I love to visit.

On this episode, Christa and I will be headed to Atlanta for a couple of days to check out everything we can get our hands on!  I have only ever driven through, and because she lives nearby and knows it VERY well, it makes me feel confident and safe. There’s a Puppetry exhibit, a Civil Rights Museum, and then all of the film and tv locations I can get my hands on!  This is MARVEL territory, and after “Endgame” and now “WandaVision” I am hoping to find some of the places they were filmed.  Of course with Covid and openings being what they are, I will see what’s possible and keep my expectations low. LOL  I’m in GA for only 3 nights so it will be a quick visit before I come back through again next year (yes on the same trip). 

On the way back through in February, I’ll be visiting Savannah again, so hopefully will be able to hang out with Christine again.  We had so much fun last time, it was my first ever ghost tour with her!  I was IN LOVE with that area, the architecture alone I could NOT get enough of! I am sure that Christine was sick of me saying “OMG look at that one!” LOL

So what else should I try to see in Georgia? My hope from these posts is for someone to tell or show me the hidden gems that I may not find in a book or online.  I am all about pulling my car over and taking a small walk to see something, but hikes I will leave to my visits to the National Parks. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, see you on the road!!

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? WANT TO SUPPORT A DREAM, A GOAL, A GAL WITH A HEART FOR ADVENTURE? THEN ZELLE ME AT RELOCATEDTOURIST@YAHOO.COM – EVERY BIT HELPS FOR EVERY BIT OF MY DREAM! THANK YOU!!

Where I Am At

You have this genius, perfect idea in your head of how things are going to go and all the energy you are going to have with it.  I mean, why wouldn’t I? I am only in my young 40s, healthy, so of course I should have the stamina to figure out 800 items in a garage sale, right? LOL Plus I have that whole “48 State Trip” thing happening in less than 3 months time now, AND trying to get my Disney magic in before I don’t have it for a while.  You smell something? Yes, that is my brain frying.

So I spent February, which flew past me like crazy, selling all my beloved treasures for something better.  I knew this going in, and I have done pretty well with the emotional side of things. It has taught me a great lesson in “detachment” and how I need to stop attaching myself to things that honestly don’t matter at the end of the day.  I loved them, now someone else can- the beauty of recycling instead of consuming more. Easy to say, harder to do, but rewarding in the end.

As each box heads out to my car and to the Post Office, I feel a bit lighter.  Once that last one is gone, I may cry for the sheer fact that this portion is OVER.  I am keeping up what’s left for sale over the next couple of months, or when it sells, in case anyone wants anything- every penny counts and I will take it for my adventure. Once May comes I will see what is left and go from there on what I want to do, probably sell in “lots” so that all is well and done before I hit the road.

I’m just excited to hit the Parks again without worrying about this anymore, all I have done is pack and process for 2 straight days…my poor back makes me feel like I am 90 already.  I HAVE to get in planning mode for my big adventure or I will go into way to cold and that terrifies me because I am a planner and I need to know what is coming next. So hopefully with a couple of runs and a trip to MK this week I can shake off this part and start getting in that head space. 

Thanks to everyone who purchased and participated in this crazy month. I am SO thankful to everyone who was kind, consistent, and PATIENT with me. I am one person, I am NOT perfect, but I have done my best and that’s all I can do.  I will tell you that I sold a good portion of my stuff, and I hope some more trickles out over the next couple of months. So please go take a look and let me know.

Moving forward, I have a lot to announce once this is all done this week, so stay tuned!!

img_5884

Thank you for your support!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Mid-Life Crisis or Mid-Life Celebration?

“Something has changed within me…something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules in someone else’s game.” ~Wicked Broadway Show

As many of you know, life gives us transformations we didn’t see coming, nor ask for. Whether it be a shift in jobs, a move across the Country, a diagnosis we never thought we would hear, or a pandemic we never thought we would live through. Every experience, big or small, seems to either chip away at what we THOUGHT our lives would be, or adds something in some weird twist of fate. 

So, I decided to take this mid-life whatever as a challenge and mission, rather than a crisis.  I am blessed my girls are grown, and as they find their feet to life, I am free to find mine. You never stop being a Mom, but you do know the day when they are ok without you, and frankly, you are ok without them.  For such a long time, I let life define me as a Mom and Wife, and although they are very important and blessed roles, they are not the ONLY roles that I get to be. That’s where life sometimes gets it wrong, that somehow you are put in this certain box and then you are expected to stay there.  Yeah, I don’t think so, not this woman anyways. Sometimes you just know that God has bigger plans for you than you could have ever dreamed.  I get to go find that Amy of 19 that I haven’t seen in a while,  and see what she’s up too (even if her reflection has changed a bit).

Not only with this HUGE Road Trip coming up this summer, but I decided to change A LOT in my life to shed off as much of myself so I could to hit that restart button fresh!  As you see, I am selling everything that I have collected over the last 10 years so that I have nothing to worry about leaving behind, packing, or just plain care about.  It has brought me joy when I needed it, but I’m finding life is sweeter without it. My closet has shrunk drastically, and I shop completely different now. The only things I am buying now are for the trip, and it’s been exciting because I know I will use them.

I have been running again a lot more, working on toning up and losing weight again. I didn’t want to hit the road again feeling like a lumpy marshmallow, and it’s easy to turn into one or remain one when driving so much and eating at so many new places. I have a strict morning routine now with protein shakes that I am IN LOVE WITH and a personal handheld blender that is my favorite thing I got for Christmas so far!  I have noticed that keeping my body healthy and on track, makes EVERYTHING else in my life run that much smoother. Trust me, it works!

What I have discovered is that we are all like Disney World in what Walt hoped for it…that the place would get more beautiful as it grew and changed.  I think we need to switch our view on growing older as not a bad thing, but just another chapter of growth and beauty.  I want to try new things, meet more people, add something to my life that is bursting with purpose and challenge.  I want to learn a new language, travel the globe, find my faith in the smallest to largest corners of the planet…and yes, I will do it older.  Life doesn’t wait for us, TODAY is the day you live. Yes, plan, but every day is truly that gift you wake up to and it is WHAT you do in your day to day that starts to define you and what you’re building too. 

I just decided one day that I was done doing things a certain way, and I cannot tell you the power that came from that decision. Sell, Run, Write, Plan, Disney and Repeat.  So I encourage all of my “Mid-Lifers” out there to seek out that fresh energy, find a new passion, discover your purpose, and then put your mind where your heart is. Join me as I do just that….it’s going to be a wild ride!

The Relocated Tourist

Thank you for your support!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

100 Days Today!!!

I have exactly 100 days today to get everything done before I hit the road…..eeesh.  I feel like I am doing everything I can, every day I can, and still there is always something left to do when I crawl into bed. 

So the sale is going well, albeit the glitch of PayPal being a crime boss, I hope and pray that I will get my stippen of givings that I have worked my tail off for, some time before August. It seems just incredibly sad these days that we trust in these large companies to do the “right thing” (whatever that it is in Corporate speak anymore) yet they use us, abuse us, and kick us to the curb. I didn’t even get change thrown at me like in the movies.  So, we shall see what happens. For now I am using “Zelle” and I actually love it much more.  It is instant, it records it, and it’s just safer. Now, I have used it all of a day, but so far, so good. Please keep buying, you are HELPING me support my dream and you have NO IDEA how badly I need this right now.  It’s just very, very important to me and my well- being, and for them to take it like that, it’s just cruel.  So THANK YOU to those who have had patience with me, who understood this wasn’t my fault, and who have NEVER left my side.  You are my heroes after that day of stress.

I have a shelf in my room that I have deemed my “travel shelf.”  The items that I have been purchasing over the last two months for my trip, the fun stuff, the books, the stickers, the night time glasses, and headache relief tools.  I bought an air mattress for my back seat that I have to test out this week- I will do a blog post on it so you can all see if this was a great buy or a great bust!

GSJG2471

There is so much I need to write about BEFORE I leave, then so much I can’t WAIT to write about once I hit the road.  I honestly can’t wait to be done with the Sale so I can firm up my budget, and creatively now that I am missing a chunk of it, and still get online what I was HOPING to show yall next month. Delays will sadly happen now due to the budget, but I will figure a way to get my ideas out before I head out.

Mom is in TX right now, so I have been checking on her every day, praying for all those dealing with the unsavory weather hitting them.  I grew up with those temps, but those who haven’t, and weren’t ready for it or their State wasn’t, it’s really terrifying.  I can’t even imagine what those are going through, so I do think my problems are really nothing compared to theirs.  It’s been a coping mechanism of mine forever- I may be dealing with something hurtful to me, but someone, somewhere, is hurting way worse and it helps shift my attention, efforts, and empathy to someone else who needs it more. Stay humble and you stay grounded.

So I move forward. This whole “money” thing reminds me of something that actually happened to my Mom.  She and her friends were having a garage sale and a young man walked up and began talking to her. She said they were having a lovely conversation, and then he just smiled, grabbed their cash box, and ran.  My mom and her friends were devastated…so they prayed in the driveway(after calling the Police) and asked God to either bring the money back or that the man use it if he needed it that badly.  In a crazy twist of fate, the Cops found him, and they were returned every single dollar back.  I don’t know what happened of the man, just that he returned the money to the Police for my Mom.  I guess what I’m saying is that I have faith I will be ok, and praying that PayPal gives me my money back.  And if not? I can only hope in some karmic way it’s used for something good.

I plan on, I write on, and just keep staying positive-  because I am just too darn lazy to stay angry. Let the countdown begin!

WE ALL NEED A TRIP!!!! HELP ME, HELP YOU!!! The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

 

 

Car Camping….is it for Me?

As big a dreamer as I am, I am also pretty grounded to the Earth. I realize the cost of hoteling it night after night would wreak havoc on my bottom line, so I started thinking about camping during the warmer months.  My make and year of my car aren’t necessary to the story, but let’s just say I don’t have an SUV or Motorhome. So I have to get creative and decide on tent camping, or camping in my car. Here is what I have found!

IMG_1541

So some of you may know, as I have referenced it before, that my family owned a Camping Resort up North in Wisconsin. My Dad taught me how to make fire, fish, and survival skills to the best of his knowledge.  I am not a pro, but I feel I would be able to camp without hesitation due to being around it and watching it for many years. BUT putting up a tent on my own vs with someone else to help is a whole, other story.  I am capable, yes, but I am talking a pop tent where I just unfold it and VOILA – tent! The stakes, the tarps, all of the extras that go with it sounds like a lot of work. On top of the air mattress I will need in the tent so I don’t wake up with a sore back, and then there is the wildlife that may stop by for a party or three that I have NOT invited them too.

rsz_img_1390

Ok with all that in mind, it led me down the rabbit hole of car camping. Basically a pretty way of saying “living out of your car.”  Now, I don’t have a trunk like most that folds down like a van or SUV would- providing slumber stretched out.  BUT I found on Wayfair an air mattress that is built for your back seat! Now, I am going to wind up sleeping in the fetal position, BUT, I will be OFF the ground, and in a safe vehicle that LOCKS at night with an alarm- which honestly would make me feel much safer.  I can still bring a camping chair, make a fire, and chill outside my car until bed- just without the stress of the whole “get the tent up” part.  Now I have to fill the air mattress every time I want to use it, OR, I will over it up in the back seat so it is not obvious.  Then add privacy screens for the windows, and a really, REALLY good sleeping bag for cold temps overnight, and I should be good to go!

So what are your thoughts? Have you car camped on your own or with your family? I don’t know if I would do it with someone else, there just isn’t enough room, but I can see doing it as one.  It’s not the ONLY way I will stay overnight, but it’s a nice “in between” idea for hotels and staying with friends and family.  People say I should get a dog for the trip- great idea but I have enough to take care of with me, myself, and I. The three of us are MORE than enough to look after. Post your thoughts in the comments along with any tips you may have for me to make it easier. Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for your support!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by Exclusive Travel Partners.…booking through me supports my mission and I appreciate that VERY much. Click the link and thank you!

ExclusiveTravelPartners

My Route and Schedule for my 48 State Trip

I have my route officially down now and have dates in place. I wanted to share this with y’all for those who are interested in hosting me in these States, or for getting together. Now, they are vague for a reason. One, my safety. Those who need to know, will know. Details will be shared via private message for hosts, meet-ups, and so on.  Two, this is my basic plan. Things change, so it will ebb and flow as time charges on.  Third, I know it looks like a lot, because IT IS LOL. BUT I have learned too just go with it and enjoy the ride and time I have been gifted to me. 

Read more