Why Fear and Uncertainty Cannot Win

As I sit here this week in the great State of Texas, I have had a lot of time to think. And boy, can I over think. In between hospital runs, taking care of Mom, trying to stay healthy myself, I do find my mind wandering to my next chapters in life and I get so incredibly scared. I turn on the news, which I can only handle in small doses anymore, and I get mad and frustrated. I am sure I am not the only one, and I find myself second guessing my road trip and what lies ahead for me BECAUSE of that fear. What if something happens? Am I prepared to handle all of this? Am I allowed to move forward past this?

Right now, I don’t know what will happen past Monday, and I hope and pray for the best.  So my brain then goes to “What can I do now while I wait?”  I cleaned up Mom’s place, put things away outside, done pretty much what I can physically here, and so then I try to focus on my life and the adventure that is ahead.  And yes, then I feel bad. How can I plan for something fun for myself when my Mom and Bob are going through this? I know I have done everything I can, and I know my life has to keep moving forward, but it’s almost like this permission you have to give yourself to let go and move on. There is guilt in life’s pleasures when those around you are suffering, so do you suffer as well to envelop that empathy or do you celebrate that this chapter of darkness is not yours yet. You’d want someone to help you and support you through the hard times, but not to stop their life at the same time. It’s a really weird line to walk, a balancing act we find ourselves in when we least expect it. I lean into what I know is right and feels right, and then hope I GOT it right and that I DID it right.

I know Covid is out there, and I have been blessed thus far to have not gotten it. I can’t get the shot until I get home to Florida (so far), which I am happy to say my age group is up, so I hope to at least get that checked off upon returning home. But it worries me with it out there, on top of the mass shootings lately, I get this tinge in my tummy that what if I am putting myself somewhere that that could happen. But then reality wakes me up and says “It’s not changing any time soon, none of it. You have to go and keep living your life, fear cannot win.”  I hate that voice, I wish she would just go get a drink and leave me alone to my overthinking sometimes. LOL I do what I can to stay safe in any circumstance, and again, hope I did enough. It is so random and you hope it will never be you next, or someone you love, but we all know that it could be, and that fear just sits under the skin. I guess anything could happen to me on the road, it could happen to me today, I just hope and pray every day that today isn’t the day. I think we all do.

I am still planning, still going, pending what happens here next.  I have a couple of plans in place to help Mom and then it will be up to her and Bob what they do next. My routine is so messed up that I didn’t even realize how much I loved it until I didn’t have it anymore.  I am giving my all to this, but still trying to hold onto the parts of me that were excited to go on my big adventure in the first place.  I am basically planned through Montana at this point, with the reality and expectation that many plans will be made on the road. It is too much to book a year’s worth of hotel stays, and honestly, it’s more fun to do it in small bites. Hopefully once this chapter is done I can concentrate on the next.

Mom got her second dose yesterday for the vaccine, so I am happy she is now fully vaccinated. I have been masking up around everyone here as I am probably the lone duck standing.  But hey, it’s fun to feel so young here. LOL Once this is over, I will definitely share my experience of living in a Senior Community, it’s interesting! So I am off to take her to the Hospital again, I hope everyone has a good day and still hoping that surgery happens Monday.

Camping Frustrations

I liked to be prepared…. having a plan B or more makes me feel secure. This camping possibility in the West right now is stressing me out.  For a one person, car or tent, it seems like it SHOULD be something as simple as book a piece of concrete slab for the evening or week and let me be, right?  Well, I had no idea what the cutthroat life of a full time camper actually was until I dug into my research this week…I wasn’t prepared.

Now, having OWNED my own Campground with my family growing up, I know how things work. People love a certain site or cabin, book it a year in advance, and so on. We would be fully booked on the big holiday weeks, but for the most part, we always had room for someone who didn’t need hook-ups. Now I am camping in my car, and probably a tent because I don’t know how my back would handle sleeping like that in my back seat every night, and yet I am having THE hardest time trying to book a spot.

My theory? This summer people are more than covid fatigued and want to get the heck out of Dodge. The staycation is over, and they need to get out on the open road, so like I have said before, I see this summer BOOMING in the Tourism sector.  Maybe just within States, but once borders open, it will be massive.

I just had no idea that the entire booking empire of the National Parks and Campgrounds were so sought after and so hard to find. I read camping forums I could find, the information on the National Park websites, yet there is still no one out there that really HELPS you determine what kind of site would be suitable for you.  If you have ANY suggestions for me on how I can find sites easier, please let me know. Yes, there are apps out there, but when you don’t know the areas being suggested, it makes it that much harder.  Of course research must be done on my part, but there is SO MUCH out there that I just get frustrated and stop cold.

Maybe I will just book a hotel or sleep in my car anyways. Any help would be great! I am trying to find something in Yosemite in August. Even if I can just get a couple of nights so I can see a bunch of stuff and then head out. Thanks for any help!

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!

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. 

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Finding the Time to Do it All

Since I have made the decision to hit the road for a year, my life has turned a bit topsy turvy you could say….I am trying to get so much done within these next four months that I find it hard to “come down” from the high of being busy with purpose. A great feeling, but I equate it too that rush you get when you get off a rollercoaster, or maybe while on it, that adrenaline coursing through your veins, and then eventually it dissipates while you ride the Carousel next.  Mine hasn’t dipped in 5 weeks…

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Every day I wake up and check on sales, make sure everything is marked, people have been contacted, and so on.  I know 25 or more items a day is a lot to throw at people, but had I done all of them in a single day or even week would have left many of you overwhelmed and that’s no good to me either.  This pace has been a good one to keep up with, and I am so thankful for everyone’s patience on this.  I have been asked several times if I am sad giving away my things….no, no I’m not.  For this next leg of my journey, the less I have on me, the better, so to me this is the biggest step to take to shed myself of these material possessions so I can open my space up to other things. Not saying it’s right or wrong for those who want to collect or enjoy, but for me, during this stage of life, less is best.

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Then there is Disney and trying to get into the Parks as much as a I can before I head out.  The problem is that Covid is still an issue and I take it very seriously, and I still have to be very aware of HIGH crowd weeks like this one.  I feel safe at Disney, but more people just provide more of a probability, so I weight the pros and cons each time I go in. I feel good contributing to those who work there to help them keep their jobs and the economy going, but I also obviously don’t want to catch anything or bring it home to the family. A very fine line I try to walk with this.

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Once all of the stuff is shipped and gone, I feel then I can really start to dig into the grit of what I want to do and where I am going.  I have my route, albeit it a tentative one, but you have to start somewhere. I am beginning to accept that this may take longer than a year, and that would be fine with me.  My kids are grown and working on their individual lives and Craig is doing his thing, so it’s nice to have the freedom to figure it all out.  I had my girls young, so this feels like my time to have those adventures I didn’t get to have in my 20’s. They say you either do it then, or later in your 50s, thankfully I have landed in my 40s to do them.  That’s the thing too, I want to be YOUNG enough to do these wild adventures before everything on my body goes to hell and I missed the opportunity.

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So with that said, I have been using every minute of my day on the sale or planning my trip. I have a list going of things I need to buy before I leave, get comfortable with a GoPro once I get one, and just check off the many items I have to do before I close that car door. There is so much more going on behind the scenes that I don’t share because it’s personal, but know that I am trying to keep my head above water and DO SOMETHING with this life that God gave me.  I see EVERY DAY as a gift and I know that’s cliché, but my God, knowing so many who have passed from Covid, and other ailments, has definitely opened my eyes to seeing the most of every moment and day.

There is no time for stuff, there is no time for negativity, and there is definitely no time to waste. Only time for love, for peace, and for KINDNESS…and a little bit of planning. I’ll get there.

Thank you for your kindness and 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 that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Where I’m at with Planning my Trip

So I have always thought of my life as the “Coming Attractions.”  I live for the moment, but I am really excited for what is to come. And planning these road trips, and this being the mother of all adventures, I find myself in a space of constantly taking notes inside my head- probably should put those on paper. So here is where I am at.

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I have a notebook designated with a page or two to each State, what I want to do, what I NEED to do, and what would be nice if I have time.  I have a week allocated to each State, with CA, TX, NY, WI and maybe more being 2 weeks because of the amount of things I want to do and see and people I want to spend time with.  I have a Restaurant place list going, tours list going, the must sees list going…and so on.

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The biggest challenge has been the route, trying to avoid the snow during the Winter months while focusing on the South during that season. Finding what is best for Spring vs Fall, and hoping that it just “fits” with the route.  I for see a lot of states being traveled through back and forth a couple of times for what I want to see and do vs the seasons.  Meh, I’ll be fine. Maybe.

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I have several categories of interest that I would like to check off in each State, and I know, they are a variety that most don’t know about me. FIRST, I LOVE Movie and TV locations. So I want to find as many as I can, CA being the mecca.  Second, I LOVE National Parks and nature. Lots of National Parks to see, State Parks, love waterfalls and scenery, and I LOVE a good “sit and stare at God’s creation” moment.  Third, I love ghost tours! I love the thrill and excitement, so I am working on locations around the Country that I have always wanted to stay in, visit, or tour. Fourth, bring on the fun and interesting places to eat! I am a Foodie at heart and I am all about trying new cuisine.  Fifth, NEW EXPERIENCES period!  Maybe I will zip line for the first time? Who knows? Sixth, MEET UP WITH YOU!!  See my Online family in the flesh (yeah that sounds nasty but you know what I mean). Show me your town, your favorite place to eat, what makes your town AMAZING!! Seventh, I like Cemeteries…..yeah, yeah, I know, I am wierd. Too bad- I like them. They are peaceful to me and I enjoy finding famous graves and paying my respects. That’s what they’re there for, might as well look. Eighth, finding the Disney magic in each State….a scavenger hunt you could say.

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Lastly, and most importantly, I want to make new friends and connect with people.  Not sure the how and why of this one, but I have something BIG to announce next month about what I am thinking, pretty pumped to share it with yall!

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There is so much happening within the walls of my brain that I am just trying to keep up. Shedding all of my Disney and other possessions was step one, then the REAL planning of this adventure really kicks in with March and April. Trying to enjoy my Disney before I leave, scheduling out my States, spending time with the family, and also finding my individual voice WHILE still running from Covid. 

I got this right? Please tell me I got this. LOL