SPARK Adventure: A&A go Nomadic!

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As you may have came across on my recent social media post, BIG changes have been happening around here. Over the past few weeks, my entire life has been flipped upside down (& inside out) in pursuit of living a life of total adventure. A&A have decided we want more out of everything, and that we want to live our lives differently than how we are used to (and the way we have always been told we need to).

Social Media Announcement Post: He asked me if I wanted to quit my job, sell our house & all our belongings, and roam the country together in a travel trailer…

A&A go nomadic!

On Friday May 24th, we said goodbye to our life as we know it, in pursuit of living FAR outside of our comfort zones. After almost 8 years of living in Woodbury, MN, a little over a week ago we moved completely out of our house and packed up the remainder of our belongings into our express van. …Our first stop: St. Cloud, to pick up our new home, AKA our travel trailer. From there we made the trek to Stone Lake, WI, where we will be camping out for the next month and a half while we wait for our house in Woodbury to sell and to give us some time to get fully accustomed to our new way of life.

>> You can find our house listing here. <<

What’s our goal? To live life slowly and fully my friends.

Our goal is to travel the continental US over the course of the next year (probably longer) to see all 48 states, and hopefully all National Parks too! The bohemian/gypsy/vagabond/wandering/nomadic lifestyle is calling our name and we are so excited, nervous, scared, and happy to embark on this journey!

It’s not that we weren’t happy before, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea – we have been very fortunate to live a truly wonderful life together. We were both quite secure, doing very well in our jobs, living comfortably and conveniently. But that’s just it, it was just a comfortable routine. Of course we could have continued on for years and years down this same path, but what’s the point in that? We are both the kind of people that don’t want to get stuck in the same old same old; we don’t want to continue doing things just because we “have to” or because we are told to live life that way. We see so many friends, family members, coworkers, and acquaintances that have been doing that same comfortable routine for years on end and the fact of the matter is that a lot of them aren’t even happysome are even fucking miserable. A lot of people go through life wishing they would have taken a chance to do something MORE, and I don’t want to get to that point where I regret not jumping on an opportunity like this.

It’s worth mentioning too, that a lot of our close friends are settling down now, having kids and what not, and we have decided that path is not for us right now. Maybe it will be sometime down the road, but as far as we are concerned now it’s not in the cards for us and living a life of adventure is!

Where to first? West of course!

The travel route starts west first, around the middle to end of July, with our first stop scheduled for the badlands of South Dakota to visit family. After that we are keeping a very open mind about our route and travel destinations, but assume we will venture up to Montana after South Dakota to visit Glacier National Park and so on. I think that we will mostly just continue to gage the time of year and formulate our route plans as we go. Thankfully we both have a very open mind about how this will go, and we have the time to spare too! We also agree that it’d just be great to be as far south as possible during the deep dark frigid months of winter. We may have grown up full blood Minnesotans, but we sure hate the cold!

I know that I personally have always been extremely drawn to the west side of the country, since I was a teenager even, and I can’t wait to spend more time exploring every square inch of it. A lot of the long weekend hiking adventures that Adam and I have taken in the past few years have also been out west and I feel like every time we have been out there it just hasn’t been enough time! I’m over the moon excited for us to trot along, taking our time, and soaking in all there is to explore of every mountain, forest, desert, and coastline.

Some of the specific areas we are most excited to see for the first time, or to go back to, include: more of the Pacific Northwest – including Oregon, the coastline, and northern California, Utah – Zion National Park, Arches National Park, more of Colorado, more of Sedona and all of Arizona, and New Mexico!

Why are we doing this? Because the time to live is NOW.

We don’t want to wait for “someday” or for the elusive stage of retirement. We don’t want to save our goals and dreams to live life to the fullest for a day in the future that ultimately may never come. We don’t have kids, or other tied down obligations, and as we enter our 3rd century of life we feel the time is really NOW. Life is scary, and life can be shorter than any of us imagine. Things happen all the time that we can’t explain or predict. Good health isn’t promised to anyone, and the frankly the future of this world isn’t certain anymore either. Not to mention with the catastrophic changes to the weather and climate that are exponentially changing each year, the time really is NOW.

I’ve loved to travel since as far back as I can remember, and it’s something that’s been a big part of the last 5 years of Adam and I’s relationship too. We love to go new places, see new things, hike new trails, and experience all there is to learn and grow from in life. This opportunity suits the lifestyle we want to live in so many ways!

How did this come about? How long have we been preparing?

We have been taking hardcore (but slow) steps towards this dream since the new year ticked 2019, and I honestly can’t believe it’s already here! The last few months truly have been a transitional blur full of so many exciting firsts, and filled with conquering so many fears and anxieties.

The idea was birthed over vodka sodas and Jameson on the rocks, and honestly at first was one of those someday ideas that you never would have thought would have actually came to fruition. Adam has asked me to move before, several years ago, and the timing just wasn’t right for us then. Moving to another place always felt so permanent, and still not a fulfilling thought to chase after compared to just continuing our same old same old. That is, until this idea came about … (Plus, like how on earth do you decide where to move to! There are so many places in this country I already love or know I will love once I get there!)

You have no idea how far out of my comfort zone my entire life is.

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I remember vividly when Adam first proposed this idea, and how I felt in my bones how serious he was, and at the same time how scared and unsure I was! My initial reaction was hell no, how could I just give up my life like that. I remember telling him maybe in like a year or two … and then literally a few days later I was sitting at my desk at work thinking heavily about it all, and texting him “Okay, let’s do it. Like maybe this fall?” …. And then probably a few days later … “Okay, maybe this spring!?”

Most people who know us well find it hard to believe that this was Adam’s idea and not mine, but he most definitely gets all the credit for it. I may love to travel and adventure in every way possible, but I’m also a Cancer, a crab who finds protection in her shell and in the comfort of her home and her family. This idea completely takes me out of every comfortable corner of my life and away from the convenience of all my loved ones being just a car ride away. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s fucking scary! But that’s the thrill of it, and that is what makes it an idea worth chasing after.

When this idea first came about this past winter, I was considering it as a 1-2 year plan from now. I never would have imagined it would have been just around the corner and into the next season of life. Even one year ago today if you would have told me this would be my life at 30, I would never have believed you at all. It’s truly mind boggling how much can change in just 1 year!

‘And I’ll grab the wheel and I’ll point it west. Pack the good and leave the rest. And drive until I find the missing piece. Not worried about life and if it’s arriving right on time, I guess if you never jump you’ll never know if you can fly.’

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I am so utterly grateful for this moment and for this opportunity to live life this way – in such a more simplistic and minimalistic way. I don’t think our Bengal cats Roscoe and Rahja really understand what’s to come for them in their new life as adventure cats. (& I don’t think we fully know what’s in store for us either!) Words can’t express how thankful I am to have a partner in crime that is so aligned with me in this next path we are pursuing. Since day one we have been such a team, tackling different projects to prepare, and quite honestly neither one of us could have gotten to the point we are at today without the other person and their strengths.

Nothing kills you like a life you didn’t live.

The road is my teacher. So here’s to closing out my 20’s chapter with a bang. My 30’s have no idea what’s coming for them! Just a few short days after my birthday in July we will begin our venture west, and this is the best way I could possibly imagine starting out my next decade of life.

I have never been more terrified of any decision I’ve ever made, but at the same time I have also never had any idea that felt more right.

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Make sure you stay connected with us!

As long as our network connection and nomadic life allows, we will be posting weekly blog updates specifically focused on our journey, each Monday or Tuesday. (I will also still be continuing other blog posts topics and articles for Life Goals Mag) You can also follow us along on Facebook and Instagram for more daily updates and insights into our wandering whereabouts. Once we get a better grip on our routines, we will also try to do weekly video updates on Thursdays or Fridays too! (Creating some sort of YouTube channel for you to follow along – basically a vlog!) I promise that there are plenty of ways to stay connected with us as we roll out into the wild unknown.

NEXT WEEK: Our next nomadic blog post will dive a bit deeper into what has been our process to prepare, giving insight to the up and down roller coaster of emotion that has been the past 6 months. …What did we buy? …How did it go telling our parents, friends, family and our jobs! …What type of research did we do? …How did we downsize? …How did the maiden voyage from St. Cloud to Stone Lake go, and so on and so forth!

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COMING SOON: A&A NOMAD NEWSLETTER!

*Tentatively scheduled for release July 1, 2019, we will be putting out a monthly/bi-monthly newsletter with all the special insights, photos, tips, tricks, and curious in depth details of our journey. More info will be released in the coming weeks on my blog on how to support and subscribe to follow along. All proceeds from our newsletter subscription will go directly to our venture.*

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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo

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