Ah, end of the year.
That time when we look back, remark on how fast it went by, how much we did, and we prepare to move on.
For us road nomads, we usually wrap it up with a route of our travels.
So, presenting our 2015 travel map (this is an embedded and interactive map, you’ll need to click over to the original blog post to see it if you’re reading this in email or RSS):
This year, we started using the WordPress plugin Nomad World Map to keep track of our travel route and future ‘plans’. It allows us to easily tie locations, dates and blog posts together as we go – creating a much more interactive experience. I’ve really enjoyed the plug-in, so we’ll continue using it going forward.
In years past, I always spent a solid day creating a map of our travels in Photoshop. While the results were pretty snazzy looking and completely custom to us, I’m letting go of years of tradition. So please, scroll around the map and catch up on travel adventures you might have missed.
We’ll be keeping a similar map continuously updated for 2016, along with links to all our past annual rounds on our Travel Maps page.
Life, Travel & Work Summary
We started out 2015 pretty much where we end the year – in the desert southwest. All and all, just 5566 miles traveled in our RV plus some non-RV adventures… bringing our cumulative RVing miles since we hit the road together up to 86,237.
We kicked off the new year at a large gathering of fellow nomadic friends in the Anza-Borrego desert of Southern California. We then migrated to Quartzite and meandered around Arizona for a bit.
In March, we made our RV rally speaking debut at the Escapee’s Escapade in Tucson and helped launch the secret stealth project we’d been working on – Xscapers. This is the Escapee’s new club-within-a-club aimed specifically at the working aged RVer to provide resources like community, health care information, job boards, education, homeschooling and eventually legal & financial services.
After the rally, we made quick time to get to Texas to visit with family and catch a screening of the Wireless Generation documentary, in which yours truly were profiled.
Around this time, we made the decision to have our bus repainted while we did some non-RV travels over the summer. Since it would be in the shop at a facility that specializes in RV renovations, we commissioned some other upgrades.
We made our way up to Elkhart, IN to Master Tech RV to finalize the project list, and then head off on our adventures.
Ahh.. the best laid plans.
Our 7-week Alaskan excursion by rail, ship and rental RV was absolutely fabulous. It was great to get away from our norm (yes, even RVers can get into ruts.. sometimes literally), and get back to our intentions of integrating in other travel modalities throughout the year.
However, pretty much once our train left the station, communication from the shop became extremely scarce. But nothing could really prepare us for returning in late July to discover the true status of things. Our home was completely dismantled and work had pretty much stalled.
With a looming major RV convergence commitment across the country in early October – we seriously had doubts we would make it. Heck, we had doubts our bus could even be put back together again this year.
Heartbroken and feeling our home was being held hostage, we made the decision that we needed to be onsite to get this done. We accepted a very generous offer to borrow an RV from a reader (thank you again guys) so that we could be involved in the renovation project every single day.
For a month we worked along side with the crew to become the project managers that the shop didn’t have available, and finally were sprung free in mid-September with most projects completed.
It was grueling, and required far more time and attention away from our life and work than ever anticipated.
In the end, all of the renovations are wonderful and worth the effort. We rejoice daily in the upgrades and quality of life they afford us. We hope to soon get back to documenting them on the blog, as we know many have wanted even more details.
We made it to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta just in the nick of time to co-host the very first Xscapers Convergence. Coming off such an intense experience and right into another (even though positive) – lets just say, it was tough.
By the time the balloon fiesta was over, we were sucking fumes and looking at an infinite scroll list of work projects to catch up on… never mind keeping up with our personal social media like this blog. It took a melt down after a series of ‘constructive criticisms ‘ to shine light on the root problem.
We had been running on empty for way too long and we had no spoons left. Too many big project, as inspiring as they have been, with pressure pulling us in multiple directions. And not enough focus on ourselves and our needs (ok, the cat’s needs).
With so much awful stuff happening in the world – wars, destructive weather and loved ones in medical crisis – it is sometimes hard to give yourself permission to heal when on the surface everything looks swell. After all, we do have a pretty fricken awesome life… and we know how blessed we are for that.
So, that’s how we end 2015. Like a duck molting feathers, we’ve hid out for a bit and took care of ourselves while meandering around the southwest for the remainder of the year. Ending up just miles from where we began the year.
We look forward to the start of a new year. Hoping we’ve re-grounded enough to hold our priorities tight. To focus on own happiness now that we’ve released our outside commitments.
While helping others launch their projects, we’ve managed to build RVMobileInternet.com to become a sustainable business of its own. It’s one that lights us up with joy to provide and keeps us plenty busy.
Where will the road take us in 2016? We haven’t a clue. That’s the whole point. The route ahead will be completely up to serendipity.
Our past year end wrap-ups:
Also wrapped up this year: