Year end is a great time to be a bit retrospective and to try and summarize the past 12 months of this 12th year of our nomadic life together.
If you judged 2018 by our map alone, it doesn’t look like we did much.
And we certainly didn’t live up to our original intentions of making some serious cruising miles this year, or getting back to our RV for winter.
Here is our 2018 interactive map:
The map is created by a WordPress plugin called Nomad World Map. It allows us to easily tie locations, dates, future plans and blog posts together as we go – creating a much more interactive experience. Use the arrows to scroll to different locations and/or click on the points – you can then view the blog post that goes along with the stop.
You can check out all of our past years and our current travels on our Travel Map page.
Year End Mileage Stats:
- 2018 Travels: 1,474 miles
- Cumulative since 2007: 97,307
- 2018 Travels: 535.1 nm
- Cumulative since 2017: 1,020.5 nm
A Year of Slowing Down
We started 2018 pretty exhausted and beat down after an eventful prior year of transitioning to boating life, evacuating from a major hurricane, and spending the end of the year ‘on the hard’ attending to boat repairs.
We were overdue for a break, but that would have to wait.
Our intentions for 2018 were to go on an RV trip to the RV Entrepreneur Summit in Texas, leave the bus behind in storage, return to the boat and then high tail it (relatively) northward out of the prime hurricane zone.
Eventually we would store the boat for winter, and return to RVing by fall.
Ahhh.. the best laid plans.
Instead – exhaustion caught up with us, we slowed down, and we really got into our cruising groove.
This year was all about embracing a slower pace of travel and holding boundaries to protect our balance.
January started off with a nearly 2-week southern Caribbean cruise with my mom (like, on a commercial ship where they do the boat maintenance, navigating and even feed you ) – but it wasn’t all vacation for us, it was more of a writing retreat to get out an overdue 5th Edition of The Mobile Internet Handbook.
Upon our return, it was time to button up Y-Not for a couple of months and get the bus out to Texas. The trip to Texas from Florida was way too quick, and we were totally not in the frame of mind for such a rushed trip.
But with a commitment to present at The RV Entrepreneur Summit, we had a schedule to keep.
We left Zephyr in storage in Texas, and then returned in the MINI Cooper back to the boat in Miami.
We returned way more exhausted than when we left, and were sick for weeks with lingering ‘conference crud’ we had picked up.
It was a delightful cruise with several anchorages. Ahhhhhh, this is the life!
We had a monthly reservation awaiting us revolving around attending the MTOA Southern Rendezvous.
We decided to make the most of that extended stop to tackle our lingering generator problems, and we also found a carpenter to work with to tackle our living room upgrades. This projects took longer than expected, and that month turned into nearly two with boat projects – cutting into our cruising time necessary to get north by peak of hurricane season at a relaxed pace.
We left Ft. Pierce with a brand new generator and a fabulous living space upgrade – but not personally feeling recharged at all.
The cumulative effects of an eventful year of acclimating to our new combo cruising/RV lifestyle had caught up to us.
For our own sanity, we realized we couldn’t cruise at a pace that would get us safety north enough to feel out of the prime hurricane box this season.
We decided instead to slow it down, explore some cool cities that we didn’t want to miss and then head inland along the St. Johns River – probably as safe as we’d manage this season.
A semblance of life balance finally started to catch up to us here.
We had easy access to a historic downtown with plenty of options for dining & entertainment. We had local community. We joined a gym. We minimized the boat projects.
We were finally getting back into that groove we were feeling pre-hurricane, nearly a year later.
We headed on, enjoying a week long stay in Marineland, a week+ moored off of St. Augustine and then rendezvoused with sailing buddies outside of Jacksonville to enter the St. Johns River together.
The four of us arrived to Ortega Landing in Jacksonville with a weeklong reservation, but after our friends headed back home – we decided to stick around in this resort like facility.
It was an ideal place to wait out the very peak of hurricane season, immerse ourselves in big city culture, and tackle some boat projects like installing a new inverter and upgrading to lithium batteries (notice a theme? There’s *always* boat projects).
It turned out to be an active peak hurricane season with two major storms that kept us on our toes – but both thankfully missed us.
This time around, holding back in Florida was to our advantage. Had we pushed on, we quite likely would have tuckered out somewhere in the Carolinas and repeated last year’s hurricane chaos!
By mid October the tropics were looking to be settled down, and it felt safe to leave on our St. Johns River cruise.
We had intended to spend a month cruising upriver to Sanford and back, and then returning to Ortega Landing to store Y-Not while we returned to Zephyr for a couple months over the winter.
We had an absolutely stunning cruise up the St. Johns (we still need to get the blog caught up on fully on that).
When we arrived to Sanford, serendipity interrupted our plans.
And that’s where 2018 leaves us – still aboard the boat, happily docked in Sanford (well, except for the freaking midges – if you don’t follow us elsewhere, we’ll get to that soon too.)
It’s not at all how we thought our year would end up.
But that’s the beauty of our lifestyle, we don’t have to follow plans – not even the ones we set out for ourselves.
We may have only covered a few hundred miles this year, but we end the year feeling only slightly off balance! That sound like a good enough year for us.
A constant struggle for us over the years has been balance in general.
Work, life, travel, community.
This life of motion isn’t all rainbow farting unicorns.
And despite way too many people constantly assuming otherwise, we are far from retired and this blog is not our income source.
Work: 2018 Overview
We launched RVMobileInternet.com in 2014, and we subtly rebranded to just becoming the Mobile Internet Resource Center at the beginning of the year.
Our goal is to create unbiased and constantly updated resources to help our fellow nomads (RVers, boaters and more) make informed choices that best answer their mobile internet connectivity needs.
Our content continues to expand (over 1000 unique pages!!) as does our membership that supports all of the effort (thank you to those of you who support the site!).
We have a kick-ass team that we love working with, which helps us spread out the workload and keep up with what seems to be a never-ending stream of changes.
We’re right now in the middle of a complete redesign and expansion of the site, which is a major undertaking (and a big part of our reason for staying still this winter season).
We’re proud of what we’ve created – a perfect meshing of our passions for technology, mobile living and helping. Although we sometimes question our wisdom in choosing the career path of attempting to keep up with an industry that changes on daily basis.
We still work way too many hours – and the year ahead is shaping up to be an active one with mobile 5G, low earth satellites, a potential carrier merger and more.
Life has been feeling much more balanced since about mid-year.
The slower pace of travel is definitely suiting us. We’re feeling better connected to the places we visit. We’re getting out more exploring, attending local theater, concerts, local dining, cooking in and more.
And overall we are feeling we have more time for us, for our health, for leading a more active lifestyle and being social in person.
And we’re connecting and meeting up with more and more people – although always craving forming more deeper connections and missing dear friends who are far away.
All good stuff – now the key is to keep it that way by holding our boundaries.
And on that note, in writing this recap and flashing back to how we began last year pushing ourselves to present at an RVing event (and how long it took us to recover) – we made the heartbreaking decision this week to not fly out to the Xscapers Annual Bash in January after all. We just have too much going on and the logistics of making it happen started to feel overwhelming.
Social Media Update
I don’t think content creators get enough credit for how much work goes into sharing their lives online. Especially as more and more are producing pro-quality stuff. What used to take an entire production house to create is now handled by an individual or couple.
Our hats off to those who do it well!
I have a lot of thoughts on this that I’ll probably save for a future post.
But suffice it to say, we’re grateful our income sources aren’t dependent on sharing our personal lives online consistently.
This year has been about continuing to keep Technomadia our hobby play space. To just be us. To not spend more time on our hobby of sharing than we have to give.
To make that even more abundantly clear (mostly to ourselves) we recently ditched Patreon for hosting our insider community. It was starting to feel like work to deliver ‘perks’.
And we just didn’t like having our community based only around those who send monthly contributions. So many reciprocate back to us in other ways, and we want to include them too.
So we moved our virtual crew community to a private Facebook group instead. We’re having a lot of fun interacting and getting to know our crew too, in ways that Patreon just didn’t accommodate. (Yes, please click the link and determine if you’re called to join us there too!).
So all and all, I think we’ve done well with keeping social media from owning us.
At present time, we still enjoy sharing here on the blog & YouTube (usually at least a month or two behind on the travel stories) and Facebook & Instagram (usually more real time). Follow wherever suits you best.
2019 And Beyond
We have no flipping clue how 2019 will turn out for us.
How much will we RV? How many miles will we make in the boat? Will Chris get his zeppelin?
Who knows. Who cares?
We’ll take it as it comes.
We’re honestly finding ourselves less identified as ‘Loopers’ these days – completing a specific route to earn the right to purchase another burgee from a commercial enterprise seems less and less like a goal we’re aligned with.
Sure, we may end up working our way around back to Florida following the loop one day, but we’ll do it in our own time.
Or maybe we won’t.
What’s the saying? That the journey is not about the destination?
Yeah, something like that.
We’re just enjoying our limited precious time on this planet. And we encourage you to do the same.
So, that’s a wrap of our 12th full year on the road/water together.
The year we finally learned to slow the heck down.
Thank you for coming along virtually on this adventure –
we so enjoy sharing this space with you!
Wishing you ALL the best in 2019!
Our past year end wrap-ups:
Our Other Year End Content:
- Mobile Internet 2018 Year in Review (Comings soon over at RVMobileInternet.com)
- Monthly Cost Log: Just updated to reflect 2018