It’s the end of another year, and a time to reflect back before moving on. This annual tradition of posts has become part of the fun of sharing.
2022 wraps up 16 years on the road for us together!
In many ways, our 2022 travels mimics much of our approach in 2021. We kept a home base in Sanford (Florida) aboard Y-Not, with ample RV adventures tossed in.
But for some reason, this year seems much more momentous than the travel tales alone tell! It’s been year of major life milestones for us.
First here’s our 2022 interactive travel 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. We didn’t write a post for every stop, but many are linked.
We rang in 2022 with our RVing Xscapers community in Quartzsite, AZ followed by attending the Xsacper Annual Bash in Lake Havasu.
It was a very surreal experience returning to our first big in person events – right in the middle of another big new wave of COVID. It, frankly, wasn’t comfortable for us – but in retrospect it helped us start to embrace a new normal.
January ended with a much more extended RV trip than we originally anticipated when we had left Y-Not 6 months prior – and it was time to get ‘home’. We put Zephyr back in storage at our co-op in Benson, and hit the road in the van.
With a couple stops along the way to rest and catch up with friends and family, we made quick time getting across country. As many times as we have made the drive between AZ and FL, there’s no changing the fact that it’s always a long and not terribly exciting trip.
We arrived back to Y-Not in Sanford in late January – and got right on task of tackling boat projects (new carpeting, new upholstery!) and focusing on making sure we met our goal of semi-retirement by the end of the year.
We also arrived to the delightful surprise of meeting Dave & Stacey – fellow full time cruisers who had made Sanford home for the winter. We became fast friends in person, and we ended up spending a lot of wonderful casual time together as dock neighbors.
It was excellent for the soul to experience extended time in community again, and bittersweet when it came time for them to depart after an epic Stink-Not river adventure. We also enjoyed many visits from friends who passed through Sanford while we were based there.
We enjoyed a couple more months of Sanfording in the spring. As I approached my 15-year nomadiversary in May I went on a bit of a retrospective. This journaling experience really helped Chris and I set a foundation for what we wanted in this next chapter in life we were setting out to create.
In June, we departed for another summer van trip leaving Y-Not behind in the safe harbor of Lake Monroe for hurricane season – again with out an agenda or return date.
We did however have tentative plans to end up back in Arizona to spend time with Zephyr, but we also knew it would be a brief visit because we wanted to be back in Florida to celebrate Chris’ 50th birthday and holidays with family.
Our first stop of our summer van trip was the Escapees Escapade in Tennessee, mainly to meet up with our friend & business partner Erik of MobileMustHave.com. The temperatures were super hot, and the event itself overwhelming – so we ended leaving out early and heading towards higher elevation in the mountains.
This brought us to several days spent with dear friends (and team mate) Jen & Deas in Asheville, NC and exploring Virginia.
Next stop was a pre-planned adventure of meeting up with dear RVing friends Amanda & Jesse in West Virginia and going to a Burning Man regional event together. It was so good to get our burn back on after a nearly decade hiatus!
At this point, we decided it was well past time to have our first RVing adventure in Canada – and accepted a driveway surfing invite from dear friends Margot & Michael who were summering up there as they focused on some property renovations. It was an excellent springboard to experience some of suburban Ontario, before setting off on our own adventures.
On the way through Canada, ironically, we ended up catching COVID ending our 2.5 year super-dodger status. Thankfully we both had a very mild almost asymptotic case.
It was then time to cross the border back in to Michigan and explore some new things and meet up with more friends, including our friend Buck who showed off the delightful Saugatuck area.
Around this time, Chris and I both had a similar thought at the same time. We both were not feeling called to rush out to Arizona this year – it would be a lot of driving, and a short visit before wanting to be back to Florida by November.
So it was agreed, as we headed south we’d be heading east not west. As much as it pained us to not be getting some Zephyr-time.
We made our way to the St. Louis area in early September for some awesome time with his parents – and then made our way back to Y-Not in Sanford.
Our summer van trip ended up being just over 3 months long this time – but full of adventures as we focused on friends, new experiences, amazing biking and exploring nudist RV parks.
Not a week after arriving back to to Y-Not, we were prepping for Hurricane Ian hitting Florida – having devastating impacts. In Sanford, the storm itself was strong but not so much of a problem – but the weeks of flooding afterwards along the river were. The historic flooding prompted the city to turn off the power off to the marina for weeks.
It was like living at anchor on a dock, and we needed to use galoshes as our dinghy to get ashore to dry land.
An adventure for sure!
And just as soon as the waters started to recede and life was feeling back to normal, just 43 days later Hurricane Nicole invited herself to dinner. Thankfully for us, Nicole did not have nearly the impact as Ian.
The storm’s impacts dissipated just in time for the holiday season to begin. For us, that was a trip to the west coast of Florida for Thanksgiving with the family, followed by running a marathon, and then hosting holidays here in Sanford for our families.
It’s been an abundant and wonderful travel year, despite the lack of actual miles made.
Big Life Milestones
The bigger story of our year has been the major milestones we’ve achieved.
First up, Chris turned the big 5-0 in November. While at the core an arbitrary number, we set it as goal post.
On his 49th birthday we set the balls in motion to get to some form of semi-retirement from our daily duties over the Mobile Internet Resource Center.
We came up with a game plan to build our team and enable them to handle most anything, and they’ve really excelled in meeting our goals. We couldn’t be prouder of them all.
We gave ourselves a year to get there, but in actuality our team was well on track by this summer and our van trip was a trial run. A trial run that worked so much better than imagined.
Our goal isn’t to entirely step away – we do love what we do. But simply get away from our lives revolving around other company’s press releases and breaking stories, as they have for the past 8 years since we founded the site.
By spreading the work load out amongst our team, creating redundancy in who can handle critical tasks and making us less central – we now all have much more freedom. We can now focus on the bigger picture stuff, and we have a lot more time to ourselves.
The other milestone? Chris decided for his 50th birthday he wanted to run his first marathon.
Giving himself just 2.5 months to prepare I decided to help keep him on a training schedule by ramping up for my first 1/2 marathon (well, actually my first anything!). Not even two hurricanes could distract us from our goal, and we rocked it.
As we enter our next decade, we do so with a focus on health & fitness, and quality of life. And it feels awesome.
We’ve enjoyed a delightful holiday season back in Sanford. Our original intentions were to head on back down the river by the end of January, attend to some boat stuff and resume our Great Loop this spring.
But we just couldn’t bring ourselves to put in our 30-day notice at the marina next week.
Especially considering there’s now a multi-year wait to get a slip again if we release ours. So for now, we’ve extended our stay here into February and have made appointments in March in Jacksonville for some boat maintenance that can’t be done here.
We have no clue what 2023 holds.
We’ll listen to our hearts and guide by serendipity as to what adventures we embark on.
The Great Loop? Florida and Bahamas cruising? Return to Sanford? RV Adventures? Options not yet presented?
Thank you for coming along virtually on this adventure –
we so enjoy sharing this space with you!
Wishing you ALL the best in 2023!
Our past year end wrap-ups: