A Reflection. Pt 2: What we’ve learned.

by Travis Gertz

Day 192

The other day I posted the raw stats of this glorious trip so far. Here are some of the things we actually learned. The finer points, if you will:

The RV life is a secluded one.
We thought this trip would be a continuous social event involving retirees, travellers, locals, and everyone in between. The truth is, RV people like their privacy. RV parks are generally quiet places with quiet (if not quirky) people. Hit the pubs for conversation… and do make sure you hit the pubs. Rarely do you ever get such an honest taste of the local flavour.

Be honest at the border. Every time. No matter what.
We learned this the hard way on our way in.

Shit does happen.
Seriously. The black water tank is like a ticking time bomb. Respect the sewage.

Rach and I are capable of spending disgusting amounts of time together.
We live together, we work together, we play together. Rachel and I spend nearly every hour of every day in the same 280 square feet of space. We were freaked out about this at first, but it turns out we jive quite well. The secret is… if there’s a problem, get it out immediately. Address it head on, work it out, move on. It also helps that we’re both pretty easy going. No room for control freaks here.

We thought we were open-minded.
The truth is, we knew nothing at all… and probably know even less now. At least we know that much. 

Plan only as much as necessary. No more.
Itineraries are pointless on the road. They will likely change by the day and often by the hour. The more we can let life bump us around, the more we can enjoy what we’re doing. Instead of wasting time worrying and planning, take that time, get stuff done and get out. Do what you need to do to make the next step happen, nothing more.

If you can help it, don’t rush it.
It’s really easy to get excited about the next adventure. So much that it’s easy to forget the one we’re on right now. It’s important to step back and live for the present. It’s the only thing that’s going to determine the future, so you better make it count.

Plan to work half the time if you want to see anything.
If you can compress a 40 hour week into 20, the rest of the time feels like a vacation. You just have to make that 20 hours count. Focus. Get it done, then get the hell out. Work hard, work smart. Conquer in half the time.

Work around your body.
The arbitrary hours of 9-5 no longer apply and are counterproductive. Make a new schedule that works for your body and your non-work goals.

Getting lost is a great way to see a city.
We get lost everywhere we go. Never on purpose. Even when I meticulously plan the route out, we end up taking about four wrong turns. Sometimes this can cause stress and frustration, but usually it’s for the better.

The definition of home changes wherever you are.
We don’t miss a thing from Calgary. We miss the people. Hey Calgary friends, what do ya say we all move to Austin?

The less you own, the richer you are.
We don’t have a permanent residence or a fancy car. Most of our stuff is either lent out, sold, or sitting in a storage unit. Dead weight. We don’t plan on buying a home, a new car, or furniture when we get back. In fact, we’re finding ways to get rid of the things we have left. We’ve built a business and a lifestyle that is completely self-contained and mobile. If we wanted to fly to Europe tomorrow, we could. At least that’s the goal. Without the costs and responsibilities of these useless material goods, this type of thing is definitely within reach. All we really need are some clothes, our computers, and a camera. We may not be wealthy, but we’re living like royalty.

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