Our Gap Year adventure is beginning!
When I last wrote about Gap Year, we hadn’t decided when it would happen. We knew the earliest it could possibly get started was after our youngest child left home, but we didn’t know if we’d be ready right then or not. And when my husband got his dream job a few years ago, I was sure he wouldn’t want to leave it after only a couple years. But the reality of working for a big company set in, and the honeymoon ended.
Since I wrote that Gap Year post back in 2011 we’ve lost some family members that were way too young, had coworkers that suddenly passed or developed life-threatening illnesses, and both of us lost our fathers. It reinforced the notion that our time here is limited, and we don’t know how limited.
With the housing market starting to recover, we thought we could sell our house without too much pain (that turned out to be true). My mom is still living independently, we’re healthy, our kids our healthy, and we don’t have any grandkids. The planets had aligned—there was no reason to put it off. The longer we waited, we knew the greater the chance that any one of those things could change.
We sold our house, bought a motorcoach, and quit our jobs. We said goodbye to San Diego and to our family and friends there. After I finish up one last week of work in Las Vegas, we are heading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, then on to Lake Powell. After that the plan is to have no plan (or at least minimal plans). Here is what we do have planned:
- Stay out of the snow
- Drive no more than four hours a day and only in the daylight
- Hike, hike, hike
- Spend Christmas with Mom in NW Arkansas
- Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans
- Spend our 10-year wedding anniversary in Niagara Falls
- See the fall colors on the Eastern Seaboard
- Drop in on friends and family whenever possible on our journey
- See as many national parks and monuments as we can
- Find opportunities for Kelly to do Scottish country dancing
- Go back to work for a few years before retiring
We have a long list of places to see, but no itinerary. It’s a challenge for me to set out on something this big without a definitive plan, but it’s also part of the adventure. By not making a bunch of reservations in advance, we have the freedom to stay a little longer or follow recommendations we hadn’t considered before. It’s an opportunity to practice letting go.
One Conscious Life will become more or less a travelogue now. I may still write posts about frugal living, healthy eating/cooking, personal finance, eco-friendly living, and being of service because these will always be topics of importance to me. But this blog is about to become more personal than before, and I won’t have a set posting schedule.
The best way to see pictures of our adventure, and to have more up-to-date information on where we are and what we’re doing, will be to follow our Facebook page, “Dave and Kelly’s Gap Year” at facebook.com/dnkgapyear.
We hope you will follow us on our adventure, either here or on Facebook (or both!), and that you’ll actively like and comment on our posts and make suggestions about places we should visit.