Endless ‘Vacations’ – Chasing Rainbows and Unicorns

PRESCOTT, AZ — What do our days look like on this endless vacation?  Do we see rainbows and unicorns everyday? Not a chance! It really is anything but an endless vacation. Our mornings are usually spent working – on the computers and on the phone.  If it wasn’t for my great office staff this would not be possible. We always stay somewhere we can get cell service.  Without we go a little crazy trying to stay connected.  But with a good connection I can work, just as I would if I were ‘home’.

The "Office" - Yes those are iPads and Hotspots up in the corner trying to get better service.

The “Office” – Yes those are iPads and Hotspots up in the corner trying to get better service.

We have to make time for chores and restocking supplies.  It is not an endless vacation with maid service.  Shopping, cooking and cleaning take up lots of time.  With only 200 square feet to clean,  it goes nice and fast.  We do have to keep everything in it’s place.  Only a few moments of sloppiness and the entire rig looks like a pig pen.  I do feel like we spend TONS of time doing dishes.  With no dishwashers it is the never ending hand washing (cause we cook all the time).  I am still waiting for the weekly maid – she still hasn’t showed up!  This is just the breakfast dishes that won’t seem to go away on their own.

Breakfast dishes...still waiting for the dish fairy to arrive...

Breakfast dishes…still waiting for the dish fairy to arrive…

Shopping is another challenge. We don’t always know where the perfect spots are for shopping.  Sometimes we are conveniently close to the stores and other times not.  Running out for the missing ingredient is rarely very easy – so a little more planning happens prior to shopping.  I also don’t stock up on anything.  So we have learned to keep track of what we are running out of and what needs to be replaced.  I am a little better at planning these days – I used to plan three meals, shop for five and then only make one of those meals.  I am much more resourceful and don’t toss out anywhere near as much rotten food as I did when I had a huge full size residential refrigerator full of choices.

A weekly occurrence is laundry – always a good time (not).  I hadn’t been in a laundromat since college when we first went on a multi-week trip.  But now I am overly familiar with them and like how I can usually focus and get all my loads done simultaneously.  We seek out good laundromats, looking on Yelp and asking friends who have been in the area.  The best ones are clean, have cheap machines and free wireless (so we can update all our devices on free data).  I so miss tossing in a load on my way out the door and just doing laundry as it was convenient.

Of course there is also a planning component that isn’t necessary when living in a ‘sticks and bricks’ location.  In the endless pursuit of the prefect flip-flop weather, temperature is a leading component in our decisions.  We actually study a color coded temperature map as a guide. Where are we going next?  Where we will stay? What is the temperature? Do we need reservations? Are we going to meet up with anyone? What are the sites to see?  What stores are near by? What do the trails look like for biking and hiking? Should we arrange to have mail sent?  Has anyone else been there and reviewed it?  Lots of research goes into each move of our home.  The nice thing is we can be pretty spontaneous as the weather changes.

There are tons of tools to use for finding actual sites.  We start with the newly updated NOAA graphical weather map and then pick areas of interest.  Internet research will tell us what there is to do.  Usually we are checking out trail maps, Trip Advisor  and Yelp to see suggestions.  Some Chambers put out websites with great lists of top activities.  Others are suggestions or invitations for friends and family (and of course lists of microbrews have been known to influence our direction).  From there we look at boondocking, dispersed camping and different RV parks.  We look on Campendium, Allstays iOS app, and a few ‘nomads’ blogs we follow.  To stay current on blogs, we also set up a great app called Feedly to aggregate RSS feed updates (thanks to Iain and Kate of The Scenic Route for telling us about it). A few travelers out there we have met go to some GREAT places and we are always happy to get their input and suggestions (some might call it stalking).  Instagram pictures also instill some great ideas for places to go.  I am amazed at how much there is to see and how many places we have added to the list. Some places we have missed this time around, but will see next time we are in the area.

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Powering all those devices is a little bit of work. This week we are in the trees and thankful that the solar panels are portable!

So is it all rainbows and unicorns – no but we do try and make room to chase them!  Not a day goes by that we are not grateful for our opportunities and experiences we have had and the ones we will have!

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