So we've officially moved completely into our Earthroamer. It's been five days since we left the comfort of home in Red Deer and the overland travelling with kid lessons are already stacking up. Here are our favs from our first five days.
Slow and steady wins the race
Despite the fact that the ER can haul some ass, for an RV it's still bigger and slower than our Volvo. We usually calculate a travelling rate of one hour per one hundred kms but we realize now that this should be adjusted to more like an hour per sixty kms! But in the end going slow is going fast. Let me explain: the desire to "get there" quickly for me sprouts from a desire not to miss out, to hurry to have the next exciting experience. The funny thing is the cool people we've already met, the great scenery we've experienced, and the close animal encounters we've had have all been a result of stopping on the side of the road when we didn't really want to (but some screaming kids needed us to). Of course driving slower significantly improves our mileage as well.
Sometimes kids know best
One of the advantages of travelling with kids is that they express themselves in the moment in the most extreme ways :) Granted, they may not be able to articulate exactly why they are screaming at the top of their lungs and calling you every possible version of faeces that their cute little brains can come up with ("poop nugget" is my current favourite). More often than not when they're hungry I'm hungry, when they're sore from sitting too long my back is killing me, when they just peed their pants I... well not quite, but a bathroom break is welcomed. Letting the kids lead is also a great idea. Arjuna consistently argues to go the exact opposite direction that I'm suggesting, but the result of this (when it's possible) is often far more rewarding - it's not the destination but how you get there that creates the experience.
Alcohol is expensive!
The biggest constraint on our trip is definitely finance, or at least in our minds that is the current biggest constraint. We've been tracking our spending to try to adjust our habits to a more frugal existence and the receipt tally is very telling. Other than diesel our single largest expense in 5 days is booze! The simple desire for a glass of wine or a couple of cold beers after a long day of traveling (specifically traveling with kids!) dents our daily budget very quickly. We've always tried to be good guests and bring some beer or wine with us to a friend's place, but at $20+ for twelve beers and $15+ for a decent bottle of wine in Canada we may have to reevaluate this good guest strategy, or try not to have too many friends! I suppose we could drink really cheap stuff but then what's the point? I mean we're not in high school any more. Our current solution: only drink small amounts, only on weekends. Try not to order alcohol if we're out unless that's the only thing we order. Bring hand picked flowers to friends' houses instead. When we do buy drinks, lower our consumption volume in order to afford better quality drinks. Buy local.
Sitting is the new smoking
Maybe you've heard this phrase before? If you haven't yet, you will. My initial thoughts after sitting for hours in the driver seat are simple.
1. Sitting all the time makes you fat! What is it about doing nothing with your body that invigorates your mouth energy? I guess if activity suppresses hunger then the opposite must also be true. We've learned that muffins are really just donuts in disguise, those gas station mixed nuts are mostly high fructose corn syrup, and we're never gonna eat spinach behind the wheel. So when we stop for a snack with the kids, it's not just 15 minutes in and out of the nearest Tim Horton's! We find somewhere scenic (and flat) to pull off and spend at least an hour making a full lunch from supplies in our pantry and fridge and run around outside with the kids.
2. In terms of real holistic health your spine is the priority. Next time you're visiting your chiropractor, ask them what they think about sitting for long durations of time. Basically the chair must have been invented by a secret group of society control experts working for the pharmaceutical industry who want you to Ibuprofen and Robaxascet your your muscles into oblivion. Joking aside, long periods of sitting fucks your shit up! So don't do it, unless your house is actually a truck and your job requires driving between far off locations (dang it!). #nomadproblems
Yoga fixes everything
After over a decade of practice one simple fact never ceases to amaze me about a good yoga class: it fixes everything. To be clear, I'm talking about the result of practicing and not necessarily the experience while practicing. After driving for a few days, the stress of our new confined living space, and probably just a little too much beer and chips, it took every ounce of my personal will power to go to yoga class. At moments during class, I thought for sure my spine would break in two, my knees would crumble below me, and my sweat would burn my eyes causing permanent damage! But I survived and left class at Bikram Yoga Vernon having forgotten all my mental stresses, cleansed of my impurities, and with a spine of rubber, knees like springs, and a smile on my face. Students often ask me if they should practice when they feel sore / sick / injured / pain / emotional, and I respond: when would a better time to practice be? If you feel great, have no pain, move easily, are super healthy then why do you need yoga? Well that's another conversation.