A Year On

I wanted to tell you—wanted to warn you so that we don’t sneak up on you, which we might just do if you don’t know—that Matt and I are taking “a year on” to drive around the country.

We’ll be cruising around in our converted 2005 Dodge Sprinter called “Julius the Van.” Our beloved li’l kitties Max and TK are going to take sabbaticals of their own—staying with our friends Patsy and Danielle and Evan and Meg. We’ve rented the house, stored away all of the highly unnecessary crap we keep, and packed up a few essentials—clothes, books, the karaoke system. We’ve got our laptops, some notebooks, a guitar, seven or so writing projects, and a list of National Parks to see.

We’re not taking a vacation, and we’re not retiring early. We’re still going to be working—we’ll just be doing it from the road. Matt did have to close his therapy practice while we’ll be gone. But he’ll be writing from the road, so he’s still on the hook. I’ll be tutoring a couple of days a week (online! God bless the Internet.) and overseeing the business while leaving the day-to-day to the supremely competent Uma Incrocci and Martha Marion.

Where are we going? Well, we’re not totally sure. We’ll start from home, Los Angeles, and head to Florida to start. We’ll stay with my now-snowbird parents in Siesta Key, taking advantage of free lodging and good company. Then we’ll head to New Orleans for a month for Carnival season. How many parades can you see before you get tired of parades? We will find out. After that, we’ll spend some time in Texas—Houston, Austin, Marfa. El Paso? Elsewhere?

Then, before school gets out, we’ll visit the National Parks in the southwest. Why before school gets out? I believe that children are our future, and that future is June, July, and August. We’ll be long gone before then.

After that, some time in California where we’ve left a few stones unturned, like Death Valley and Lassen Volcanic Nat’l Park. Then the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Canada, Minnesota for the 4th of July (North Dakota fireworks in hand), the North shore of Lake Superior, back into Canada to see Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, then drop down into Maine in mid-September.

After that, who knows?

The most interesting question, for me, is why. Why are we taking a year away? And why a year, for that matter? The short answer is that time is slipping away. Time, that precious resource, is in short supply, and we’ve been spending it faster than ever. The last seven years have felt about ten days long. We don’t have to do this, but we’re worried that if we don’t we’ll keep slipping into the future at this furious pace.

The other reason is that Matt and I have both always admired the people we know who take off on adventures—people like Skippy, who is, as far as Matt knows, still wbicycling around South America (he set out in the late 1990s).

Problem is we are both planners as well. Even as we’re adventuring, we like to have an itinerary. We welcome spontaneity, so long as it happens on schedule and leaves enough time to cook dinner.

So, we’re trying to bridge the gap between our adventuring spirit and extreme planning. We’re trying to become the people we want to be while embracing the people we are. Hippies with spreadsheets. Rebels without a debt.

One last goal: we want to see our beloved friends. If you’ve read this far, that’s you. How about a cup of tea? We’re in no great hurry, and we try to get our writing done in the morning, so we’ve got all afternoon. Let us know—we’ll add you to our very casual plan.

Lots of love.
Wish us luck.

2 thoughts on “A Year On”

  1. I just passed your van on 75 South in Florida- right around Apollo Beach (and I know I know reading and texting while driving …. but voice to text is a magical tool. I digress.) I just wanted to say that I think you guys are awesome and I’m so inspired! I started reading a book today about living the life you want.. fast forward and happened upon your van en route from work, drawn in to Google search of Julius the Van…to find 2 people doing exactly that, living their life!!
    So cheers to that!!!

    And while you’re here, check out TECO manatee viewing center, in Apollo Beach. It’s free and inundated with manatees in their natural habitat. Because endangered species are awesome. And because I’m a local marine biologist/environmentalist and think you’d dig it! (who also loves organized adventuring!

    Safe Travels!!!
    Ali –

    1. Ali! Thanks for the kind message! We’ve been on the road six days so far…and I would say so far, so good. It’s fun to take in so much new scenery and stimulation as we drive around. It’s easy to say that we’ve had a richer experience this week than we would have if we were at home, as usual. This despite the cold!

      I will totally check out the TECO manatee viewing center—thanks for the great tip!

      Ted (& Matt)

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