We’ll be running parallel blogs for awhile. From There to Here will continue to provide the highlights of our years aboard Nine of Cups. David will regale you in the coming weeks with his repairs, projects and spruce-up of Nine of Cups and concurrently, we’ll talk about our wrestling with all the possibilities for the next adventure.
Now that we’ve decided to sell Nine of Cups and make a change, we need to decide exactly what it is we want to do. We’ve set some criteria for ourselves … 1) the new adventure MUST be travel-oriented; 2) we must maintain our budget; 3) we cannot be tied down.
So, we started a notebook of ideas. The first idea was the possibility of buying an 18-wheeler semi and taking to the road. In our fantasy world, we would choose a place we wanted to visit, get a load to that place, enjoy some time there and then, whenever we were ready to move on, choose another place and haul a load there. We’d get our CDLs and become team drivers. The driving would pay for the tractor purchase and our local expenses. We could sing “On the Road Again” in 2-part harmony (as if). It’d be awesome.
Then we talked to David’s brother, Paul, who’d been there and done that professionally for many years. In reality, it doesn’t work quite the way our fantasy would have it. In fact, it’s not even close. There are truck repairs, maintenance, expenses … long hauls to places we’d prefer not going, lots of travel but on major highways and you can’t be particularly picky about what you’re hauling nor where you’re going. Living on the road is hard work. Hmmm … okay, no 18-wheelers!
Being in Virginia, we’ve been charmed by all the historical houses around. What about buying a big, old house in an up and coming neighborhood in a small town and doing a major renovation? We’d have projects to our heart’s content. We scoured Redfin and Trulia and contacted a couple of realtors … most of whom blew us off, by the way. We drove through towns like Suffolk and Petersburg and Richmond. We found some likely candidates and worked on the logistics and then … what was our third criteria again? We cannot be tied down. Oh, my … whatever were we thinking? Nix that idea … no big houses, no lawns to mow, no renovations. No, no, no!
Moving on … how about buying an RV, aka a land yacht? The idea of hauling a trailer behind us was not appealing. So perhaps one of those big, honkin’ Class A, luxurious motor homes. We could tour the country, live in style, moving from one RV park/resort to the next. But you know what? It’s just not us and then there’s the #2 criteria above … maintain the budget. Land yachts are out.
Marcie began researching places to go and things to see. We’ve already visited all 50 of the US states, but we really didn’t explore them all. What’s there to see out there in our huge, beautiful country? There are any number of festivals to check out … the world’s oldest rodeo in Prescott, Arizona, the UFO fest in Roswell, New Mexico, the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa and of course, the Cow Chip Fest in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. There are mule fests, gecko fests, bat fests, garlic fests and balloon fests. It was hard to contain our excitement.
Then there are all those funky places to check out that Roadside America and Atlas Obscura tout and a gazilllion (okay maybe a couple hundred) “unusual” museums that beg a visit. Heck, we loved the SPAM museum, but we’ve never made it to the Ventriloquist Museum in Mitchell, Kentucky or Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri or, believe it or not, the Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. And then there are all those amazing graveyards to visit and all the National Parks and Monuments and all those out of the way places to explore like Chicken, Alaska or the Labrador Highway. These are all places and things that deserve some attention.
And, of course, there’s foreign travel. So many places we haven’t visited and we want to see and do it all … stand on the Great Wall of China, take a barge down the Nile (not at the moment maybe, but someday I’d like to indulge my Cleopatra fantasy), view the Acropolis, kiss the Blarney Stone and see the Northern Lights. We’ve toyed with the idea of choosing a city, renting a small furnished apartment for a few months and just getting to know a place … Barcelona, a tiny town in France or Ireland, maybe somewhere in Italy or Buenos Aires or some place in Africa or Australia.
So … we are still left with a decision. What to do now? How do we combine all of this wanderlust and curiosity into our new lifestyle. So many ideas to ponder. We continue to noodle. Check back next week … maybe we’ll have some answers by then.