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It’s summer and everyone is going on vacation, especially to the National Parks it seems. Forget that gas prices are over $6.00 a gallon in California and pushing into the $7.00 range if you need Premium. Love my Ford Fusion with 170,000 miles!
We typically like to go against the norm and run away from the herd, but there was little helping it for this road trip we had planned. I discussed in my post about our Hawaii vacation that we are experimenting with different ways of traveling, with our Hawaii trip as your traditional “vacation”. This trip was a road trip to Colorado to do some pet sitting for friends, check out their fun financial independence and lifestyle podcast at Mile High FI. This trip promised a different type of travel at a more relaxed pace…or so we thought! More to come on our adventurous road trip shortly, but wanted to set the stage for why this really was going to be a “Let’s Hit the Road” type of trip.
We were in Hawaii in April, then headed to Michigan to visit my family for my Mom’s 80th Birthday in May and then turned around in 4 days to head to Colorado at the beginning of June. We have been testing renting our condo out on Airbnb for the last year while we are traveling. It has been a great way to offset travel costs. We decided to see if we could do a longer term rental of our place since we had a longer trip to Portugal scheduled this fall.
We ended up finding a renter for 3 months and possibly up to 5 months on Furnished Finders. They typically cater to traveling nurses, but are also available to people that are looking for 30+ day stays. The couple that will be staying at our place beginning in July are a retired couple testing out their acting in Hollywood! Gotta love retirement!
So we needed to pack up all our stuff to be gone for possibly up to 5 months! Wow, that took some more purging, packing, repacking, and cleaning to get our place ready. Well, we wanted to shake things up this year, see my Year of the Snowglobe post for details, and this was going to fit the bill for sure!
One of our dear friends is an artist (check out his risque art at Reiq.art) and he has lots of flexibility in his time. We decided to travel with him on our road trip to Colorado. So after departing our little condo for the next 3+ months, we hit the road from Los Angeles for our Big adventure.
The plan was to drive through Vegas, skip Zion and Bryce Canyon since we were trying to go where there were less crowds and see the slot canyons in Page, Arizona. I am typically a planner for trips and like to have everything booked out, but for this trip, we just kept it loose. We just booked our first night hotel and made reservations for the slot canyons since they fill up.
We drove through Vegas, across the tip of Arizona and stayed in St. George, Utah. We had a great drive, listening to tunes, telling stories and having a grand old time.
Our friend tells us he had cold sweats all night, was feeling weak and sick. Yep, you guessed it!
Our bad for not testing everyone before we left on the trip. Okay, we just spent 8+ hours in a car with him, so pretty good exposure on that one. Scott and I both tested negative and were feeling fine. Now what?
You guessed it…we turned around and drove back to California!
Out of St. George, through the tip of Arizona, past Vegas… again and into California where his sister meets us in Baker to drive him back to LA. Masked up with full air flowing and windows down the entire way. We had listened to this podcast with an epidemiologist discussing COVID and what is going on currently, which I highly recommend. COVID, simply explained and the long term health implications of long COVID.
After the drop off of our sick friend (who is doing fine now, BTW), we then turned around and headed back, past Vegas…again and through the tip of Arizona. We ended up staying in a Casino for the cheap room and $8.99 prime rib dinner! Totally worth it! Gotta remember the silver linings!
We are now on a COVID countdown and with our pet sitting in jeopardy with our friends. We canceled our slot canyon tours and opted for outdoor hikes while in Page, AZ. Amazing and HOT! Next time we will go in the spring, summer is a killer!
Going into days 4 and 5, we are still feeling fine, so we work our way past Durango, CO and decide to spend the night in Ouray, CO. Wow, what an amazing drive up the Million Dollar Highway! Stunning!
Negative! Double Negative actually.
Yep, we both test negative and still are feeling normal. I am shocked and amazed at the same time. So we pushed on and made it to Colorado in time for our pet sit and have been practicing social distancing as much as possible. As of the writing of this post, we are now 10 days with no symptoms and negative test results again today. Listen to that podcast, seriously!
Being Post FI has its advantages! While working, I don’t think I took more than 2 weeks for a vacation, since there was always so much work to do. I planned like crazy so I could cram all the things I wanted to do in those 2 weeks.
That strategy would not have worked for this trip.
We had to really be flexible and go with the flow, day to day. The funny thing is that we were not really stressed about it. We got our friend home safe so he could recover. Yeah, we had an extra day driving back & forth through California, and we did not even stress about being exposed to COVID. It was what it was and we dealt with it.
We have been trying to practice being more flexible (and I don’t mean the yoga kind of flexible). A hiccup like this on a trip would have stressed me out and possibly really ruined a “well planned” vacation.
This is our life now, not a vacation.
So going with the flow felt really good, peaceful actually. So “Let’s Hit the Road” has a whole new meaning for me. Our Post FI Life is filled with adventure, possibilities (good & bad), increased flexibility, and uncertainty. I think that is a good way to live a Post FI Life and look forward to more uncertainty in the future.
Be safe, be well.
What do you think of when you say Hawaii? Walking along an exotic sandy beach with warm water lapping over your feet? Drinking fruity pineapple cocktail drinks under gently swaying palm trees? Snorkeling within volcanic reefs and frolicking with Hawaii’s green sea turtles? Yep, that is how I pretty much think of the islands of Hawaii and it is not too far off the mark. Here are my Top 3 Maui Vacation Highlights.
I am 13 months in from quitting my job and I am still logging in about 10 hours of sleep a night! Boy did I need to sleep!
The Need to Sleep quote stuck out for me when I was creating my vision board. I am surprised that I have not been working for over a year now and my body is still requiring a lot of hours of sleep.