August 17, 2016

1 Month In, Sabbatical Lessons

So first of all, I have entirely too many photos and I'm going to just randomly intersperse them into posts for the rest of the year, because, well, why not?

Cowboy Inn, ND - 1st experiment with show up in town and figure it out. Success, but very lucky.
Second of all, I'm shocked to realize that the year of Sabbatical is 1/12 done.  It feels to me like it just started yesterday, although E claims it feels to him like we've been on the road forever and he can't remember many of the places we've stayed, so perhaps it's just a temperament thing.

Pro-tip:  Wait 'til *after* you clear immigration to get out of the car for photos.
Third, I have no trouble living from a suitcase.  I think I could do it for the rest of my life.  Don't get me wrong, I love my home (especially having a kitchen and a garden), but I really could just be a nomad for the rest of my life.  The biggest logistical challenge (other than figuring out where to sleep and eat) is where to do laundry.  Thus far, a month in, we've done laundry at a) My sister's; b) a laundromat in Seattle; c) a laundromat in a Husky Gas Station in Hinton, Alberta (lots of Greek immigrants and *awesome* Greek food); d) an adorably earnest and committed Laundromat in Regina; and tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, somewhere in Madison Wisconsin.

See what I mean?  You can reduce a month of Sabbatical travel into 4+ laundry stops.  Time flies.  (Also, Prairie Dogs bark, which is just about the cutest thing, ever.)

We've been loving making the most of the amazing national and state parks in the United States and Canada.  Current count is:  Lassen, Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Theodore Roosevelt, Black Hills, Custer, Badlands, and more to come.

Black Elk Peak, Black Hills National Forest

For the last few weeks, it has felt so good to get up every other day or so and head out for a 2-6 hour hike with a good climb.  I feel so physically alive and engaged in a way I haven't in a very, very long time.  I'm sleeping better, and oddly, despite the local selection, eating better and just generally more in tune with my health than I have been in a long time.  My running and other workouts are currently a filler that I use when I've got driving days and we can't do big hikes, so I suspect when I return to running seriously, there will be a hit there, but overall, my body is very thankful for the big long efforts that fill my days in place of sitting at a computer with a phone and internalizing other people's problems.
Lakota Hoop Dancing at Crazy Horse Memorial

In short, 1 month in, this is possibly the best thing I've ever done in my life.  AND, I get to do it with my best friend, E (who thus far has insisted on doing all the driving!), which is just amazing.

I am very grateful.


Jen said...

It's interesting that you say you could live out of a suitcase. I'm definitely not that way. My friend Sun has been living a nomadic existence for the past 3 years - she's currently in Brazil, but has been all around the world. I like to live vicariously through my friends. :)

Biting Tongue said...

@Jen -- yes, we just spent the weekend with relatives and discussed our preferences, & it's true, things I don't notice drive them crazy, whereas things I care about they don't notice. These things make living from a suitcase easy for me and impossible for them.

Angela Knotts said...

YAY! Sounds like you're having a blast (laundry nonwithstanding)! :)

bt said...

@Angela -- I am!