Before I begin, I want to be sure to emphasize that we are really enjoying this new lifestyle. We have a truck, a 5th wheel, and our family - and we're seeing the country together. We're making magnificent memories, stretching our brains, and expanding our hearts.
That said, the mobile life isn't all sunsets and roses. In no particular order, here are the 5 worst things about living on-the-road so far...
Unreliable Internet. When I told Tim I was going to write this post, he said..."Can all 5 things be that we don't have a super fast Internet connection?" I couldn't help but smile - and agree. As far as we can tell, almost all campgrounds advertise "free WiFi." Also as far as we can tell, said "free WiFi" almost never works. We've been tethering our phones with 3G, which works pretty well most of the time...but it's a far cry from our exceptionally speedy cable connection back home.
Driving in-town or in bad traffic. Pulling a 36-foot trailer is stressful...and I'm not even the one doing the driving! My heart rate especially elevates when we have to drive anywhere crowded or that involves sharp turns (not fun at all). Note to all drivers: If you see a big motorhome or camper, please be observant, offer grace, AND keep your distance (do I sound like a snow bird yet?).
Driving in new places or with bad directions. Again, driving with a massive trailer behind you isn't exactly a walk in the park. Taking a wrong turn can be terrifying (and potentially dangerous). When we first arrived in Canyon Lake, we accidentally missed a turn and had to reverse onto a side road to get turned around. I had to get out to "shout directions" to Tim with ongoing traffic coming and I was trembling with fright a little bit afterward.
No real sense of "community." This is probably the number one reason why most families don't stay on-the-road indefinitely. It's hard to build and foster strong friendships when you are a nomad. Don't get me wrong - we are encountering fabulous people everywhere we go. Still, it's not quite the same as having neighbors right next door. I can already sense that our girls miss having the familiarity of close friends a little bit (and maybe...so do I).
The Unknown. Every day is an adventure. Essentially, we're pioneers. We can try to plan, but we never can know FOR SURE what to expect. The weather might change our route. The campground that we intended to stay at might be dirtier or scarier or nicer than we expected. The expenses might be more than we anticipated. We might be delayed by snow, ice, wind, hills, repairs, etc.
Now that I think about it, though, The Unknown is also a positive thing. I feel like I've grown more as a person in the past two weeks than I have in the entire past year. Facing obstacles is requiring us to be innovative, to have faith, and to lean on each other. And all of those things are exceptionally good.
What would scare you the most about living on-the-road?