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3 Great Reasons to Give Slow Travel a Try in 2022!

Nomadic Living Chris and Melissa in Truck

Why are we moving to 12 different cities in 12 months? Are we living for a gimmick? To what end are we doing all of this traveling for? These are questions I find myself asking when I stub my big toe while making the bed, when I bump my head on a refrigerator door handle that sticks out farther than I’m accustomed to, and when I’m midway into making a meal and the oven and stove top stop working for no explicable reason. These are the moments I miss having our home, with our furniture and our appliances.

We’ve packed and loaded ourselves into our truck and unpacked and moved ourselves into a new place seven times in seven months. Most of what we have with us includes: clothing for all kinds of weather, kitchen supplies, and workout gear. Some items have been purchased while on our journey, others let go of during our travels. We’re becoming well-acquainted with our actual must-haves.  

Road Trip to San Diego Chris and Melissa Are We There Yet?

When we started this adventure, I convinced myself it was about finding the perfect place to call home. It would be one year. A person can do anything for a year, right? Plenty of years have been and can be lived in one place, making friends, and knowing the lay of the land of the grocery store, what they stock and what must be purchased elsewhere. Almost a week into 2022 and month seven of our adventure, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this trip isn’t ending anytime soon. Well, more than come to terms. I’m happy that we’re doing what we’re doing despite missing our house. That’s right. It’s worth it. 

3 Reasons to Give slow Travel a Try:

1.) Enjoy bucket list worthy adventures that you might not have even had on your destination bucket list. 

A couple of amazing experiences we’ve had by chance (thanks to slow travel):

White Sands National Park

Between our month-long stays between Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, we decided to spend a couple of nights chilling out in Las Cruces. Why? To break up our driving time. It’s about a 15 hour drive from Austin to Phoenix. Chris booked us a couple of nights in an amazing house via VRBO. I looked for things to do while we were in the area and realized we’d be within an hour of White Sands National Park. We went and enjoyed both an adventurous and a romantic day.

Fredericksburg, Texas

Thanks to friends we made in Dallas, we learned about Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock. Our day trip there included a fantastic (albeit short) hike with great views, time in a charming German town, and great food. 

Palm Springs, California

Due to a booking error on our part, we’d left ourselves without a place to stay for a night after our time in Phoenix was done and before our San Diego was ready for us to move in. One of our dear friends who lives in Phoenix suggested we stop in Palm Springs and take the largest rotating aerial tramway on earth to the top of San Jacinto mountain. We decided to do it before considering our fears and we’re so grateful that we just went for it. This experience helped us realize what we’re really seeking. Our journey isn’t about finding home, it’s about searching for moments that expand our comfort zone, inspire wonder, and delight our senses. It gave us (well, more me) the A-ha I needed to continue on with enthusiasm.

2.) Open up a different way of thinking about getting to bucket list destinations. Last night Chris and I were talking about New Zealand. It’s been on his bucket list since college. The big detractor to going beyond cost is the idea of how many hours it takes to get there. If we were planted in Minnesota and not thinking outside of the box, we’d book a flight from Minneapolis to Auckland. The shortest flight I can find is a little over 23 hours (they all include layovers due to the distance). However, last night, as we talked through it from our home for the month in Pismo Beach, we decided that for traveling to New Zealand we’d figure out a better route: California – Hawaii – New Zealand. Now, when we decide to turn that bucket-list wish into a reality, we won’t have to be on a flight forever and we’ll likely be surprised by wonders on the way.

3.) Learn new things. You don’t know what you don’t know and you only typically search for the things you know you want to know more about on Google, or in books. In the past few months, we’ve learned: how to say saguaro, that prickly pears exist(and are delish), why palm oil is so bad for the environment (thanks San Diego zoo), and what agave plants look like (thanks Frank at the San Diego Botanic Garden). I believe that learning these things shifts our perspective and makes us more aware of our impact on the environment around us.

In 2022, we are shifting gears a bit. Instead of just seeing what different cities and places are like, we’re looking for experiences that inspire a sense of awe, wonder, or delight. We’re embracing slow travel as a means of seeking these experiences. What experiences have you had that inspire a sense of awe, wonder, or delight? 

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