I have been thinking about how to write a post (or anything rather) about our trip. How do I write about something so vast and grand (nearly 5000 miles, 9 states, and 10 National Parks)? An awe-inspiring experience beyond words? How do I capture this with mere words? How can I convey the beauty of what I saw and felt? How do I condense it down and not write pages? How? And then there is this part of me that is a little selfish. I love sharing photos. I also get a lots of thoughts that come to me, beautiful words I feel compelled, and know I need to share. But sometimes I like to keep things to myself. Personal, private moments. On our trip there were so many perfect little moments, that I want to keep close to my heart. Never have I been so thankful for having a photographic memory, I can replay them over and over in my mind. And so, yes, some of me feels selfish.
But there is a lot I (we) learned on our trip. Lots on travel. Camping. Packing. Eating. Hiking. Parks. And general experience.
I come from a family of travelers. My grandparents got an RV when they retired and drove around the country, have been on countless cruises (we took an Alaskan one to renew their vows for their 50th), and have been to a multitude of countries. I have a cousin living via RV as well, who returned from months of New Zealand travel earlier this year. Growing up my fondest memories with my big, crazy extended family, were trips. Renting out huge houses and piling in all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Lots of fun and laughter. Play. Drunkeness. Bonding. Sun. Family dinners and eating out. From the Ozarks to Florida to Alaska. I looked forward to trips. Plus my immediate family loved a trip. I have not been on a trip in years, though, since our business had to file bankruptcy. I have been rebuilding my life the past five years.
Back to the present. I don’t know how it really came about, but pretty much from the infancy of our relationship, Zach (my husband) and I talked about a trip to Yellowstone. Excitement and influence spread our trip across multiple states. And the resolution to get a parks pass, had us dreaming of a two week Grand Adventure.
Something I am learning is the importance of goals. I have several goal, lifestyle coaches in my family. The great thing about relationships and goals within them, is accountability. Especially when it is a shared goal. I remember a conversation we had towards the beginning, when Zach asked me the purpose of a relationship. To set goals together. Goals I am learning are about making our lives and selves better. It is not about the pressure and perfection of attaining a goal (this was my former outlook, I was always striving so hard, goals take a certain amount of current soul contention I believe). It is the possibility of a goal come true. What do you lose in trying? In going for it? Should we not live our lives? This physical life is temporary and not guaranteed. That is what life has taught me. I don’t have time for anger. Or to feel like life sucks. To bitch or complain. Especially since I am so blessed. Life is too precious, not to travel and explore and love and smile and laugh and dance and be silly. To be joy filled.
I am also learning that to obtain goals you need equal parts belief and faith, to action. You need to know you can reach your goal, but you also have to put in the work. We wanted to take a trip, we had to put money in the bank. Simple, right? Well, it is easy to say we want something in our lives. I find people do that all the time. Actually believing and doing are different. This happens to me too. I will ‘think’ my way out of a lot of things I want in life. I will listen to and entertain excuses. Excuses are dream killers. Instead of focusing on why something cannot happen. Focus instead on how something can be made possible. Dwell in the possibilities. That is where manifesting happens. Setting goals together, we were really able to lean into each other and hold one another accountable so we could accomplish our goal.
And we did! This may be a long enough post for now, but here are some of the posts I plan on writing in the future about the trip:
- Food on the Road and Organizaion
- Camping and Where to Stay
- Use a Map
- National Parks and a Parks Pass: Why you NEED one!
- Taking a Scenic By-Way
- Be Friendly
Until we dig into all of those, here are some highlights of my favorite things and a few pictures to wet your appetite:
Favorite Park: the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone
Favorite Utah Park (there are 5): Bryce Canyon
Favorite Experience: climbing Angels Landing
Favorite Scenic Drive: Beartooth/Escalante
Favorite overall: having someone to experience it all with. I’ve done so much traveling and adventures by myself, I am at a place now where I fully enjoy having a companion for the journey. I was ready.