Just over halfway through the month and already almost over budget.
Things happen. Some months go really smoothly and the breaks, dings and busts of living on the road don’t hurt as much because for some reason you were able to stay way under budget on groceries. Then some months really hurt. The dredging through rain and cold, long drives with a higher gas bill or needing to re-seal everything as the weather changes really start to dig into the budget and also weigh heavily on your mind as you pretend to sleep in those wee hours before the sun.
Part of having an online journal was to have an open conversation about all the things that come up and to be honest about the good and the hard and the pretty and the mundane. So here is something that we’ve been wondering about for the past few months: What are we going to do when we’re done driving?
We’ve been weighing the true cost of a trip like this, over morning coffee and between albums or at the end of a podcast. We wonder why the pull to this lifestyle of living on the road has become so strong for our generation. And we wonder, what happens at the end of this? Thinking back, in all of our pre-trip planning and research on all of the blogs and Youtube channels from the everyday man out traveling, we had a hard time finding people talking about some of the harsh realities. Not much about what happens… after. So you planned this big trip, you read stories from people finding work, odd jobs and continuing their education while driving across country. Many of them had jobs that came with them on the road or social media caught up with them and their bills are covered for their trip. Its super inspirational, yes. The reality? The best bet is to set up all that work before you head out on the road or you’ll be waiting, winding through your savings account, 6 months or more before your first bite.
Those that are on the road making money out of their vans and via web design from the coffee shop table, they are lucky and they know it. Our plan is to remain hopeful, stick to the budget and try to plan ahead. When things break, get mad for just a second and then fix it. Need boots for the heavy rain and mud? Buy them and use that “Personal Items” part of the budget that wasn’t spent last month. Beans and rice. How many ways can we make that perfect protein combo work with the spices and veggies in the drawer? So many.
The portfolio of work is growing, but finding ourselves without cell reception so often makes it hard to show that work off and send that inquiry from the email outbox. Writing music means we need to not be driving, making or eating meals, sleeping or talking. All of those things we really like and/or need to be doing, so creative time management has been a learning curve.
When December comes we hope to know what we’ll be doing for the next year. And we will continue being open about our steps to figuring that out.