Thursday, May 25, 2017

Moving ourselves across the continent...

Travel Blog
May 23, 2017

Everyone keeps telling me I should keep a blog of our traveling adventures, so here it is…

As a military wife, I don’t get a choice in our next duty station and my husband has very limited choices. That being said, we’ll soon be moving from the Piedmont of North Carolina to the middle of Alaska. If I said I was excited about this, I’d be lying. It really is one of the only places I didn’t want to go to, but alas, that is where we are headed. I have built a beautiful life here, where we are, with friends that I love and can count on and that can count on me. I am not a fan of cold weather, of any

sort. I grew up in the cold. I don’t like it, but I damn well better get used to it quickly as temperatures average in the negatives during the winter months. I know there will be gorgeous and wonderful things to see there and I am excited to see many of them. I am a bit anxious about the 23 hours of dusk to night time during the winter and, if I’m being honest, the 23 hours of daylight during the summer. At first, the daylight sounds kind of neat, but when I really think about it, I think it will be confusing for the kids and a frustration for me. I have a hard time sleeping once the sun is up, so this will be a learning experience. The long, cold winter scares me and I feel like I’ll live snuggled up in a blanket in front of a fireplace, but I’m sure it won’t be as bad as I picture.

Don't get me wrong, I KNOW there are beautiful, wondrous things to see and do and explore. I know that there are new people to meet and that I will re-build a life there that I'll learn to love. I know that
I'll be able to see things I couldn't imagine and that I'll build new relationships. Right now, I am fully aware that I am in denial and haven't yet accepted that I'm leaving this home...even though the move is right around the corner.

Speaking of the move, we have quite the haul ahead of us as we’re moving ourselves there. Yes, you read that right. The two of us are driving three vehicles, two trailers, a 3 year old, an almost 10 year old, and a 95lb dog 5,000 miles across the continent. Seems an impossible and overwhelming task, but we’ll get it done. We may never do it again, but then again, we might love the trip. We are taking several weeks to take the trip so that we’re able to explore and relax in beautiful places that we’ve never been to.

So, how are we moving this load, you might ask? We purchased a huge moving truck that will be hauling one of our trailers. My husband will be driving that while I’ll be driving his truck, hauling a 5th wheel trailer with my car inside of it. The 5th wheel also doubles as a camper, so all we’ll have to do is back my car out and set up bed and we’ll be ready for camping. Yes, the Army could have moved our things for us, but because we have our four wheelers and trailers, we would have had to pay them to move us. The way we’re going about it seems like a much more financially sound (albeit, more difficult and adventurous) way to do so. When we get to our final destination, we’ll sell the truck and one of the trailers and won’t have had to pay the cost to rent a moving truck for the 5,000 miles plus the extra days we want to take for the trip. When all is said and done, we may not MAKE money on this trip, but it shouldn’t cost us the $10,000+ that renting a truck would.

I cannot express how incredibly excited and somewhat sad I am to be able to stop and visit my 94 year old grandmother and the rest of my Nebraska family. I miss my family and I do not see them nearly often enough…and I’m sad because I don’t know how often we’ll actually come back once we live that far away. We are planning on heading North from Western Nebraska to go into Yellowstone National Park for a few days and then cross the border into Canada. From there, we’ll be exploring even more. We have many days planned for camping and sightseeing, including national parks, waterfalls, hot springs, and more.

This all sounds beautiful and like quite the adventure…and yet the reality of traveling with two kids and a dog hits. What do we do with the dog while we’re exploring if she’s not allowed to be with us? How on earth will we keep our children entertained for hours on end while being stuck inside of one of the trucks? Anyone who knows me, knows that my children don’t get iPads or tablets or anything like that, but you had better believe that I will be loading up the iPad and tablet we have with movies and books and games to help keep little ones happy. We have coloring books and pencils set aside and will, of course, bring plenty of books and toys and music to help to entertain them. We are bringing my bike and the kids’ bikes so that we have some form of exercise to do while we are at our designated stopping points. This should help burn off some energy and keep people happier.

Packing has been interesting. It’s really difficult to decide what to keep out for the next two weeks we’ll be home and what we’ll need for the trip itself and then try to get everything else packed without completely disrupting our lives. Then, there are groceries; we need enough to get through the next week and a half, but not so much we have to throw too many things away. We are planning on bringing a cooler with us, but not for frozen foods. I’ve been trying to use up the things we already have here at the house, so I’ve been making some mish-mash of foods at times. Whatever doesn’t get used will be passed to friends or thrown away.
Saying goodbye will be the hardest part. I don’t even like to think about it. I will cry many, many tears of sadness and heartbreak over this move and have already done so. I don’t want to leave my home. I don’t want to leave my friends and loved ones. I have so many special people in my life here that mean the world to me. I know, in reality, there are things like text messaging and phones and social media that will help me to stay in touch, but honestly…it’s not the same and you know that just like I do. I am sad that I’ll be losing the ability to go grab a cheeseburger and onion rights with my friend or hang out at each other’s homes or to just be able to hug one another. This…this will be the hardest part.

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