We often get asked by friends and family if “they can come along in our luggage”. This blog is my answer to that question. We have so many who follow along with us on Facebook, but they are only getting a small portion of the story. (You can still follow along on Facebook though, on the all new dedicated AdventureDawgs Blog page!)
Along with sharing our adventures, we also want to teach you how to “Live Your Adventure”, just like we do! You don’t have to be wealthy, retired, or take vacation time to travel and adventure regularly. Two of us work full time jobs and the third is a full time (middle school) student, yet we still work our schedules to be able to take lots of trips.
“Live Your Adventure” simply translates to this: Live your life to the fullest, seize every moment no matter how big or small. Once you learn to look and plan for them, you will see there are opportunities for adventure everywhere.
It is easy to say but sometime not so easy to do, it takes some commitment. I look at it like this: We get both physical and mental well-being from our adventures so it is worth blocking off the time for it in our busy schedules. I read regularly that you should “schedule” your gym or exercise time and stick to it like any other appointment. If it is important to you (and obviously traveling is or you wouldn’t be here. J), then it is worth scheduling the time for.
It is also worth some sacrifices. I’m not saying you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but you don’t always get to have ice cream with the cake. Traveling and adventure are priorities to my family. We don’t live in a huge house or try to keep up with the neighbors. We do very little shopping and value an experience much more than a physical object. We save money wherever we can on the household expenses to allow ourselves time to travel and experience things. The payoff is priceless. We have less stress in our lives, my family is extremely close, and I doubt that one day we ever say “I wish I’d done that”. We may say “I wish I’d had more time” but it will not be because we could have and didn’t. We get the absolute most out of our lives.
My husband, Tom, is always saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. My father in law also used to say, “If you slow down, they throw dirt on you!” I’m not telling you to channel your college days of staying up ridiculous hours, it is important to physically take care of yourself too. I’m just saying make the most of what you have. The added bonus is, on the rare mornings we get to sleep in, it is that much better! I love my home, but I’d much rather spend my off time relaxing in a campground. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s in a tent or our camper, I’m happy either way. There is something so therapeutic about unplugging and getting back to nature. Even if you just partially unplug.
We have many different types of travel we enjoy and find ways to fit them all into our schedules. We are weird in the respect that while most people don’t like change, we love it. We are always looking for a new experience from seeing a new place, to learning a new culture, to trying a new food or craft beer (which is a whole other story, a hobby that has grown WAY out of control, in a good way). Trying any thing new is the epitome of something unique and exciting, the definition of adventure!.
We love to camp and were blessed to be able to purchase an RV in 2014, which we love (Best investment ever! Check out the post). This also helps us save some money in the long run because camp grounds are usually less expensive than hotels, plus we get to sleep in our own beds! It’s more cost effective for shorter trips than longer ones because you have to factor in fuel expenses too. We also joined a membership campground which gives us discounted camping at over 400 locations in the US. For more tips on how we save money to enable us to travel more, check out this post!
We also love to hike and mountain bike. These two hobbies can usually be combined with the campground cost since lots of them have trails as either part of the campground/resort or in close proximity. City/County, State, and National parks are all great locations for these kinds of activities and lots of them have campgrounds that are extremely reasonable. A few are even free! Annual Park Passes are also a great money saver. They are my favorite travel bargain and some give you a camping/lodging discount.
If you’ve read our “About Me” page, you know I played in a band so I am very much a music lover. You would have also read that I named our daughter after a song by my favorite band and singer. I have a long line of musicians and music lovers alike in my family. Although Tom is not a musician, he is also very much a music lover as well. He was blessed to grow up in the best era of music in our opinion, the 70s. Loving music like we do, we are big on going to concerts. We are lucky to live in an area that is close to a large number of venues within a max 4 hour distance. We love going to see big name headliners (this is one of our travel splurges) but are also happy to check out local bands as well. You can discover some really great music that way.
Memberships can save you some money too. I like AAA both for the roadside service and their partner discounts. We also have a Good Sam membership for the RV. You have to balance out the annual fees and how much you will use them to see if they work for you.
If you are active or retired military, first of all: Thank you for your service! Second, there are usually lots of discounts for you. You earned them, use them!
Wow! that was a long post! Hopefully your heads aren’t spinning too much from all the information.
As always until next time, Live Your Adventure!