(Spent two hours uploading the right photos for this post yesterday and then the site bugged out and I lost it all, so... there's that. Hit save all the time kids.)
This week we:
Camped in a subdivision
Consumed an obscene amount of Philly cheese steak sandwiches
Finished with Ragbrai in a blaze of glory,
Drove to Chicago.
Swam in Lake Michigan at sunset (Montrose Beach)
Then said peace to our awesome friend Nikolai.
Moved in with our pal Gemma.
Watched a 12 hour play, depicting 32 Greek tragedies
Went to one of seven Baha'i temples on earth north of Chicago - a place for anyone to pray/reflect/renew
Ate Chicago pizza at Lou Malnati's
Helped Gemma's roommate move out then cleaned their apartment
We used Tinder for the first time and saw the movie Almost Famous for free in millennium park
We ended up working for Ben Eine from London on a huge mural
Luc painted with him for two days
I took photos of the process that might be used to promote his show coming up at Vertical Gallery
Luc got two free meals out of it, and we get to go to an art show Saturday
Plus be a part of a lasting mark on Chicago.
We saw Gemma do a part reading on a rooftop...
...got a few free sides at a teriyaki place called Glaze from a cool fellow (s/o Jeremy) who shared our hometown in the West -- he even lived on Alki at one time!
And walked for miles and miles and miles...
Along the way we're learning all manner of things about the power of curiosity. Plus developing a variety of skills that will come in handy for any forthcoming zombie apocalypses or family camping trips.
- Emotional management / maturity: We've all got needs, moods, wants, etc. On the road, we've got to respect and adjust to your own emotions, as well as those of your companions and hosts along the way.
- Camping skills: cooking on camp stove or over fires, identifying essentials and packing.
- Navigation skills: map reading and like. Some places don't have cell reception! (wha??!?!?) Ya, no joke. We try to use the map as much as possible for highways and such, reserving GPS for in the city. We're even using a compass out here.
- How to make fast friends: We've both had a lot of practice with this from bar tending, barista-ing, and past travels, but this trip is a reminder of how important it is to be able to open up to people.
- Adapting to new environments: RAGBRAI was utter chaos and every day brought us to a new town or two where we had to find the campground, find each other, set up camp and get ourselves fed somehow. Now we're in Chicago and it's a different kind of adaptation -- but that training will prepare us for the rest of the journey. CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT!
- Budgeting and money managing: this part is hard. We worked like crazy to save up for this trip, and naturally everything was more expensive than we hoped on the way out of town, but we're doing pretty good. We use an app called Splitwise, to split our expenses, as recommended by Nikolai, and it takes a lot of the money stress out.
- Patience. Always. I'm seeing more and more the way travel has changed me in this way. I used to complain a lot as a kid, and I'm proud to notice how much I've grown out of that. (Now it usually takes like 3-5 things going wrong at once to get to me hah.)
So I mean... It's not all fun games out here. Everyday we work to maintain our bodies, our mind states, our tools/gear, our van, our campsites, our host's apartments, our chance of making this trip last for a full 3 months...
But we also get to see the direct results of that daily work.
And shoot, fun and games is a state of mind.
So, we're in Chicago for a couple few more days, then into the Adirondack mountains of NY before making our way to catch our friend Todd in Vermont, and then Mitch in Boston.