Today is a big five year nomadic anniversary for us! We set out on June 26, 2015 for an adventure. Our dear friend Brad used to ask us every New Year's Eve for many years "Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?" Five years ago we would not have dreamt that we would be passing through exactly the same place. And get this, we did not even plan it! Life just worked out that way! We rarely travel to the same place twice and here on our anniversary we were traveling exactly the same route - too strange!
Due to the coronavirus, we're certainly not where we had planned to be at this time. We should currently be in England getting ready for the English Open and Bainbridge Cup Pickleball Tournaments. We know we are extremely fortunate however, so this is in no way meant to be a complaint. It has so far, thank God, only been a deviation for us, and we continue to pray for those affected by this strange new disease that is changing logistics, plans and dreams for a world full of people.
But in those five years we've been many places so very far from where we started, and we never had a clue as to where those places would be or when most of them would be visited. We've learned so many new things. Take for example that we now enjoy a new lifestyle and lodging option by pet sitting for people all over the world. We found a new life altering passion in pickleball. I learned to fly drones which has been fun to combine with other parts of our adventure. I learned to design websites (www.hoverhigher.com and www.coffeys2go.com) and started two blog sites (this one and the Coffeys2Go pickleball blog). We learned so much about how other people live. Ky has learned that 4 wheel drive is much better than two wheel drive off road. For us, we have learned that less is more. The fewer keys we have with us, the better life is.
We now realize that we truly are nomads at heart. On the rare occasion that we have stayed in one place for 30 days or more, we are both ready to go again as soon as we can.
Yesterday we were listening to Gary Senise read John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley in Search of America" through the miracle of Audible on the Trusty Toyota 4Runner entertainment center. Steinbeck wrote this fitting story to fill our time as we drove towards Castle Pines, Colorado.
Steinbeck took a 3 month trip in 1960, to rediscover America for himself to be better equipped to write about it. He had his dog Charley with him. I have Ky! Steinbeck wrote much more eloquently of his experiences than I shall ever be able to relate our story. Many of his stories are about exactly the same as encounters we have had with people. The longing and yearning that comes across peoples' faces, and that wistfulness that permeates their voices when they hear that we are permanent nomads, is palpable.
I think I have said this before, but it's good for me to remind myself that writing, for me, fulfills three purposes. 1) A blog is a type of diary and a place to organize my photos. 2) It is a way to stay in touch with the amazing people who we've have the good fortune to meet on this journey as well as our wonderful family and friends. 3) It is a way to encourage and spur people to get out and live their best lives. To spur those with nomadic souls on to say, "Hey, if they can do it, so can I/(we)."
Four years and 364 days ago, we spent the night in Albuquerque, NM. Yesterday, we stopped there again. This time we were breaking up a very long day of driving by taking a recreation break and playing an hour of pickleball. We, as usual, stopped at courts, and we met and played with a couple of very nice people. Of course, we were socially distanced, we didn't shake hands, we washed up immediately after playing. All that is a huge change from how things were done in the past. It is still the best sport ever for meeting new people and getting good exercise that doesn't feel like work at all though.
Here are some of our numbers for our past five years. Yes I know it's weird that we have this level of detail, but between a former financial analyst and an engineer, we're just that way. If you're the kind that adds the numbers and divides by 5 years, you'll find that there are more than five years worth of lodging nights. We HAD to have some time apart, so for a total of 31 nights in 5 years there were two different lodging entries. Altogether we have stayed in 388 places in five years. Amazing that we still like each other (most of the time)!
Nights Type of Lodging
524 Pet Sitting
262 Our house
187 Friends and Relatives
126 VRBO/Direct Rentals
We have heard that Airbnb is going to make a frequent guest program. We should qualify!
I hope they'll consider making it retroactive in our case ;-)
There are so many people for whom we are thankful.
A huge thank you to our family and many friends all over the world who invited us in to your homes. We really loved seeing you all. We so appreciate our new friends who invited us in to your homes to care for your awesome pets. And thanks to everyone who played pickleball with us. You made us better players. All of you enriched our lives.
And just for the record, most of those camping nights were Ky's. I'm really not that kind of a girl LOL! You can guess who the ambulance and hospital nights were for...
We also learned that Ky takes better selfies than I do - he has long selfie stick arms.