September 1, 2021
On August 24th we headed towards home in Douglas, MA. We accepted an offer on our home while in PA and we were coming home to finish emptying it and wrap up everything we needed to before heading off on the road full time.
The drive home from PA had some challenges from dumping in a tight area that was tough to maneuver and being detoured through a busy town with lots of traffic. By the time we managed to get home and Luke backed the camper into the driveway, I was a panicky mess. The difficult part and the doubts had started to creep in. I worried about never being able to drive when we were towing and being a burden. Luke was very supportive of course.
We got to work getting stuff done. We schedule the truck window to get fixed, found a junk removal service, a place to get vaccines for the dogs, and enjoyed having hot showers and our A/C running again as much as we wanted. We learned about using our engine brakes on the truck and how to handle a blow out on the fifth wheel. We hope that never happens to us! I missed the farm life so we went to our local farm and helped them pick up drop apples. I did a couple of quick local drives with the truck so I wouldn’t be afraid of driving it.
Our first trip helped us figure some things out about the camper so we used this time wrapping up things at home to make some planned upgrades. We added a 4″ memory foam topper to our mattress which made it delightfully comfortable. We also added solar panels and lithium batteries so we would be better equipped for boon docking. We also spent some real relaxed quality time with our close friends and family. We knew we would be leaving for a long time and things were so busy before our first trip that we had not had a lot of time for this before.
I booked a session with a therapist I had seen before to help me get past my anxiety about towing the camper and all that could go wrong. I also knew I needed a little help reframing my fear about being a burden on Luke. She offered some simple reflections which really did help. For example, she said, “you’ve been able to get through every other tough thing in life before, what evidence do you have for worrying you won’t get through this?” She also offered some simple reassurance and reminds about why we were doing this which got me right back onto the right path.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.