Travel has been a whirlwind affair over the past two years. Jaunts to thither and yon have seldom lasted more than 36 hours. BlinkPacking is a taste of something delicious — a nibble of brie, a fleck of tenderloin. Without fail, these micro-holidays somehow return me home completely satisfied yet still hungry for more (and yes, deeply exhausted).
With a wife, a toddler, a business, a non-profit organization, and a mortgage, it has been difficult to imagine anything else. Traveling has been relegated to the cracks and crannies of life, and wishing for an extended adventure is a daily occurrence.
Well, it looks like change may just be in the wind. I entered (and lost) a writing contest detailing a grand adventure I hoped to take — an all-American road trip camped in our vintage 1969 Shasta Compact, with no clear destination or end-date in sight (read the entry here). Indeed, I would have loved to fund the gas budget for the trip by writing a few pithy paragraphs. But losing the contest somehow only made me want the trip more.
With all the time I would have spent blogging over the past month, I have been tinkering with the blue and yellow trailer, now perched on a rectangle of concrete in our backyard. Bolt in a new shelf. Install an air conditioner. Spray paint the table. A lot of little projects. And finally, on the coldest day of this Atlanta winter (a balmy 22 degrees), the trailer was ready for my family of three to spend our first overnight in it.
There we were in the backyard, eating our first trailer-cooked supper of spaghetti and sauce, talking ourselves into believing that our ceramic space heater was doing a handy job of warming the chill in our bones, shivering a little, and smelling the subtle stank of old cat pee in the (washed) sheets we had purchased from the Goodwill.
The Hilton it may not be. But we are furiously packing and planning, tweaking this and adjusting that, because in exactly one week we depart our overcrowded city and head west into a bounty of unknowns. Our trusty horse, a 2003 Honda Element with 204,000 miles, will tow our vintage aluminum camping HQ as we explore… Utah? New Mexico? Oregon? Minnesota? Kansas? Louisiana?
I will spend my mornings working away on my laptop, and the driving will happen in the afternoons. I will catch up on the rest of work in the evenings and spend the weekends exploring wherever we happen to be. The trip will only end when we the three of us can no longer stand to be living in the same 60 square-foot space; maybe a couple of months, or perhaps a couple of days. Stay tuned.
Though this trip is a departure from the original BlinkPacking genre, we will never be in a single locale for more than a day or two. The spirit of BlinkPacking will gallop along as we cram as much adventure as possible into each day of the voyage (and spend as little as possible along the way). You can count on great photos, travel tips, and entries here at the BlinkPack blog, a plethora of Instagram posts (www.instagram.com/blinkpack), a smattering of tweets (@blinkpack), and status updates over at the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/blinkpacking). Whatever the venue, I sincerely hope you will ride along vicariously.