Imagine with me. Just for moment. Take everyone you know and subtract them from your mind. Every single person! If you are a parent subtract your kids as well. It’s just you in this story right now. Now that it is just you in your mind answer these questions. What are your goals? What are your ambitions? What would you love to do first?
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to delete everyone from your life. But, its okay to reach our own goals and potential as a parent, sister, friend, co-worker, etc. This is not selfish. We only get one shot at this life and we have to remember to include ourselves. People will love your energy better and love the more vibrant you when you choose you as well.
If you do not know where to start and are unsure anymore of your goals then make a yearly bucket list. For example, maybe you have always wanted to zip line ,ride a horse bare back, or learn to crochet. Make a list of at least 10- 12 things that are adventurous, new for you, and vary in price and get to it! Next year throw that one out and start a new one with fresh ideas.
You are in control of your own life. Until you start believing that and living through that you will always be living in the chapters of other peoples book and your story will have blank pages. Its never to late to start. You can edit it as many times as you like. You don’t even have to have a proofreader. Just go live! I am finally experiencing this and I am 31. So many times in life I naively handed off my pen and in return lost out on what could of been the best chapters of my life.
Not everyone you meet stays in your book till the end. Some don’t even like the type of story you are writing and need to find a book more suitable for them. Others, are just passing by to teach you a different way to write the ending. You share laughter love and learn hard lessons and then drift apart. That’s okay to. Don’t you want your story to be great? It hurts especially when we don’t understand it but keep writing. There’s people out there who can’t wait to see the ending with you.
I think it is easy to get caught up in the chapters of life but as with reading a book sometimes the best moments come after the hardest chapter. Every now and then your ink will dry up a page may tear or get something spilled on it. That’s life! Switch pages, get some new pens, and carry on. Nothing in this world is perfect. Your story is not meant to be either.
We all have high expectations for happy moments and fairy tale love but forget that we need to grow through what we go through as well. That’s what gives us experience. That’s what makes us better suited to face the next chapters with more knowledge and strength.
So ask yourself what is holding you back from going on to the next chapter of your life? Is it your job? Your group of friends? Are you scared to try something new? Big journeys begin with small steps. Make a plan and turn it into your next chapter.
I think people assume since you are in a travel trailer and you have the ability to travel anywhere that you are now on the road ALL the time. That is not even close to true for us. Sure, we do get to each destination by way of vehicle but we spend some time at each place. Otherwise, what’s the point. We do get tired out quicker at each place and only spend a few weeks at a time which is a lot more traveling than the average person. When we do drive we do not spend more than three to four hours on the road. Four hours is our max. We made that rule when we first began this because we do not want to be in a hurry. This is our way of life and this is our life. We can’t rush through it.
When we get to each place we like to do a bit of exploring, learning , and also have relax days. We look up what the top things to do are in the area and we make sure to see the top things that interest us and we also go see the educational things. The kids have learned so much already. We also like to explore any trails nearby and find fishing spots, parks to play at, and lakes to swim at.
Our days usually are spent outside exploring and nights we like to end either with a movie or a campfire. Last night we decided to do both and brought one of the TVs outside and watched a movie with a campfire going. It was perfect. We watched Luca on Disney Plus. It inspired us to get a projector screen at some point to watch movies outside.
The other day when we were out exploring we came across a bunch of snakes down by the murky water. It has been pretty dry here so the river is low and the water is green. The snake we first came across was swallowing a fish down by the water. I have never seen this happen before! There were a couple other baby snakes and a very large snake down there also. We stayed away from them but of course I had to take a picture !
Some days are just relax and chill days also. These days are nice so we can do some extra deep cleaning, laundry and just relax. We all need days like that to just relax and unwind. There are days we simply do nothing but watch the kids play with friends and hang out together. The living and making memories are so much more important than just traveling and that is why we started doing this to begin with. Although, we all get a bit excited when we get to travel to a new destination and explore it and meet new people.
Since we have been traveling I feel like we have new requirements in life. Sun, water, and fishing poles are definitly our top faves. Its a far cry from feeling trapped in a tuna can of a condo and having not much of a back yard. We now have specifics we look for when we go anywhere to camp. The places we stay at need to have at least water to play in and be spacious. The water part part is non -negotiable. Who wants sun and no water? Also, why did we not start doing this yearssss ago?!
So tonight we went fishing for a few hours after we ate outside. It was a bit swamp like but water none the less. After about 15 minutes my oldest yells, ” MOM I CAUGHT A FROG.” This part of the river was FULL of humonguous frogs. The kids would just take their poles and dangle the worms all over the frogs and catch them. The frogs usually just jumped right off and they would repeat all this. She was able to actually keep one hooked long enough for a picture.
We fished for about 2-3 hours tonight and caught nothing but frogs and it was a blast. The kids came out covered in mud of course because thats half the fun and I lost half of my pole in the water after getting it snagged up on something.
We came back and immediately headed straight for the showers. That’s another pro of camping. Before, our house, bathroom, the dog , and everything would of been covered in mud after a mud fishing frog adventure like this. I just had everyone wait outside and grabbed all of our shower stuff and voila.
The kids break up their learning time into segments throughout the day so its not as overwhelming so we came back and did a bit of school work and made dessert. I came up with this creation that the kids love so wanted to share. Its so cheap and easy. Unfortunately , there’s no pictures left to take… They make 99cent muffin mixes you can buy in a variety of flavors at Walmart. They say ‘just add milk’ or you can get the kind that says, ‘just add water’. We mix four different flavors of those and spread it out on a sheet pan instead of muffin trays. You can add more bags depending on the size of your sheet pan. Cook it according to the time on the bag and add butter on the top of all of it. So easy and tastey for a dessert while camping.
We love the flexibility and freedoms that come along with this lifestyle. Tomorrow I think we will find some trails and maybe try to catch a fish instead of frogs.
The Ledges is one of our favorite go to places in our home state. On our way through Iowa we stopped here. You can reserve online or when you get here. They have tickets at the main drive for reservations. It does fill up fast on the weekends. They have a few full hookups, several electric, tent sites, and hike in sites. It has two separate shower facilities. The water is not super warm in the showers but it does the job.
There is a park here and several hiking trails paved that go up into the sandstone cliffs. The kids like to wade into the creeks and a favorite is to wait down by the water and get splashed by the cars that pass by.
It has 1,200 acres of forested land. The nearest town is Boone, Iowa and is about a 10 minute drive. Boone has a Walmart , several restaurant options and a couple gas stations. This area gets full in the summer and becomes a very popular place for the trails, having a picnic and for the campers.
This is my personal opinion of our experience at the Terry Bison Ranch. We should of looked up prices to begin with. It costed about $175 for a two nights stay. The place was a tight squeeze and you could smell your neighbors poop outside when they went to the bathroom. Needless to say we did not use our picnic table area. We also had no room to put out our awning which would of been nice because there was no shade in our row.
The website talked about buffalo and animals and a train ride. This is why we had picked this place to begin with. Our kids did have a good time at the park that was available there and they saw a peacock roaming the parking lot. Everything else was for an extra fee. The train ride for example costed $18 per adults and $9 for children ages 4-12. Pony rides were $12 per child. Fishing here is $23.50 a person for 3 fish caught. The price you paid to camp covered nothing. In my opinion it was not worth it. It felt more like a tourist trap in a squeezed in area.
The pro’s of this place were the staff were nice and friendly and they had a laundry room. This is not a place I would recommend otherwise to anyone wanting a place to land with your RV or travel trailer. Unless, you come prepared to spend money and be in ‘tight’ with your neighbors and there every smell.
The Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial is a free Memorial to see in Columbus, Nebraska. If you are traveling with kids this is a great lesson for them in History. There is also parks next to it for the kids to play at . This started as a research project for the students at Columbus High School and later turned into a Memorial.
Andrew Higgins was the creator of the US military’s first landing craft. You can see an exact replica of his design at this memorial. His design allowed for troops to land on Normandy Beach and several other places during WW2. General Dwight Eisenhower was quoted as saying that “Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us.”
The large bronzed freedom eagle sculpture was built to honor those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and added to the memorial. It was built from pieces of steel from the World Trade Center. It is also a symbol in the war against terrorism. To learn more about this memorial you can go to https://andrewjacksonhigginsmemorialfoundation.org/
What things have you and your family looked at together that has been a teaching moment? Check out my previous blog below if you are looking for a campsite option in Columbus, Nebraska.
This morning we got up and went down to the water to play in the cat tails. The kids call them wild hot dogs. Then we packed up and headed a bit further. We normally would stay for longer periods but we have to get back to a doctor appointment and for work related things.
We headed a bit further East this afternoon to this beautiful boondock site. We had assumed it would be a small place but it is very spacious, has grills, and a park for the kids also. There is also an area for tent camping here. You really cant complain when you get all this for free. The view is just amazing…..minus the fish carcass I’m sure but I photograph everything.