The calm has finally arrived, and I mean that literally. We are finally able to breathe without the worry of when we need to pack up and be at our next stop… the summer is over, the fall is here and Winter is on its way. I can’t wait! Not because I’m tired of traveling or tired of creating new experiences with my family, but because I’m tired. Tired physically and mentally from all the fun we’ve had over the past 4 months of pretty much ‘go-go-go’.
I’m ready to stay at campsites longer than 1 day at a time, sleep in later than 5am, and go to bed earlier than midnight. I’m ready to crack open my composition book of trips we’ve taken and things we’ve done, and just write about the experiences that narrated our Summer and early Fall.
Ahhh…. The Calm has finally come!
So what have the Colliers been up to for the last 4 months? Why the sudden MIA?
We’ve been traveling. Traveling differently than our norm, and while it was super fun. It was also something we’re not used to doing, so it took a lot more work than the usual.
We left Arkansas, where we had been bunkered down since I accepted my new position at Workamper News. I needed to actually work in the office for a while to get to see how everything works, meet the office staff, build relationships, and learn. The plan was actually to stay for a whole year! I’m so glad that plan didn’t work out! When Steve, Workamper News President, came into my office and said, “Sharee! I’m okay if you want to go travel..” I could barely contain myself. I had agreed to stay for the full year and wanted to keep my commitment, but as the days passed and the kids grew antsy- I was itching to hitch up and drive off. So, I jumped at the opportunity!
We couldn’t just leave the next day. Mostly because we had already set some things up in the area and I needed to make sure I was prepared to take the job, that I thought I had 5 more months to make digital nomad friendly, with me. I began doing my usual research on places we wanted to go and also put out a call for people who wanted to tell their stories, in a documentary called Ticket to Travel.
We thought first we would go West. After all, we were already halfway there and when you’re on the west side of the Mississippi who wants to go back east, right? So we concentrated our trip with sights and finds on the west coast. Then, my call about Ticket to Travel started to receive feedback from the east coast. In fact, just about all the feedback came from places in the Northeast. So we changed the plan and decided we would head up there instead.
We planned to head up north, gather some footage, spend some time with Antwon’s cute Granny and make sure the kids got to experience New York City, where we both spent some of the early years of our lives.
The trip set. The date was set and everything fell into place.
What happened is right! We traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania and it took us a whopping 7 days. I know! That’s a long time for people who live in a camper, but I keep telling folks, we’re slow travelers! We really only drive about 200 miles or less a day! Then we stop, grab a campsite for the night, and enjoy the area we’re in. Anyway, the day before we arrived at our campsite for the next 3-4 weeks we got this great idea… Let’s buy a Thousand Trails Camping Membership! This would allow us to camp across the country going from park to park, for a reasonable monthly fee. We weighed this option against what we had previously planned, which was to just do weekly or monthly stays at one site and kind of branch out like we do when we Workamp. The price difference was dramatic. The Camping Membership was like 20% of what we planned for monthly sites- the Northeast is pricey!
So, we purchased the Membership and made our first two reservations.
The next day we pulled into Timothy Lake South, set up our camper and prepared for an amazing summer! Boom.
At 4 am my phone rang. (Antwon’s was dead.) His sister gave him the news his Father had just passed… And so began our summer.
What followed this moment was a blur of activity, confusion, and emotions. Our quiet & calm, family fun trip turned into a chaotic jungle of family drama, big decisions, and a wave of uncertainty. Overall, our family pulled through, as families always do, and we were able to restructure our trip to include more time with Antwon’s Granny, who’s a glorious 83 years old. We took this time to strengthen relationships and build bonds.
Don’t worry, we had some fun as well! Here is an outline of what we did and the upcoming posts you’ll read about!
- Mountain Horseback Riding & Pony Rides
- Zip line Fun & Adventure Ropes Course
- Philly (close enough) Cheese-steaks on the strip
Jersey City, NJ
- Liberty State Park
- Empty Sky Memorial: Solo reflection.
- Liberty Landing Ferry Rides
New York, NY
- Museum of Natural History
- 9/11 Tribute Museum- A personal Tour though history
- One World Observatory: A Tour from the sky
- 9/11 Memorial: A family trip
- Times Square with Kids
- Harrah’s Casino with Kids