It might have been inevitable. Even as we purchased our Palomino Pop-Top Camper two years ago, the question was there; “Is this really the right camper for our long road trip south?” Logan & Brianna of PanAm Notes were completely supportive, being in mid-trip themselves with the exact same camper. Others now on the road, such as Ken & Anaka of 30forThirty, are happily driving pop-tops. We knew it could work for us, it was more a questions of did we want it to?
Some places call to you, fill a place in your soul, and make you feel like you’ve come home; sometimes even if it’s the first time you’ve been there. I’ve had several of those experiences over the years; Vernazza, Italy on the Cinque Terre, Istanbul, Turkey, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, but the one place we’ve been to more than anywhere else in the world, and the place we keep finding ourselves going back to, is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Many of you are aware that in early August, 2012, we lost our beloved black dog, Maddy. You can remember her story here. After only three weeks of mourning we adopted Porter, an adorable, silly border collie mix from the Oregon Humane Society to bring life back into our household.
Dove Lewis is, as the staff purports “The place you hope you never need but are glad it’s there”. That was exactly our experience when it was time for Maddy to leave us; although everyone dreads the idea of having to take their beloved pet to their final vet visit, it was a huge blessing to us that they are available 24-hours/day and so she didn’t have to endure a long and painful night before our normal vet opened.Founded in 1973, Dove is the only 24-hr, non-profit emergency and ICU animal hospital in Oregon.
I know I’ve been silent on this blog for the last several weeks. The passing of our beloved Maddy shattered us. After the first few days of constant crying jags, we tried to learn to adjust without her in our lives and it was devastating. She had become such a constant in our lives that, with her gone, we truly understood the absolute silence that existed without her. Morning was our special mommy & Maddy time…. we’d go outside for a pee and then she’d eat her breakfast and sit in the kitchen, watching me intently, while I told her what the day was to bring as I made coffee and lunches. Now, I found myself alone and would collapse into great gulping sobs, finding myself hunched over, hypher-ventilating, feeling as though I’d been gut-punched. Continue reading
For this post, and several more to come, I am going to talk a little bit about my employer, Grand European Tours, and the tours Jim & I have experienced with them. Yes, this is a bit of a deviation from the normal content, but never fear, I’ll still be talking travel!
I started with Grand European Tours in 1997 and have been with them since that time, except for the two year period when we were on our RTW trip. Many of my fellow employees are also good friends and, being a small company, a type of family. Continue reading
On our quest for a life less ordinary, we are always searching out those who inspire us, whether it be fellow travelers, authors, or even movies. We thrive on others who are CHOOSING their life, rather than following the path of least resistance.
Over the course of our journey we have received a great deal of support from friends and family, even when they didn’t understand our motivations.
We have just as often dealt with the cynicism of the majority. The naysayers who said we were crazy. The critics who “knew” all would end in tragedy. The negative voices who whispered phrases such as “this must be a mid-life crisis”. Continue reading
Welcome to The Next Big Adventure! When we backpacked around the world in 2007-2008 we realized we wanted to live a life less ordinary and The Next Big Adventure was conceived. With more & more travelers staying on the road longer, volunteering, blogging their way along, we also strive to become location independent. We do not want a life tied to a cubicle and 2 weeks of vacation. We don’t want to be people “living for the weekend’, we want to live life large everyday!
We’re just starting this website, having chronicled our previous trip on the bootsnall.com blog The Adventures of Jim and Rhonda, so we hope you follow us along on our quest for a life with no regrets.