Managing expectations: Time

Steve here…IMG_0117

This is a little about a non-technical side of this living remote experiment: managing our expectations of time. Initial expectations were along the lines of “Yay, a remote-working job! I can get paid while we travel around seeing national parks, etc. Kick our heels up in the evenings around a fire. Awesome!”

And that’s what we’ve been doing and it has, indeed, been awesome. But one problem we consistently have to work around is time. I still need to put in 8 hours every work day on the computer logged in over the network to a server in Pennsylvania. Lisa still needs time to work on academic articles and business plans (and now a cool job for the summer which I will let her describe).

IMG_0873Camping itself takes time. Time to setup and take down our tent, pack and unpack, time to find things like stores in the area, time to cook, even more time to walk to the bathroom.

Traveling takes time, whether that’s time to drive to a new campsite or just the time to relocate somewhere interesting to work for the day.

And then we need time to sleep and finally time for these hiking and biking excursions when we get the opportunity to explore.

We initially tried going on outings during the middle of the day, but then I would have to make up the time in the evenings and ended up working into the night which made us feel like we’d spent even more time working.

IMG_0822So how do we enjoy these wonderful places when we’re spending all this time on logistics? How do we respond when we’re somewhere wonderful, but don’t have time to fully enjoy it?

Our answer has generally been in two parts so far: first, by managing our expectations. We simply can’t do everything we want to do every day so we need to avoid feelings of failure by not expecting to do everything we want to do every day. And second, by slowing down. We plan on staying in a given area for at least a week, traveling only on the weekends if possible–and trying to limit that to only on Saturdays, and preferably having at least every other weekend a non-travel weekend so we can stay put somewhere and have time to see what’s around us.

We aren’t always able to follow these rules strictly, but we’ve found the adventure to go most smoothly and enjoyably when we can. So here’s to slow travel in wonderful places with a wonderful companion!

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Our Engagement Adventure

Lisa here…Sorry folks for the long delay!  Definitely a lot of adjustments and of course, some unexpected circumstances shortly after we embarked on our project.  We will be writing more soon and telling you about what we’ve learned and experienced.  Our latest news is that Steve impressively figured a way to propose (miraculously with a correctly sized PURPLE engagement ring)!  Here’s a little video to share about it: https://youtu.be/G8J_YLl1n-Q

Preparing for Our Working & Living Remote Launch

  • Launching
  • Pre-pay eggs at a gas station in route
  • This is Not a Toy!
  • Dinner with THE SF gang!
  • Dinner with Rod, Kathy, Luke & Mark
  • Boo & Lu!
  • Our initial launch car set up
  • Our new bicycle license plates!

Fortunately both Steve and I roll well with a bit of chaos because that is exactly what ensued after we made our decision to experiment with living and working remotely from national park areas. We made the decision on 1/31/15 and the next day both of us informed our respective housemates that we were terminating our month-to-month leases. I needed to be out of my space in 2 weeks and Steve by the end of the month. So began the quick planning and scheming. Continue reading

Recap and Pulling the Trigger 2015

  • Where Steve & I Met - Campground in Austria
  • Good Bye SF - We love you!!
  • Our initial launch car set up

By way of a recap, Steve and I met in passing at a campground in Austria this past summer while bicycling.  He began his bicycle touring adventure in Ethiopia, then flew to Greece and bike up through the Balkan countries over the Austrian Alps to where I met him (www.dafarafet.com).  I married my bicycle last March, 2014, then cycled down the coast of Northern California, and then flew into Paris and was cycling east through Europe and about to cross the Alps when I met Steve. Thus, we were heading opposite directions when we met in passing in a campground in Austria.  Continue reading

The Scots Are Darn Nice Folks!

  • Cycling Break!
  • Campground Ullapool
  • Cycling Scotland
  • Cool housing in Ullapool
  • Time for Art in Ullapool, Scotland
  • Cycling Obstacles
  • Sunset in Ullapool
  • Campground Owners in Ullapool
  • Campground Ullapool, Scotland
  • Beach in Ullapool, Scotland
  • Ullapool, Scotland
  • Cycling to Inverness, Scotland
  • Kilts are fun.
  • Loopallu Music festival Ullapool, Scotland
  • Ullapool Music Festival, Scotland
  • Tunnel in London
  • Cycling to Inverness, Scotland
  • Tour bus arrived while wild camping outside Inverness

On the first night at the remote campground (Ardmair Point Campground), our neighbors invited us into their camper-home to cook and dine with them.  In the morning, Steve and I unfortunately learned the hard way that we had accidentally set up our tent next to the camper waste disposal area.  One morning awaking to funky smells and gurgling sounds was enough to prompt a move.  We relocated our home to a site along the seashore — not yet realizing the challenges that would present. Continue reading

What Would You Do?

  • Wild goats!
  • Wild Goat crossing!
  • Sink holes...no camping.
  • View to Ullapool
  • Laughing Sheep
  • Couples night!
  • Garilock, Scotland
  • Scottish folk jam night and sing-a-long

Every cyclist and hiker that we met returning from their travels in the highlands of Scotland described the area as beautiful but rather brutal. Midgies (very small biting insects) were out in full force. Those beasts, plus non-stop rain, curtailed many outdoor adventure seekers plans. With a pint of Scottish lager under each of our belts, Steve and I asked one another what we would each do if we were on our own? Continue reading

Closure & New Beginnings

  • Route to super market in Scotland
  • Achnasheen, Scotland
  • Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve in Scotland
  • Ride to grocery story in Achnasheen
  • Mushrooms in Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve
  • Near Achnasheen, Scotland
  • Looking out to tent from inside Ledgowan Lodge in Achnasheen, Scotland
  • Campground in Edinburgh
  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Scotland's oldest plant fossil - 320 mil yrs old
  • World's largest plant fossil at Royal Botanical Garden
  • Vegan Haggis!  Surprisingly good!
  • Misty Edinburgh
  • Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh
  • Second cloned mammal at National Museum of Scotland
  • First cloned mammal at National Museum of Scotland

What happens when you come to the end of a journey? When you reach a goal, or a project big ends, or a vacation is over…well, there’s a transition period, right?

Continue reading

Yak Attack

  • Very cool suitcase guitar!
  • Barn venue at Fringe Festival
  • No Guts, No Sweat, No Glory show set in a boxing gym
  • Musician in boxing gym for Fringe show
  • Rainbow over campground in Edinburgh
  • Campground property in Edinburgh
  • Torture museum and underground vault tour
  • Beautiful venue in Edinburgh at Fringe
  • Silly Fringe venues
  • Outside a cool Fringe venue
  • Fireworks from the bus in Edinburgh
  • Fireworks in Edinburgh
  • Fireworks over the castle in Edinburgh
  • Cycling along the coast of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m soooo not a yakker! I’ve only puked two times in my entire life. Once when I was 4 onto our new white carpet, and once a few years back in Honduras when a 24 hour bug flew around the island where I was living. Neither time was the experience anything like what I felt on the train from London to Edinburgh Continue reading

The Change Up

  • Crossing to the Isle of Wight
  • Entering Yarmouth on Isle of Wight, England
  • Seaside Amusement Park on Isle of Wight...love those!!!
  • Illuminated Parade in Shanklin
  • Beach rentals on Isle of Wight
  • Shanklin Beach
  • Shanklin bbeach on the Isle of Wight
  • Beautiful Campground on Isle of Wight
  • Awesome German camping neighbors!
  • Steve and I leaving the Isle
  • Rog & Dee & their baby...
  • Fiona...only other solo cycling gal I've met.
  • Foxes everywhere in London...normal?
  • Crossing Tower Bridge in London
  • Small beers at the Nigerian Restaurant
  • The Eye in London
  • Proper English scones!
  • Imax Movie in London

While cycling the Southern coast of the Isle of Wight was pretty (& hilly) and happening upon a nifty luminated carnival parade in Shanklin was cool, I was still struggling to be motivated to both write and engage back fully in my experience.  Sometimes in life a change up is needed…and at my five month point on the bicycle, it seems I needed it more than I realized. That change up came in the form of Continue reading

Entering England Wrapped in Plastic

  • Steel plastic wrapped
  • Wild camping in England
  • Me and Vinny!
  • Nice bicycle shop owner that fixed Steel's spoke and breaks!
  • Thames River locks
  • Thames River, Englaand
  • On the road again..la, la, la.
  • English countryside west of London
  • Wild Ponies in New Forest, England
  • Amish??
  • Milford on the Sea, England
  • Pony traffic issues
  • Illuminated Carnival parade in Shanklin on Isle of Wight
  • Most beautiful purple cabbage
  • Camping farm in Milton by the Sea
  • Milton by the sea, English southern coast
  • Dee and mum's recycled plastic hats!!
  • Very English lunch!
  • Port on Isle of Wight
  • Seaside Amusement park!! I love those...Isle of Wight
  • Cycling south of Isle of Wight, England
  • Thatched shops on Isle of Wight
  • Luminated carnival parade

I basically wrapped my bike in a sheet of plastic meant to protect a floor from paint. I duct taped some of my camping gear to Steel and wrapped the whole thing in the plastic (took the air pressure out of my tires, and my pedals and handle bars off) and checked it. Unbelievably the ticketing agent at British airways didn’t flinch. Steel arrived in great shape minus a broken spoke which I blame on me for not securing stuff better. I was met by Vinny Continue reading