Expectations and Reality 

Draft    

I’ve been having a difficult time trying to write anything down, I have been finding more ways to distract myself claiming that I have been opening myself up for creative thought processing. There is only so much hiking and exploration in the name of creativity till you realize that nothing is getting written down.  

So this is an attempt, an attempt to steady my self in practice to write…. Something.

Back in September when Jordan and I started dating we realized how much we had in common and one of those the biggest was the fact that I was working on, trying to figure out how to buy an rv and than live in it full time and Jordan was already doing that.  He had bought his van a year and half previously and living in it full time while working in town.  We discussed a lot about travel, where we had been and where we wanted to go, some of our dreams and how to align those together.   So we took some weekend trips in September and by the end of the month we had started talking about taking a long trip back east and moving myself and Charlie into the van. 

It was nerve wracking trying to go through what I had left, what I needed and what I didn’t and then moving what I have into Jordan’s storage unit and organizing space in the van for my clothes. Though really, that’s not the hardest part, I sort of enjoy the thrill of organizing and throwing things out.   Moving in with someone is a learning curve, though I don’t know if it is any easier if it’s after only a month or a year.  Especially when you are moving into someone else’s space, in a van and then jet setting out on the road for two months. 

I enjoyed for the most part for myself, getting to visit my family and best friend and seeing what we could on the road.  There was a lot of learning opportunities, personal growth and learning about one another.   The east coast trip was revealing on expectations and the realities of our own situation.   We wondered and talked in length how full timers are able to financially cover all their expenses and be able to have some sort of livelihood. 

 For Jordan it was a lot of being stuck in the van with little space to spread out for work and not getting outside to hike, explore, ride and sightsee as I was able to.  There was a lot of balancing drive time and his working hours to get us from one place to the next, so while we were on the road Jordan was exhausted and frustrated with not being able to exercise. He was also frustrated with finances and making sure we got back to Ogden before any major storms or chilly tempatures.

For myself I was constantly being pushed out of my comfort, getting lost and not feeling as confident in myself as I usually do.  I was constantly on the go without being able to have some down time to just rest my body and mind from everything and a space to do that in.  I felt guilty for Jordan having to work while I was out exploring and playing and then felt guilty on days when I didn’t want to go out exploring because Jordan was working and not wanting to miss every opportunity to be out.   The trip took a bit out of my self esteem with trusting my own judgements, intimidation of being on the road and being in a new relationship.  

Perhaps there is always a little intimadation within a relationship, for me its dating someone who is more independent than myself, who has taken solo biking trips and who has had a little more life lessons than myself.  So there is a part of me that wants to impress him, that if he can do it so can I-and do it without any complaints.  The intimadation also kept me from opening up and voicing my frustrations, which is where my own independence kicks in as well.   When you are so used to going through everything yourself it becomes tricky to allow someone in to experience it with you, to. Allow someone to be your confidante and voice of reason when you are so used to being that for yourself. 

And here living in a van and relationships collide for me.  To me being single is much easier, I know what I like, what I want to do and where I want to go.  I don’t have to answer to anyone and I can keep to myself. Relationships take work, are frustrating and can be drama filled at times.  Yet at the same time I realize that it’s rewarding working along side someone with the same goal as you, who cares for you and wants the best for you and you for them.  Someone who pushes you to do more, to think outside the box and to better yourself.   Learning to trust someone new and letting them into your life when things get sticky when you’d rather run instead. So we learn to find a way to push through the crappy parts so we can savor those sweet moments.

It’s been nice the last month to spread out a little bit and to find some daily life balance while still taking weekend trips together.  I find myself being able to calm and steady myself, getting back to myself again slowly even while being somewhere different and without my friends. What I do realize and what you can really only do is to keep working on what you feel is worth working on. 

I don’t fully believe that life is supposed to always be easy and happy go lucky sometimes we just need to be pushed and be in uncomfortable situations to teach us something, I do believe that those moments can bring us joy and fulfillment at the end of the day. We can also be pushed into a different path than what we ever imagined for ourselves that will move us closer to our dreams. 

 Sometimes it’s just about our outlook, you can still have a good cry -frustrated with yourself and yet glad you are doing what you are doing. 

With love, 

Jess

Blue Ridge Parkway

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Tomorrow we leave for Virginia for a week to visit some of Jordan’s family.  I am finally starting to find my way around Asheville and Hendersonville, its a lot of getting lost, missing a road sign and having to call someone with GPS.   Today I finally made my way around with out any of these backups its a bit slower going and can certainly get frustrating at times yet it becomes rather rewarding when you can start learning the basics getting where you need to be.  If I had more time I would certainly take the time to meander my way through more back roads.

 I have learned that most roads do lead home some way or another.  I do get lost but I have never gotten so lost to the point of not finding my way back.

Over the weekend Jordan I decided to go see what all the fuss was about with The Blue Ridge Parkway.  The highway travels along The Great Smoky Mountains between a few states and in and out of state forests, parks and such.

On Saturday we headed towards Brevard, NC the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the spot for all outdoor activity.   To get to the Parkway you drive into Pisgah National Forest driving past many waterfalls.  We stopped quickly at Looking Glass Falls off the side of the road with plenty of parking and a small sidewalk and and stairs that lead down to the bottom of the falls if you so desire.  We then made our way a mile up the road to Moore Cove Falls for a short, inter-mediate hike to Moore Cove Falls.

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Spring time is the best time for the falls though we rather enjoyed the hike and being in nature.

Saturday Night we parked closer to town, went grocery shopping at a local organic store, checked hikes on the parkway and bedded down early.

Sunday morning we got up went for coffee at a local coffee shop that was a dual bike shop. Brevard is the place for mountain biking and they seem to really like their Specialized bikes.

We drove back into Pisgah National Forest to pickup the Parkway. We drove about 40 mins or so to The Mount Pisgah Trail. 14963603_1158808650877002_98309005_o

The trail itself is 2.5 miles round steep and a scramble up rocks, roots and leaves.  To be honest I am surprised and impressed with the trails out here. They are well kept and a good width for people to pass and walk beside.

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After finally making our way up and being disappointed there were no Tibetan Monks at the top to greet and bless us we were greeted with views over the whole valley on either side of us and more rolling mountain views.

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though we didn’t find monks at the top we did meet some amazingly silly women at the top who did greet us and cheer us for finishing.  We were all able to take each others pictures and have some great conversations.  They had an enjoyable time teasing Jordan and I.

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We ended up getting a group shot, sadly we don’t have it.

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On the way way down Jordan and I tried coming up with a good trail nickname for them. Something fondly for us to remember.  I thought they were a hoot and lovingly refer to them as The Cackling Sisters.  Everyone needs a good trail name.

I know for myself that the whole point of traveling is to get me out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and starting new conversations.  About whatever, new ways of living, sustainable living, learning and discovering how others live.  I want to experience nature and to also meet people.   I have this theory that we’re all not that different from one another.  I want to find out if this theory is true.

I just have faith in humanity, more than what I even believe I have.  There is always so much nay sayers and so much put up against one another in media.  I believe that is false, I believe there really is more good in the world, in humanity.  

I am on this journey to find out.

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with love,

jess

 

 

Exploring Asheville

I have been looking forward to exploring Asheville, NC since Kelsey and Marcus moved out here.  There is so much to do and see and oh my to eat and drink as well.  I won’t lie this post is going to be heavy on the drink side with a side of food.

Saturday morning Marcus and Kelsey took us to Biscuit Head for brunch in West Asheville  Ummm, yum can I just say southern comfort breakfast on a trip.  The line was out the door when we got there yet went fairly quickly.  You order first and then pick a seat.  Coffee and mimosa with biscuits.  I had the Asheville Benedict Biscuit with a side of multiple house made jams……

After brunch we headed over to the Funkatorium that is the funky/sour side of wicked weed.  Its the place for sours and farm house beers.  Since it was a Saturday I got the pre-picked flight then I got a half pour of the Recurrent. I could do a whole glass of their Recurrent.

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Two of my friends out here work at breweries and Jordan and I were lucky enough to get a full scope brewery tour at New Belgium last Saturday night during all the halloween festivities.   New Belgium is a big deal and if you are a beer drinker in the craft world I am sure you already know this.  We had a great time playing ping pong, our beers and enjoying the fall weather.  It was packed in and out with a few food trucks and everyone in costume and lots of people out on their bikes.

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Kelsey also took me out to White Duck Taco in Asheville.  Thankfully they have several locations for your cravings in Asheville just in case you have a hankering for their mushroom and potato taco and side of their tortilla chips and three pick salsa.  I might have gone a second time when I had the little ones and took Aspen and I out for lunch.

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I have also gotten a chance to go to one of the best fancy chocolates in town at French Broad Chocolates and yes, I have gone three times so far.  With a stash of chocolates in the fridge.  🙂

With the group of us Jordan and I went into Asheville to go listen to a live band, El Ten Eleven at The Orange Peel.  Its a good size music venue with plenty of taps for your thirst quenchers and plenty of micro brews for your curiosity.  It is also thankfully right next door to Wicked Weed and we were able to grab some food and a beer before going in.  I had their Candy Roaster two nights in a row.  Its their version of a pumpkin spice but more fall and easier to drink for the non pumpkin drinkers.

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I have been lucky enough to walk around with the girls all day in and out of the nook and cronies of downtown Asheville.  Thankfully Jordan and I got to explore a few blocks together for a date night ourselves in town.  Which yes we did Wicked Weed and French Broad Chocolates together.

And yes, I am enjoying my time of exploring……

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with love,

jess

on the road….

Jordan and I are currently in North Carolina on a two month long road trip.  We left Utah in mid October in Jordan’s Roadtrek called Cornellia after getting me all moved in and moved out of the room i had been renting on and off for the past three years.  Our plans for coming back east was to come out to help my best friend who just had her second baby two months ago to visit and give some relief while also visiting friends and family along the way.

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We stopped in Iowa for a day to visit Jordan’s friends and to have a rest.  In Iowa we stayed in Ankeny and were able to go to a state park for hiking and mountain biking.  While Jordan was working I had the opportunity to go and explore Pella,Iowa.  It is a historic dutch town with plenty of windmills, bakeries and brick streets for your enjoyment.

Then we went on to Ohio to visit my family and stayed there for half a week.  Its always nice to get family time.  Things always seem to change yet stay the same. Odd how that happens…. Its been awhile since I have had quality time with my family and something I have been needing.   We parked for a night in Columbus at my cousin and her families house and I was able to spend a day with her and then all of us go out for dinner.

Jordan and I then headed up to my home town of Ashland to park at my aunt and uncles house.   We spent the majority of the time there so I could visit with my brothers, antagonize my uncle and get to meet the newest addition to the family. We also got the best fall cookies at Hawkin’s Market. They are a fall staple in our family.

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Driving….

We are trying to iron out the kinks when it comes to drive, work, sightseeing and relax time.  We tend to have to go a bit slower due to Jordan working through out the week and then having only so much time on the weekends yet also managing time that Jordan gets to get out and explore himself.  Its a lot of conversing with one another and checking up on how we are each doing.

Are we staying somewhere too long,

Are we driving too much,

Are we getting to explore together,

Are we exercising enough….

It’s a work in progress and maintaince to be sure that both of us our getting out of this what we need.   Its learning even more about communication and also giving one another the space one needs to figure it out as well.

 

North Carolina has been a lot of fun and we have been here for a few weeks now.  I have plenty I plan on writing about each with their own posts.  My goddaughter is now two and has gotten so big and I have had plenty baby time with the newest addition.  Kelsey has taken me out to explore and we have gotten our much needed girl time we each have been lacking.

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until next time…..

with love,

jess