Archive for June 2013

Departure Day!

After several hectic days of packing our things and moving them into storage, we are ready to leave today on our big adventure through the Americas.

It’s amazing how as you get to end of the preparation process (or any moving process really), there always seems to be “one more thing” to take care of before you can say that you are completely done.  Today was no exception.  We had to do a final trip to the storage locker, return the moving truck to U-Haul, return our cable equipment to Comcast, and do several other errands before we could finally get on the highway toward the mountains west of Denver.

Sparks' van parked in downtown denver

Last-minute appointments in downtown denver. Hopefully not too many pictures of the van in a concrete jungle on the rest of the trip!

We had previously planned to leave “first thing” this morning.  It ended up being more like 3pm, but as they say it’s better late than never.  Even after working our tails off it was the best that we could do.  Ultimately it turned out that our departure was about 10 days later than the departure date that we had envisioned awhile ago.  Still … we did it!

Our first destination is actually southwest of Denver.  We’re taking a little detour to Salida, CO, to visit Witt’s parents.  Some R&R with Quinn’s grandparents is exactly what we need right now before we officially start our journey northwards.

Sparks family eating dinner outside in Salida

Our first dinner in a few days that didn’t consist of Qdoba or clif bars.


Witt’s mom made a yummy green chili and shrimp concoction









Sunset from Salida

The smoke from the forest fires burning in SW Colorado have the side effect of causing nice sunsets.



The List

The ever growing, seemingly never ending list. For awhile it seemed completely overwhelming. Too much stuff to do, and not enough time to do it in. Then I decided not to even try to chip away at it until I quit my job. Then I’d have plenty of time to check stuff off the list. Or so I thought. That’s when The List really started growing.

I keep track of The List with a program called wunderlist. I actually have two lists, one called “Van Stuff” and the other called “Trip Preparation.” Between the two there are currently 49 completed items and 24 incomplete items.

Here’s a sample of a few of the items on each list:

Van Stuff Trip Preparation
Install map lights Get a virtual mailing address
Build spice rack Get GPS mapping app for Ipad
Buy / install air compressor Figure out medical / evac insurance
Buy tools Find a property manager
Install battery chargers for camera, flashlights, etc. Fix all the little things broken in the house so we can rent it out
Mount CO monitor Roll over retirement accounts from our jobs
Install inverter Switch to travel-friendly credit cards
Install USB power ports Sell furniture
Get new tires Get a storage locker

The stuff on the left is related to our vehicle. The stuff on the right is more or less necessary for any extended trip abroad, and it shows just how much work is involved to unplug our lives from the web of connections we build when we’re living in one place for a long time.

But painful though it is, severing those connections once in awhile can result in real sense of freedom – suddenly nothing is tying us to a specific location. We’re free to travel, to move to a new town or a new country, even try a new line of work.

We don’t know how this trip will turn out – whether we’ll still be on the road in two years, or whether we’ll get sick of living with each other 24/7 in a space the size of a walk-in closet. But either way we now have the freedom to try something new, something different, and see if it works out.