Once upon a time, if you had asked me about sacrifices, I would have said I wasn’t making any. I had willingly traded in my kitchen for a tiny campstove. I didn’t mind the hassle of having to pull the various parts out of our panniers, assemble the stove, find a flat spot on the ground, and then huddle around the tiny spot while balancing our pot on the burner.
I didn’t consider it a sacrifice at all to not have a toilet, and have to rely on bushes on the side of the road for privacy. Water from streams or rivers was perfectly sufficient.
As we moved farther south, washing machines disappeared, but I didn’t complain about taking my family’s clothes in the shower with me. I got them clean enough.
Fast forward a couple years and I would have answered that question quite differently.
After a few years on the road, I was missing my stove that worked like magic with the mere twist of a knob. I missed my washing machine. I missed a toilet. I was fully aware of the sacrifices I had made.
And more than anything else, I missed water. I still didn’t particularly care where that water came from – I was more than happy with water in a stream or river – I just wanted water. Somehow, nothing seemed really bad when we had water.
The following evening we managed to find a river to camp by as well. It was a brutal day spent battling headwinds and fixing a total of three flat tires, but somehow, a river to bathe in at the end of the day made all the difference in the world.
We were arriving into the famous Argentine Lake District, where lakes and rivers were plentiful year round. Although that didn’t solve our headwind or broken spoke problems, it solved a whole host of other problems. Somehow, nothing seemed so bad when we had water.
~Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World
Now that we’ve been back in Idaho for over two years, my thoughts are starting to turn toward traveling again. We plan to stay here for another three years so the boys can be in their FIRST Robotics team, but then what?
Do I want to take off on bikes again? Like we did before? Maybe, and I know exactly what sacrifices I would have to make.
Or how about spiffing things up a bit on the bikes? Hmmm… I could maybe carry a gallon or two of water in there.
And then I’ve thought about some sort of caravan or RV. A tiny one, perhaps? I wouldn’t have to make such tough choices this way.
Or a big one? Nah – I can’t see myself in something like that at all. Not only would it be more to keep clean and organized, but I believe you might have get some sort of specific insurance like this which seems one more financial commitment.
Sacrifice is an interesting concept. And I’m not quite sure I want to go there at all right now.