The Fear and the Faith

Fear… it is pervasive. It permeates all aspects of the psyche, no matter how much you try to fight it off. When something is unknown—when something is indefinite, anxiety can cause a plethora of problems for both the heart and soul.

Some days are better than others. I get excited when planning where we will stop, what we will see, finding a campsite, and who we might know in the area to visit. That part is the most fun for me. However, when it comes to the technical pieces of the puzzle, I find myself truly lacking in knowledge, which makes me a bit nervous.

I’m a smart girl, but some things are harder for me to grasp than others. With the complication of MS and the brain fog that goes with it, I feel rather inadequate when it comes to technology. I find myself watching tutorials over and over again in order to fully grasp what I once considered simple concepts.

That is where faith comes in… Faith in myself and my ability to learn, despite my foggy mind; faith in my husband and his knack for figuring things out on the fly; faith in my friends and family to help me when I get stuck.

Fear and faith… my constant companions these days.

At this point in the journey—the planning stage—so much is unknown. I think I know what to expect, but I’m no fool… I realize a lot of unexpected and unplanned things are bound to happen.

I’m the optimist in my marriage. I always see the glass as half full, and look at the world with positivity, as if nothing could go wrong. This, despite past experiences to the contrary. Rico is the pessimist. He expects things to go awry, so he is not disappointed nor taken by surprise when it happens. He is also pleasantly surprised when things go off without a hitch. I, on the other hand, am crushed when something doesn’t work out as I imagined it.

I feel these two dichotomies will serve us well on our upcoming adventure. I will help him see the positives when he is being negative about things, and he will temper my over-the-top enthusiasm. Hopefully, all will go well, but in the event it does not, I will be prepared.

Fear of the unknown, but faith in the possibilities.

Big Love,

Lainie

camping

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The Struggle Is Real

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to do this road trip. Days like today are especially trying…

Having MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is limiting, to say the least; often debilitating. I have had a bad day with my MS… coupled with the worry I am trying to suppress about my friends and family in Texas (Houston and Beaumont areas), it has been a depressing day.

Le sigh…

However, I will not get down and depressed! I will not give up! I will not back away! Depression be damned! Defeat be damned! I am a VICTOR and I persevere no matter what the challenge may be!

There – I re-centered myself… Let’s move on, shall we?

I want to talk about the real issues I may or may not face on the road as a person with a “disability”. I don’t consider myself disabled by a long shot, but sometimes I must admit, even to myself, that I have my limitations.

  1. Long hours
  2. Fatigue
  3. Pain

The long hours could be spent in a car driving, though I’ve mapped out most of our trip and considered this when planning stops. Most days we won’t be in the car over 5 hours, which I can easily tolerate. However, there might be days when the weather is bad and we don’t get to get out of the car as often as we like. These are the days I’m concerned about.

Does anyone have any suggestions that may help me where this is concerned?

Fatigue is a daily struggle for me. I often have insomnia, which means I spend a lot of my daylight hours being tired. Even though I often take naps, I can’t seem to get enough rest.

I’m thinking that stress reduction might be a key. Once we are on the road, I believe my stress level will decrease exponentially, so I’m hoping the fatigue will ease.

Do any of you wonderful people (especially those with Chronic Fatigue issues) have any advice for me on the fatigue subject?

I don’t remember the last time I was 100% pain-free. I think it’s been decades. I stopped taking prescription pain pills when my medication got really screwed up last year, and I began using herbal remedies exclusively. I must say, I love it so much more than using prescription pain medication!!! For one thing, I can control the dosage much easier. Another thing, I don’t have the medication hangover and side effects that were maddening and difficult to deal with when I was on the prescriptions. However, there are some days when I won’t want to use the herbs too much (driving days), and there are other days when the pain is so intense, nothing (not even the prescriptions) works.

Does anyone who suffers from chronic pain have any ideas?

The struggle really is real for those of us who battle chronic illnesses but with support, love, freedom from stress, and perseverance, we can overcome anything!

Thank you all for tuning in and thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer!

Big Love,

Lainie

 

The Preparation

I’ve been planning this trip in my head for about four years. I’ve spent countless hours researching different aspects of road tripping, from where to go, when to go, and how to go, to what types of vehicles and gear we might need. It’s a lot of work to plan a trip of this magnitude.

For this adventure, the bottom line is that we don’t have the resources to do it the way I would like. However, we are still going to do it with what we have… a Mini Cooper.

Now, many of you might be scratching your heads wondering how we’re going to accomplish this with 2 dogs, musical gear (for busking), and camping gear, not to mention our clothes and everything else. Believe me, we’ve been wondering the same thing.

Here’s the plan:

  1. We will be camping in a tent
  2. We will be purchasing a box for the top of the Mini to hold additional gear
  3. We will try to purchase a small trailer to pull behind the Mini if we can find one that fits our budget
  4. We will minimize until we have only the necessities to take with us

The necessities will still be a lot of stuff, so it’s going to be difficult to fit everything in, but if anyone can do it, it is Rico. That man is a packing genius!

Another thing people might be wondering about is how we’re going to afford to camp and pay for gas, food, dog food, etc. without having traditional jobs. Here’s the plan for that:

  1. There is a wonderful website (freecampsites.net) that allows you to search a map in whatever area you are in for free or super cheap camping options. I’ve been utilizing it a lot and have the first leg of our journey mapped out, so I’ve noted the places we will be staying along that route. Many of the sites are for boon docking only (camping without any amenities or hookups) so we’ll need to get creative where personal hygiene is concerned, but I’ve got that figured out too, so we’re good.
  2. I have a Planet Fitness membership that allows me to bring a guest for free at any location. They have showers and free Wi-Fi. We’ll be using this option a lot for sure. We can go work out, shower, use the Wi-Fi to update our social media sites and blog, as well as upload and edit videos and pictures and post them, etc. The membership is less than 25 bucks per month, so it’s a real bargain. They have locations near every single stop we’re planning to make, so it’s a great option for us.
  3. We’re going to be using solar power for some things (like the NutriBullet) once I get it figured out. I’m looking for help and suggestions on this subject, so if any of you can assist, it will be greatly appreciated.
  4. Since we’re in a Mini, our gas costs will be minimal.
  5. We’re going to be busking to pay for our daily expenses, and relying on what we’ve been able to save prior to our departure to fill in the gaps. Additionally, with Rico’s chef abilities, he can pick up some work along the way if we get in a bind. We’re also going to be depending on you – our loyal friends, fans, and family who support us through Patreon.

The bottom line on the money issue is that we will be living much cheaper on the road than we’ve been able to live in DC.

Another thing some of you have been asking me about is my health, and how I’m going to manage on the road.

NOTE: For those of you who do not know, I have Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, IBS, and Chronic Migraine Syndrome.

I’ve been flying without insurance since June, and I’ve been doing okay. I know that’s not long enough to judge how things will be in the future, but the reality is, without a job, I won’t have insurance regardless of whether I stay in one place or move around. I’ve not been able to find a job since my project ended in December, and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change anytime soon, so we’re taking this opportunity to live the life we’ve been dreaming of for years.

I have some natural medication that manages the majority of my symptoms very well, and I have changed a lot in my daily routine and diet to help me lose weight, build strength, and get healthier overall.

Additionally, the stress level we’ve been under for the last however many years will melt away once we’re on the road and are living out our dream. Stress is a major aggravator of my many health issues, so I’m expecting things to improve greatly. Plus, if it ever gets to the point that I can’t manage, we’ll just go home to Texas.

I’ll be updating here via the blog and also doing videos, which I’ll post on YouTube, about the plans and preparations we are making, so stay tuned. We hope to provide a wealth of information for all of you out there who would like to do the same thing someday.

Big Love!

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