The First Draft of The Big Map


Ladies and Gentleman, we have a map.

We also have a little bit of a Classic Miss Britt Freak Out as I try to figure out how in the heck we will get it all done.

We have a list of places we want to see in the United States. We have a list of things we probably should see since we’re going to be in the area. And we have, it seems, a really big freaking country to traverse.

I’m reminding myself over and over again that this trip – this entire lifestyle upheaval – is about freedom, family togetherness, and choices. It is not about replacing one set of perceived obligations for another – including lists of places I have to visit in order to be considered authentic by Someone Somewhere.

It’s about stepping outside of familiar boundaries placed around our time – like “work week” and “school day”. I guess it might also be time for us to rethink familiar timelines – like “a year off”. Granted, that would also require us to rethink previously held ideas about things like budgets. (insert heart palpitations)

We are 90 days away from moving into an RV and setting off to travel around the US for at least a year.

Holy crap.

I thought putting virtual pins in the Google map would be exciting – and it is. Really. But I was unprepared for the anxiety, the flat out fear, that comes with adding more lines and shapes and reality to our dreams.

It seems like every step along the way comes with a mixture of “Oh my God, we’re doing this!” joy and “Oh my God, we’re doing this” nausea. And that all makes sense, but I keep being surprised by what my head and stomach consider reaction-worthy steps. Planning the initial route – even though we know it’s subject to change – is apparently a Big Step in my head.

Making a map is not just big, it’s necessary for any big dream.

As much as we’re tempted to just get in the car and drive, the truth is that we’d never leave if we didn’t take the time to put a map together. We’d also never have gotten this far in our planning if we hadn’t put a budget together. Taking these steps are scary because they make our dreams more real, but they are necessary for the very same reason. Written plans – whether they’re to-do lists, maps, or budgets – help turn fantasies into realities. They make the impossible seem manageable and turn your late night talks into actionable steps.

Do you have a map?

Now that we have the map and a general idea of our route, it’s time to start adding a few more pins. Specifically, you.

Do you want us to stop by for a visit when we’re on our trip?

I know a lot of you have offered up your driveways and your couches. Some of you have suggested you wanted to say hi or share a drink when we came through town. I want to take you up on every single offer, especially if yours included a shower or free food. I’ve put together a very fancy form to help me keep everything organized and take these plans to another panic attack inducing level.

Click here if you’d like to meet us on our trip!

I look forward to meeting many of you – and hearing about your Big Maps.

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