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Our First Big Test —Establishing A Routine On The Road (While Staying Out of ‘Vacation Mode”)

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After the rush of the Watershed Music Festival, we headed out into our first official work week on the road at an amazing camping spot in the Cascade Mountains in Washington. The RV park was on the Skagit River and featured big open spaces, a kids park (of course, Jeremy pushed me in the swings!), a small hiking trail, loads of fruit trees, and the things we like on the road like a hookup to electricity and water!

After a Monday morning meeting with my team on Zoom, I called my trainer who I have worked with for more than twenty years, on Facetime. We had a plan to continue our workout regimen and so we brought a 50 lb. Schwinn exercise bike with us in the RV (I wanted to duplicate my Peloton bike experience as much as possible), a punching bag, dumbbells and a yoga mat. Since my ski accident in February, 2020 I have been working diligently with my trainer and a team at Phase IV physical therapy so that I can continue to have an active lifestyle and overcome the impact of the injury on my musculoskeletal system. Jeremy and I both knew that in order for this to be a long term possibility, we would have to be able to continue working towards our health goals in the same way we do at home. Our first camping spot was situated under a large, moss-covered tree. It was during that first workout that I fell a little bit more in love with the possibility of living life on the road full time.

As I came up from that first squat, I lifted my head towards the sky, I looked up, up, up, into the branches of that massive tree. I wasn’t looking at the ceiling in my garage! In that moment I felt a deep feeling of gratitude as I noticed a small detail in the shape of the moss hanging on a branch. I smelled the fresh scent of the river. I heard the birds, waved to a neighbor. And when I got down onto the mat to do crunches, I couldn’t help but focus on the gently moving clouds in the sky, forgetting the number of repetitions I had to complete.

After a full day of work, chores, and workouts, Jeremy and I set out on adventures together making the most of the long summer days. One night we went on a short hike through a wooded trail, and on the second day we set out down the Skagit river, me on a paddle board and Jeremy on the surfboard, floating right down to our campsite from a place three miles up the road where we dropped off the car. While I was terrified to go it alone at first, Jeremy encouraged me, reminding me to look at the variances of green and brown and grey as we floated past the landscape, to be present to the beauty of it all. We cooked healthy dinners each night on the outdoor grill, and we even managed to watch an episode of the Bachelorette together under the outdoor awning, sitting in camping chairs covered in blankets. (There is an awesome outdoor TV on Baby’s left side!)

And, on the final day we moved to a camping spot with a view of the river, the jade green color framed by long grass that blew back and forth with the changing wind. It was majestic. I did my last coaching call of the week sitting outside with a view of the water, the laptop sitting on the camping table as the late afternoon turned to early evening. And after work we took a walk together and picked fresh plums and blackberries. We held hands and relished in it, the differences between this evening walk and the walks we took each night at home after dinner where we would wind through our neighborhood, the scenery irrelevant as a result of its familiarity.

As we left our beloved Harold Miller campsite on Friday on the way to Mount Rainier, we celebrated. We felt like we did it! It worked, not perfectly, but it worked. We ate healthful meals, we exercised, explored, battled the internet, learned to share one small bathroom, and are sleeping better than we ever have. We reminded each other that there is beauty in the challenge of it all every day, and noticed how we are working together better and better with each passing day. More kindness. More laughter. More patience.

And much, much, more fun.

About the Author



I am Marni Battista, entrepreneur, mom of three, wife, and lover of travel. My husband and I have spent the last three years being intentional about creating a life that feels like an authentic expression of us as individuals and together. We have a mutual love of adventure, nature, peace, and freedom which has resulted in a series of experiments in honor of our desire to experience a radical living challenge! This blog represents the beginning of this journey.