The following discussion was a brainstorm that I had the other day, as a way of getting our family’s different views of our journey so far. I will go in age order, beginning with dad, and hopefully it will be an insightful bunch of posts that reflect the various viewpoints of each person. So, without further ado…
(Conversation between Haley and Dad)
Haley: So when did you get this idea for our 13-week trip around the
Dad: Well, there’s two parts to the answer. When your mom and I were first married (27 years ago), we always talked and dreamed about taking a trip around the country together. Whether it is in our camper truck, or a conversion van, what have you. But, with goals of buying a home and doing different things and working, we never really had the freedom to do such a trip for an extended period of time. So, as we began our family, the dream took on a new perspective. When I started my home business—six and a half years ago—and as that has progressed, it has allowed me to have a more flexible work schedule, in addition, the advent of the internet, allows me to do this trip at the present time.
Haley: With this idea in mind, when did it actually begin to take its present form?
Dad: About a year ago, I planned to take my business 100% “virtual”. Upon doing that—approximately ten months ago—it soon after dawned on me that taking such a trip was a real probability.
Haley: You first brought up the idea to the family of an extended trip this past January. You were talking mid-to-late spring. But we didn’t leave until mid-August. What was it that changed the timing?
Dad: When the thought first occurred to me that the trip was a probability, I was excited to go as soon as possible. But I realized that the spring did not allow enough time to plan the trip, along with planning both for the trip itself and preparations for maintaining the home while being away for such a long time.
Haley: As we prepared for the upcoming journey—which was approximately February to August—there were obviously a lot of issues to go over as you would be leaving your home, office, clients, employee, and property. How did you deal with all this?
Dad: Well, thankfully, my business has continued to prosper, allowing me to hire an employee (close friend Jesse Telian). This provided the means that, in addition to assisting with the daily accounting functions of the business, he could also help me maintain the home while we are away, checking the mail, maintaining the yard and pool, keeping up our car at home, and other miscellaneous items that might come up.
Haley: Did you feel confident and prepared to leave when we did, which was August 18?
Dad: Yes and no. Well prepared, but never prepared well enough. Sometimes you just have to go and trust that the Lord will provide because if I waited until I thought everything to be perfectly in order, I would never have left.
Haley: Now that we are two-thirds into the journey, has it been what you hoped or expected?
Dad: Again, yes and no.
Haley: Could you elaborate a little?
Dad: It has been in some ways more challenging than I expected. The reasons, to name a few, are that traveling like this can take a great deal of planning. For instance, deciding where to stay each night, where to go next, and what to do when we get there. While at the same time, trying to run a business whether it be in a small trailer with lots of distractions or on the highway going 60 miles an hour. In addition to managing an employee back home and multiple clients. Doing all this simultaneously has been a bit more difficult than I imagined. Nonetheless, I have no regrets. I feel blessed that the Lord has, and is, allowing me to accomplish the task.
Haley: Did you build the timing of the trip around any events or places you wanted to go?
Dad: No, although there have been a couple of events along the journey that worked nicely into our overall itinerary that we have had (or will have) the privilege of attending.
Haley: How about the biggest joy or excitement for you?
Dad: Too many to mention! It’s been inspiring to visit and see many well-known places, landmarks, etc. But for the most part, it’s the simple things. Such as just having this amount of time with your mom and each of you girls, because I am constantly aware that it is a privilege that few fathers receive.
Haley: Is there a fond memory that comes to your mind at this time?
Dad: I would say that getting to boat and ski and carp fish on the
Illinois River with Nate and Sally is one of my many fond memories.
Haley: One of the things that never fails to make me laugh is the picture of you on two cell phones, printing a client’s payroll or checks. Explain how this works to the readers.
Dad: This is necessary when I don’t have good internet connection. So my employee Jesse will have checks ready to print (on his computer) and I need to call the client. So I call the client on one cell phone while Jesse listens on the other, waiting for the print command. When the client confirms that checks are ready for printing, I say the words “they’re on their way”, which clues Jesse to begin printing. Then I end the call with the client, and that’s all folks!
Haley: On another note, where are some places we’ll be going to in the next couple weeks?
Dad: At the end of this week in the
Washington D.C. area, we will be heading towards Alabama by way of Charlottesville, through Tennessee, to the area. Huntsville
Haley: Will we be stopping in to visit people we know in the next few weeks?
Dad: We hope to visit our friends Steven and Tricia Hall while in
. From that point, we will be on the final leg of our journey. We will decide as we go our schedule and our route as we daily examine our endurance and desire to extend the trip and/or return home more quickly. This includes how business pressures might dictate. Huntsville
Haley: Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you, dad. Thanks for putting aside the iPhone and boating magazine to have this dinette-side conversation with me.
Dad: Thank you, Haley. And thank you for blogging/logging our journey. I am very thankful for your efforts.