We have spent the last two and a half weeks back in our hometown, parked at the homes of friends and family. It hasn’t been quite as restful as we expected; we’ve been very busy. Music was played, parties were had, van parts were fiddled with, computers broke, Trump came to town…it was a hootenanny of a time. We’ve seen lots of people we love, and a few we just kinda like. Now, we’re ready to get back on the road.
We are attending a wedding tonight, then we head east in the morning. We’ll be connecting with over 50 friends and hosts in about 20 states over the next three months. We’ll be back in Springfield in early December. We have some exciting interview and speaking opportunities that will likely have us back on the road sometime in January and throughout the spring. We’re not sure where it all ends, or if it will end any time soon. We’re growing rather fond of our 90 square feet of home. And we still really like each other.
We posted a “NOTE FOR POTENTIAL HOSTS” before we left in May. That info is generally still true, even though we have found we’re far more self-sufficient than we thought we might be. Here are some reminders and new bits of info:
- We are genuinely grateful and humbled by the offers of guest rooms, but we are nearly always more comfortable staying in our van. We have it set up the way we want it, and it’s way less stressful to keep all our stuff in one place, instead of having to haul it inside then repack it a day or so later.
- There’s a good chance we’ll take you up on offers to use your shower and laundry; although, we shower at Planet Fitness locations on a regular basis.
- Don’t feel the need to provide elaborate meals for us. We love them. Too much. But, this isn’t really vacation for us. We’re living and working on the road. Ordinary, healthy meals are fine…and a more sustainable model for our bodies!
- Of course we want to know the people and things you think we must see, but we won’t be able to see them all. It’s okay, though, we can come back someday.
- If you want me (Brett) to play a house concert, I can do that. If we’re lucky, I might be able to get a musician friend who knows my songs to join me on the road and play with me. Some hosts have interpreted “house concert” as a jam, where they invite their musician friends over and we all play together. That’s cool too. I’m happy to hang out and share songs with your friends, but I’m not much of a jam player.
- Yes, we want to meet people you know. First, we want to spend time with you. Second, we’re hoping to expand the diversity of our connections. We’re white, Midwestern, heterosexual, middle-class, educated, liberal, former evangelical Christians. Like most people, we tend to default toward others who are like us. If you can introduce us to people who are unlike us in some significant way, that might be more interesting. But, we’ll hang out with anyone and listen to their stories.
*Important Note: Our project is not focused on entertainment or research. We are not interested in meeting your neighbor who is belligerent and combative, just because it would be exciting. Looking for situations that are simply weird and dangerous is an exercise in spectacle and narcissism, not meaningful communication. We’re not interested in talking to people who don’t want to talk. Also, this is not an ethnography or an academic field study. We’re not trying to establish a sound scientific sampling in our data. We want to push outside our comfort zone, but we don’t need to satisfy a protocol. We’re just traveling the country, meeting people, and sharing stories. That’s all.
Thanks for following along with our journey. We’re excited to see the other half of the country. Hope we bump into you along the way!