28 days. 3,949 miles. 14 states.
It was a heck of a trip with my wife and kids in the RV, traveling New England. We left Florida and drove north, visiting:
- Lancaster, PA… where we visited the Amish.
- New York City… where they call a parking lot a “campground”
- Boston… where the roads and traffic are just insane.
- Maine… where the coastline is simply gorgeous.
- New Hampshire… where we climbed Mt. Washington by car, in a cloud.
- Watkins Glen, New York… where we walked in the gorge.
- Niagara Falls… where we got wet.
… and a lot of smaller places in between.
Here are some of my observations from our trip – both business and non-business…
- The United States is a great country. So much here, so many different kinds of people and different cultures.
- The U.S. has an awesome infrastructure. Roads, bridges in the damnedest of places, tunnels through mountains. So many simply drive from point A to point B without even thinking of the sheer amount of work that was put into putting that road there. The roads up in the NorthEast might be bumpy… but they’re there. 🙂
- RV traveling is quite affordable. Many people look at the gas guzzling nature of an RV (about 8 mpg on a good day) and automatically think it is overly expensive. But, when you consider that you don’t have to get hotel rooms and no restaurant meals, it is still much cheaper in the long run. All in all, my wife and I spent about $4,000 on this trip – about $1500 of it in gas alone. For a 28 day trip, that works out to about $143 per day. In many of the places we visited, that would just barely cover a hotel room. This is a family of 4 traveling New England for less than $143/day. Not freakin’ bad. 🙂
- The weather in New England in the summer is gorgeous. The Tampa area was getting deluged with rain the whole time we were gone and we were up there enjoying dry weather in the 70’s. Of course, the winters up there suck while Florida has pretty nice winters. So, it is a tradeoff.
- The GasBuddy app for the iPhone is amazing. Helps me find the best gas deal in the area. And seeing as an RV fill-up takes close to 60 gallons, it doesn’t take much to add up.
- Drivers in New York City need to chill out. They honk their horns constantly and it accomplishes precisely nothing. 🙂
- Respect for any of my readers who live in NYC, but I could never do it. That city is such a microcosm and I sometimes wonder if Manhattan folks really have a clue what it would be like to live elsewhere – where trees naturally grow there, where taxes isn’t insane, where you don’t have crowds at every corner. NYC is a great place to visit, but way too urban for my tastes. I’m much better suited to the beaches of Florida or sitting next to a quiet campfire than I am to sitting in Central Park acting like that is a taste of mother nature. It isn’t.
- Boston. Your roads. Insane. ‘Nuf said.
- I find it funny how we humans can place significance and importance on almost anything. Example: Plymouth Rock. Supposedly the rock the Pilgrims landed on, but nobody really knows. When we saw the rock in Plymouth, you realize… it is just a freakin’ ROCK. Not even that big. It is the stories and legend about it which makes it mean something.
- Another useful app for road travelers: iExit. It allows you to see what exits are coming up on the Interstate and what’s there. I used it to see rest stops coming up.
- It is so cool how fast kids make friends. My kids would show up in a campground and, many times, make friends with other kids playing there so quickly. Playing like they already knew each other. In contrast, so many adults mind their own business and don’t talk to each other. Or cast quick judgement without so much as a conversation to see what they’re like. Kids are awesome.
- Kids are also insane sometimes, especially when you’ve got them in an RV. 😉 I’m surprised they didn’t cause more damage than they did, but they did manage to strip out some screws on the dining table booth in our RV that I’m going to need to repair.
- I am SOOO fortunate to run an online business which I can operate from anywhere. For instance, I took a day in Boston and worked from the campground. My office, that day, was sitting under an awning, tethered to my iPhone, and getting things done.
- There are lots of different kinds of online businesses, but REAL power comes when your income is NOT tied to your time. That is true leverage and the real ticket to being able to take trips like this one and not have your income dry up. Having a blog with incoming leads and funnels behind the scenes… it allowed my business to keep on ticking despite me being “clocked out”.
- Of course, I can’t fully clock out, either. No income is truly passive. So, I did do some work while I was away although it was pretty minimal. And this is BY DESIGN. I love what I do here at Blog Marketing Academy, but I also truly value the freedom to go out and travel in the RV and not be stressed out about the business.
- My wife and I decided that we are going to upgrade the RV. We’re not in a major rush about it, but a trip this long really does a good job of pointing out every little flaw of an RV. The small kitchen. The lack of interior storage. The lack of enough electrical outlets. The lack of slide-outs. We’re going to upgrade to one which is a few years newer, has slides, maybe a little longer, and more amenities on the inside. I think that will make longer summer trips a lot more enjoyable… and that’s something we’ll likely be doing every year.
- This is our second long trip driving only the RV and not bringing a car with us. And… I don’t think we’re going to do that again. 🙂 RV’s are great, but not when you have to drive it for minor little day trips. Having a car would allow us to much more thoroughly visit any destination, leave the RV in place… maybe even stay longer and drive less. It would also mean a lot less hassle trying to rent cars (hint: Enterprise will only pick you up if it is convenient. 😉 ). Next time, we’re towing a car.
- Maine…. gorgeous in the summer. I could spend more time there. They can keep their winter, tho. 😉
- Automated webinars… I like them. 🙂 It didn’t convert as well as my live ones, but it does convert. I had people literally attending my Monetization Webinar while I was getting soaked at Niagara Falls. I love the automation of it. Setting up an automated webinar was a little experiment I tried because I didn’t want to go a month with that funnel shut down. Now that the experiment is over… I think I’m going to keep it. 🙂 I’ll tweak it, of course. And I will still do live webinars, too. But, there are numerous advantages to having on-demand webinars as part of your funnels.
- Stuff goes wrong when you’re not paying attention – and you can’t always depend on folks to tell you about it. For instance, my podcast was apparently not updating in iTunes for about 3 weeks and I didn’t even know about it. I had to fix that problem from the RV. Then, a MemberMouse conflict with the new version of Wordpress outright took this entire website offline for almost 24 hours – and there I was on vacation completely oblivious to it until the next day. I literally had to fix the site from the RV while sitting in the parking lot of a Dollar General in Bennington, Vermont. 🙂 The lesson for me is that I need to set up systems to alert me to these things quicker. I can’t rely on people telling me about it fast. Also, I need somebody on my team who can simply deal with these matters for me. This experience pointed out a flaw in my system and I’m going to fix it.
- Somebody needs to come up with an RV-specific GPS app for the iPhone. Google Maps is awesome, however it doesn’t know that I’m driving a house. So, the size of the road, or low bridges… those things don’t show up on Google Maps. There was one road in New York where I literally had to go under a low bridge at a snail’s pace because I didn’t actually know if I’d fit under it. 🙂 So, a GPS app for RVers which can avoid low bridges, can keep you on the road that are easier to travel… people would buy it. Oh, and if anybody out there knows of such a thing, let me know. I can’t seem to find one.
- I went this entire trip without watching a lick of TV. Life is better that way. 🙂 I don’t watch TV a ton anyway. We canceled cable in our house almost a year ago because we realized we were mostly paying for ads and trash. I shrug a little when I see people in these RV campgrounds with their big rigs watching TV the whole time. I mean, why are you there? You can watch TV at home. Go out and experience life!
- Selfies are a huge thing. 🙂 For instance, at Niagara Falls, you played hell getting a good view of the falls without being poked in the eye by a selfie stick. On a related note, I noticed a lot of young people are more interested in their phones or their vanity than their surroundings. Some of them were not truly there. They were in their own little space inside their heads, with their phones as the gateway. Put your phone down sometimes and just BE THERE. You can’t really experience things if you’re not really there.
In the end, it was a great trip. One that I hope my kids will remember forever.
For me, I love the balance of it. I love online business because it empowers me to do things like this. I’m not interested in being at my computer all the time. I’m not interested, quite frankly, in doing what it would take to build a massive company because I think it would have my butt firmly implanted in my office chair all the time instead of being out and experiencing things.
For me, it is about lifestyle and building the business necessary to power it. And that’s something I get a little better at each day.