This week I am in Maine, as we continue our journey across the continent and back.
The motto here on everyone’s T-shirt is “Maine: Life as it should be”. It reminds me of what everyone says when they come to the Okanagan, and to some degree they are similar places.
Maine has panoramic views with water and an abundance of natural beauty. It is a popular destination for people from all over, and with so much tourism the people seem to be used to playing the good host. Everyone we have met is outgoing and friendly, and every town we have been through has many interesting choices for food and drink, as well as activities. Life is good when there is so much to enjoy.
Of course, this concept is much easier when one doesn’t have that looming day-to-day list of to-do projects in front of them. On vacation, we are all about living in the moment and seizing the day because we left the laundry at home, the boss isn’t asking where is that report and the kids don’t have to go to soccer practice.
When the vacation is longer there are still some everyday chores to remember, and when you’re on the move there is a different routine that requires some attention. If I was sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tais at a resort for two months, I would feel guilty telling you that life is easy and you should enjoy it more.
Instead, I can tell you driving every few days across country roads with an antique hotel suite on wheels has its own challenges. When I say there have been days where we’ve had a screw loose, I’m not kidding.
To date, I think it’s more like 28 screws that have vibrated loose and required tightening or even replacing after all our miles (3,600 miles to date, or about 5,700 km).
Not a day has gone by when we didn’t have to adjust something in the trailer, or in our route. Things inside shift on bumpy, curvy, hilly roads – even those things that might have been bungeed down or clamped closed. Some things need adjusting with all the travel, other things break and have to be fixed or replaced. Even modern stuff doesn’t always work—Google maps doesn’t always give the best route, and it doesn’t always know exactly where places are.
Sometimes hosts will forget to mention there is a better way – or a worse one – to get to their location. They remember when you tell them you took the most direct route, the one Google recommended. That’s when they say, “Oh yeah, it can be a bit tricky on that road, especially when it rains”, which it did just the day before. (It took an hour to hose off the caked-on mud and gravel so we could lower the jacks to stabilize the trailer for the night.)
But hey, life is like that. There’s always things that go wrong, and things that go right, too. After 18 days on the road, I am happy to report we are smiling and finding a comfortable routine. We are making memories every day that we already enjoy (not just the tales that become fun later in the telling).
I know that I will enjoy coming home, where I know we have our own unique beauty in the people and the place. I hope our tales of home will entice others to see us in our place, so they can have new memories too.
I think what I got from the saying here in Maine is life should be full of enjoyment, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
My heart has been warmed by meeting people from “downeast” Maine and experiencing their lifestyle. I am so glad that we made it here to enjoy this place, with its picturesque Atlantic inlets, delicious fresh lobster in everything, and quirky, tasty treats like Grape Nut ice cream.
Maine has charmed my soul as well as my tummy.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.