What I fear most about our trip to the USA

Yep. I’ve got some fears about our upcoming road trip to the USA. Fears are a normal part of life, and will magnify with the greater risks and adventures you take.

Now please be aware that none of these fears are really large, nor are they going to get in the way of my travels.

I believe in the power of diminishing your fears by acknowledging they are there. When you put on a false sense of courage by pretending they don’t exist they pop their head up in ugly ways. Usually in subconscious self-sabotaging ways and by pointing the finger at how fearful and stupid others are.

fears usa road trip

Once you’ve shone the light on your fears, you know how to create a plan to overcome them and make your dream happen.

If you don’t know, we’re calling our USA road trip America Unplugged because we want to showcase the real America. You’ll notice some of the following fears are also woven into this theme, to showcase that these fears aren’t as real as they seem.

Endless choice

Donald Trump president

This may seem like a strange one, but it’s interesting to see how something like this can be somewhat of a fear and lead you to procrastination.

Planning a road trip around Australia is pretty easy. You travel around the outside and dip into the middle once or twice. You head up the top during the winter and down the bottom during the summer. And the majority of the country is natural experiences to enjoy. You’re not fitting in too many cool festivals, events, and entertainment. Easy peasy.

America not so much. You’re going in out, up down, and across. Plus the entire top is out of the question during the winter (when you’re road tripping) unless you want to deal with snow and unpassable roads.

Not knowing where to start has been quite debilitating to us. There are too many scenarios, too many pathways, too many seasons, festivals to juggle. Sometimes when you don’t know what to choose, you choose nothing.

Fearing that I couldn’t work it out and wouldn’t be able to see and do everything I wanted, I decided to do nothing and avoid the challenge, the disappointment and the fear of getting it wrong!

To overcome this, I sat down with a map of the USA and colour-coded each state as the best season to visit. I researched each state and coded it as either winter, summer, spring or fall – some overlapped. Having that visual was a game changer! Now, I could see how to make it work.

USA road trip map

Arriving in August means we’ll lose the optimal summer months for the top of the USA, so we scrapped the original plans.

We think it will be best to arrive in NYC and head up to New England for the fall colours and then make our way down the East Coast to arrive in Florida for the winter.

We plan to fly to the ski-fields to incorporate that into our story. A ski trip in the US is a huge bucket list item.

Even though we’ll be road tripping, we won’t be excluding these types of experiences because we can’t drive there. That’s an easy thing about US travel – the accessibility of destinations through flights. Australia not so much.

I’m disappointed not to hit the West Coast first as I’ve been aching to get to the mountain states and Pacific North West, but I don’t want to get there at the wrong time.

And we LOVE the East Coast so are super excited to explore this region a little deeper, catch up with old friends in Raleigh and Charleston, and visit Nashville early in the trip (we’re more than a little obsessed with it at the moment).

(P.S. This is all subject to change between now and then!)

Visa issues

Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA
Working in the USA allowed us to travel the country

We love America. We want to live in America. We want to spend a good two years at least promoting what we love about it and why it’s a great destination. We do this from our hearts and our authentic travel journey.

But, it’s a challenge to get a visa to come over to the US for longer than six months. We’re frightened we won’t get a long-term visa.

There’s not much we can do, except fill out the best application we can, and hope the powers that be will see us as a valuable addition to the country. Thankfully, we’re working with a great immigration lawyer at the moment in Memphis who is guiding us through the process.

We can only believe that this is our destiny and so the dots will connect.

Stay tuned as we may be asking you for some testimonials if you support what we do and our journey.

UPDATE: we did get a three year business visa. Here’s the process for getting an O1 visa and then we got a green card!!

Gun control

We lived in the States for four years and I never worried about guns, even with our monthly lockdown drills at the school I taught at, which completely freaked the shit out of me. God knows what it did to those poor children we were terrorizing!

But, the incidents seem to be growing too much each year, which I find unsettling in today’s world where cases of instability, anger, frustration and disconnection are on the rise.

It’s not going to bother me once I’m over there, and it’s only a niggling, fleeting fear, but I’d feel better if you couldn’t just walk into Wal-Mart and buy a gun.

I’m going to pile on weight and have gluten issues

Top of the Hill Bar and Brewery Chapel Hill
Enjoying a few beers at Top of the Hill Bar in Chapell Hill, NC

No one serves a plate of food like America – huge, fried and sugary. One of our missions with the America Unplugged concept is to share the hidden food gems of the USA and food that’s not artery clogging, fast and full of high fructose corn syrup and Monsanto rubbish.

Many of the world’s current health food trends, that I love, a.k.a. kale actually come from the USA, most notably California. I love wholesome eating and am so excited to explore more of this side of the US.

Health and good eating is important to me, and if you follow us you know I’m a little obsessed with my daily green smoothie and healthy cake baking with the girls.

I am concerned about travelling through other areas of the US, especially when it comes time to finding healthy, gluten-free food. While I can tolerate small levels of gluten every now and then, it can make me quite sick if I have too much.

Be sure to follow our journey so you can help us find all the good food in the USA.

Update: How to supersize your health on a US road trip.

At least, I’ll always have Whole Foods to help me. Love Love Love Whole Foods and Trader Joes! Like BIG LOVE.

Oh and I’m devastated I can no longer drink beer because I also Love Love Love US craft beer. Any gluten free versions?

Long-term friendships for the girls

Yardie Creek Gorge, Exmouth, Western Australia

This is the only thing that concerns me about long-term travel with kids. It’s not so much for Savannah, as she’s still a little young and has great social skills. I do worry for Kalyra. Parenting is hard. You have a wider perspective than a child, so you make decisions based upon that, which may not seem the best through the child’s eyes.

I feel this quality family time spent with us will give her a stronger foundation and more of an opportunity to express and live her unique talents and interests. She has an independent, creative spirit and I notice an impact upon this in a formal education environment.

I see in her a deep desire to fit in and as a result, withholding her true spirit to do so. I hate seeing that. But, at the same time, it’s her thing to figure out and friendships are important to her. I fear the impact this may have on her socially in the future.

I don’t have the answers, I can only go with what feels right, and what I think is best in the long-term. The good news is she is emphatically stating that she wants to do this trip and is ready to go! Hitting the East Coast first has ramped that up for her. She has her eye on NYC and Disney World!

Our intention on this trip is to give our children the opportunity to be as social as possible. We know the RV lifestyle is so awesome for this, and hopefully, we can find other travelling families to connect with.

On our Australian road trip, we travelled the last six months with a family and their daughter Maddy, who is the same age as Kalyra. It was awesome for the girls to have each other on the trip and they will be friends for life. They stayed with us just the other weekend and will be coming to meet up with us in the US and travel for a bit. Yeah!

Craig and I are pretty social and make an effort to connect with other people and hosting meetups with you, our community, is high up on our list of priorities on this America Unplugged Journey – so bring your kids when you come!

Family travel 24/7

Ducktours Singapore
Enjoying Singapore

I do think I’m verging slightly on the edge of insanity for willing volunteering to travel indefinitely with my kids again 24/7. They drive me crazy, but I rather a life lived travelling with them then one going through the motions at home.

Our recent road trip to Outback Queensland showed me that parenting life is slightly easier when we travel, and I adore experiencing life with them. It just doesn’t cut through the chaos enough when we’re doing the daily grind.

If I am perfectly honest with you, and I don’t quite know any other way to be, I am nervous venturing into this world again with Savannah. This may sound worse than it actually is.

When it was time for her to be induced (because she was late and my placenta was dying) there was panic in the hospital as they thought she was distressed and they’d have to caesar me. After a couple hours of monitoring and fluffing about, they worked out my lovely baby was not distressed, just bloody active!!

She’s been bloody distressed ever since. Holy hell. I didn’t realise what a breeze Kalyra was until Savannah arrived. We love her to bits, and she has the most adorable and sweet personality, and I know her spirit is destined to rock this world with a huge spark, but she’s hard work.

I am worried how the travel may again affect her sleep patterns. Ha, but then again she’s never had any healthy ones! And a constant source of worry for me is her diet. She’s the fussiest eater I’ve ever come across. I’ve tried every trick in the book multiple times. She has about five food items she’ll eat and if anything is slightly abnormal, or texturally wrong, she won’t go near it ever again!

This is her general breakfast order, “I’ll have toast, not cooked with peanut butter.” or “Toast, cooked with a little bit of vegemite on it, cut up into squares, not triangles.” If you get any of that slightly wrong, she won’t eat it, including a plate that’s dirty. Don’t ever serve her up yoghurt and give her the spoon you served it up with. It has to be spotlessly clean and the pretty pattern she loves!

I know at the end of the day I’ll be wiped out!!! But the Australia road trip was sooooo good for her physically, mentally and emotionally. She thrives when she’s with us all the time and I do love sharing this life with her. She gives us a lot of laughs!!

Like the other night when she was inspecting the small hole in my belly button where I once had it pierced.

“Get me the knife Mummy. I want a belly button like yours.”

Oh Lord!

Home-schooling

family travel

Jeez. I didn’t think I’d be returning to this point so soon. I’ve got six months of the US road trip to enjoy before Savannah joins my classroom too. At least we know how to make it work this time around and Kalyra is a little more mature and independent now. I think we’ll have this one licked.

Kalyra is telling us how bored she is with school and how excited she is for me to be her teacher again. Yippee! She also loves taking on the teacher role so I’m sure she will delight in bossing teaching her sister.

Leaving family

It’s never easy. But, it’s been our reality for many years now and we know how to cope and make it work. What worries me is my parents are getting older, in particular, my Dad, and he’s had a couple of health scares lately. He’s as stubborn and strong as they come, though. He would not be happy knowing that I was letting these fears get in the way of following my dreams.

Running out of money

I’ve never travelled yet without this fear (after 20 years of doing it) and I’ve never once not recovered from running out of money and the travel keeps coming. The trick is to work along the way, which we do, but to also ensure you have strategies and backup plans in place.

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes before leaving on this trip to ensure we have systems set up for consistent passive income. We do work a lot with Australian tourism boards and brands so we’re sacrificing a chunk of our income by travelling through the US. It’s a huge risk and brings up a lot of fear.

I’m concerned about the cost of travel in the US has increased since we last lived there and we’ll get a rude shock and I’m also worried about travelling on the Aussie dollar. There’s nothing worse than seeing a quarter of your money disappear crossing a border. But, living in Australia ain’t cheap either and potentially it will be cheaper for us to be traveling in the US than having a base in Oz.

One thing I do have is belief in our ability to find a way and create the income we need. Sometimes I don’t know the how, but I know if I’ve done it once, I can do it again.

I don’t believe in saying I don’t have the money for a dream. My belief is I can create the money for the dream. I focus less on scrimping, saving, and making sacrifices, and more on increasing my value, improving my money relationship, and opening up income streams.

And if all else fails, and you do run out of money, you can always come home. No big deal. It’s better to have given it a go, had some amazing adventures, and come home early, than not experiencing anything new because of fear and a lack of belief in yourself.

The work consuming us

blogging from the hill at Adels Grove in Outback Queensland
Ha. Trying to find internet in Australia, lol

As mentioned, this past year has been about setting up a bunch of processes and systems before we leave. I fear we won’t have it done in time, but it’s looking a lot better than our Aussie road trip. I fear going through that again – massive growth and no wisdom, nor time, to organise and manage it.

Now we know what we’re doing (sort of) it will be easier. But, I’m still worried that the level of output required from us may interfere with our ability to enjoy this road trip fully. We’ll be travelling slowly to soak it all in and we have some amazing team members who now take care of a lot of things for us.

It’s about lowering our own expectations and placing less pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. We’ll have very clear priorities in place in regards to content production, administration and social media.

When we arrive in the US, I only want to focus on creating amazing content (including video and social) related to our trip. I don’t want to be concerned with creating any products, setting up systems, or managing administrative work I can give to someone else.

There’s bound to be a few more fears pop up over the next few months! The two biggest ones that I’m finding difficulty managing and toss and turn a little too much over are the visas and the finances.

If you want something bad enough you can make it work, right?

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