Seven Things About Traveling that I Don’t Miss

Our entire family is in a strange adjustment period. Cade and Lucy aren’t sure what we mean when we talk about home. Sammy cried on our first night back because he wanted to sleep in the bus. Only Abra seems to bounce around the house as if nothing new is going on.

While there are many fun and adventurous things about living in a big blue bus, here are seven that I don’t miss:

1) Emptying the waste tank every few days. I’m not going to go into detail on this one, but let me say this: it’s rather amazing how much waste a family of six produces.

2) Going to the bathroom anywhere but in the bus. Due to #1, we tried to use other restrooms as much as possible. Restaurants, Walmarts, the bathrooms in the campground that were half a mile away. It’s amazing how far you will walk to use a restroom when you’re the one responsible for emptying the stuff.

3) Worrying about the bus. After getting stuck in a ditch, I felt like I had an ulcer. After losing the brakes, I thought I was having heart palpitations for weeks. It was all I could do not to break out into song the moment I handed the bus keys back to my uncle.

4) Showering in the tiny shower. Get wet. Turn off the water. Lather up. Turn on the water. Rinse. Turn off the water. And all of that done in a rather tiny space. Yeah, I’m enjoying normal showers quite a bit.

5) The occasional feeling of isolation. We went on a long stretch from Pasadena to Mount Rushmore without seeing anyone we knew, and even I, the ultimate introvert, started to crave the sight of another familiar face.

6) The smell of a dirty diaper in such a confined space. Enough said.

7) One on one time with my wife – you can take that however you’d like (the kids were ALWAYS around!).

If you went on a trip, what do you think you would enjoy the most? What would you miss the most about normal life?

6 Replies to “Seven Things About Traveling that I Don’t Miss”

  1. What I would enjoy: The excitement of the sights we would see.

    What I would miss: If we were gone long enough, maybe I’d get homesick. Although I have to admit, I could have stayed on our cruise or maybe just one of the tropical islands we visited for more than the 7 days we had. I did not want to come home.

  2. When I travel, I take my pillow. But when I get home, and use that pillow in my own bed, on my own sheets, made to my exacting standards? Ahhh.

  3. For car trips, I take my pillow, too, Jen. We lived overseas for two years – and I missed the strangest things: cottage cheese and celery, neither of which were available where we were. Also, chocolate chips, seasoning packets, baking mixes – but those could be shipped in care packages, so we’d get an occasional reminder of how handy they were. Glad you’re home and slowly settling in, Shawn.

  4. Hi Shawn! Just found your site and am poring through your archives a bit because our family went on a 9-month RV trek across the country between February 2011 – November 2011. We traveled with our two little girls (ages 2 and 4, at the time) and volunteered at non-profits as we went. If you like, you can read a bit about our adventures at:

    I especially relate to #3. The transmission of our truck blew up on day 1 and we also had several other repairs to make along the way. I don’t think a day went by I didn’t worry that something would go wrong with our “traveling house.”

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