Happier when delayed

One of the nicest things about traveling by trailer is that you aren’t locked to a fixed schedule, most of the time.  Last night, when it was obvious that Eleanor and Emma were going to be completely stressed trying to hit our target departure time, I bowed to reality and suggested we simply delay our launch long enough to allow everyone to complete their final tasks in a relaxed fashion.

It was actually a pretty easy call.  Had we continued to aim for the 10 a.m. Thursday departure, Eleanor would have been up until 1 a.m., Emma would have been anxious about forgetting something, and neither of them would get a good night’s sleep.  We’ve been in this situation before, and it has worked out only because I do the driving and the two of them can collapse into the car and doze for a few hours on the first day.

But this time Eleanor is following in the Miata, and so she needs to be alert and feeling good.  So it made sense to offer a 24-hour extension last night to which, after considering, Eleanor reluctantly agreed.  She had really wanted to hit the target — a phenomenon that you’ve heard me mention before called “get-there-itis.”  It can be dangerous to let your desire to make a deadline overcome your good sense and survival instinct, and it’s hard to see that you’re getting into the get-there-itis trap, so it was my role to look at the situation from a more distant perspective and make the suggestion.

If we’d been traveling by any other method, it would have been expensive or impossible to make such a wholesale change in our plans.  Just imagine the frantic calls to hotels and airlines, not to mention the brutal cancellation or change fees we would have paid.  Traveling by Airstream means we don’t need to have a plan.  We have a rough idea of the route we will take to get to Ohio (with several approximated stops along the way), but we have no reservations, no obligations for the next week, and no need to make apologies.

The route has gotten a little more convoluted than I had first thought.  In a desperate attempt to avoid covering the same asphalt that we’ve run many times before, I have mapped a route through the lonely grasslands, crisscrossing old Route 66 at times, and largely off the Interstate highways.  It may or may not be interesting, but it will certainly be different.  The first part of the route will actually cut our total route miles a little, which is nice considering current fuel prices, but we will negate any savings later by meandering north to Chicago and (after Alumapalooza) up into Canada for a while.  Fortunately, I’ve got a fuel card and I’m not afraid to use it.

I’m also not afraid to just toss the routing and find another way.  Why limit ourselves?  As long as we get to Indiana by Friday the 27th (for dinner with friends), we’re fine.  I really hope we’ll spot something along the way, or think of something, that makes us detour to a completely unexpected and wonderful new experience.  That’s the best part of roadtrips.  There’s a lot of stuff between here and there — let’s go find some of it, when our trailer and our brains are ready for travel, tomorrow.


  1. adam says

    Your words are so true! I have been spending the last several days trying to figure out how to get back to the East Coast after Aluma and a trip to Montana where we may leave the Airstream for a bit. The thought of having to book a flight now is just too overwhelming. Even with gas prices what they are, I think we are going to drive just so we can remain flexible. Plus it will be fun to car camp for a few nights.