By Abigail Epperson

First, let me start by saying I love our life on the road and I wouldn’t change this journey for anything. I also want to fully acknowledge that I didn’t go into this adventure with both eyes open, rather one eye was open and the other was still closed and dreaming. Both eyes are open now.

Most of the time, full-time travel is an amazing adventure, and for the longest time I was really hesitant to share the rough patches, mainly because I was shocked to find so many.

Amazing Adventures at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota

This isn’t the world I’d seen on YouTube, read about on blogs, or listened to in podcasts. I kept wondering if we were doing something wrong. “Did we make a poor choice converting a bus?” “Did we jump into this too soon and should have really given it more thought?” “Why is this so hard for us?” The rough edges are rough, and those stressors often feel magnified when you deal with them in a city you don’t know, often without any nearby support system. So, they were secrets I held on to, secrets that for the last two years I’ve kept pretty hidden. When people tell us how amazing our life is, how awesome it is we are out doing this, and what a life we are giving our kids, I often smile, agree (because I do agree), but silently I’m thinking “if only you knew what it was really like most of the time.”

I’m clearly still reeling from the bus woes we experienced back in November and tonight, as I sit here after hours and hours of dealing with another bus repair, thankfully one we could do ourselves, I’m damn exhausted. I’m exhausted of pretending like this life is #InstaPerfect and I wonder if there are others out there feeling the same?

Latest bus maintenance was thankfully one Jason could handle.

Recently, I drove myself into complete physical and mental exhaustion moving us back into the bus after almost 3 months of being out. I was trying so hard to make our world perfect. I was obsessed with a space that looked glossy, bright, clean, modern and social media ready. That’s not our reality and it took a complete breakdown to realize that we live in a beautifully chaotic and messy world, and there is nothing wrong with that. I spoke about this experience on episode 80 of the RV Miles podcast, so I won’t go into too much detail here, other than to say it was a real eye-opener. I haven’t been living an authentic life, and it is going to drive me into the ground if I keep on keeping up with the Joneses.

Trying to move us back in the bus. You can see how tired I was, unfortunately, I wasn’t listening and kept pushing.

So here it is. Things go wrong around here. A lot. We are often overworked, exhausted, stressed, unsure of where to go to next, and wishing there were more hours in the day. Wander Bus always looks lovingly lived in with toys, books, shoes, dirty dishes, and laundry hanging around. Do I love clutter? Not really. Do I wish we had an Instagram perfect space? Of course, I mean, have you seen how sunny and clean those RV’s look? Do I want to put that kind of time into making that happen? No. I know what it takes to make those Instagram pictures perfect, and I’ve spent that time, and that is time I no longer want to give. I can’t. I’d rather give it to my kids and my husband, I’d rather give it to growing our business’, to interacting with others both face to face and on the interwebs, and to reading more books. I miss reading books.

I didn’t realize going into 2019 that it would be the year I focus on peace and acceptance, but here we are.

What Bussie really looks like on the inside

We may not always be glamorous around here, and we may even ask ourselves, “why the heck are we doing this?” but we will always be real. It’s too hard to try and be anything more than what we are, and what we are is a group of humans just trying to live life and face the day with as much positivity as we can. We don’t always succeed, but we are trying.

Nomadic life is a gift, and I feel blessed that we are living out a dream, but it’s not without it’s challenges, and for anyone thinking of going on this crazy adventure, I can’t encourage you enough to go into with both eyes wide open. It’s a much better position to be in, trust me.