Hitting The Wall

March 20, 2012 in North America, Travelogue, United States

The future will only contain what we put into it now.

Image credit


It’s happening again.

My only consolation, I suppose, is that I know it’s happening, I know what it’s going to feel like, and I know we’ll get through it, because we always do.

In five short weeks we’ll be on the road again, homeless and moving forward.

And we’re hitting the wall.

What is “The Wall?”Β You ask.

The wall is that point in the big push to make a dream come true where all of the streams of the universe collide and the circuit overload is almost too much.

It’s the point at which the forward motion becomes almost too much to stop: THIS IS HAPPENING!!

On a practical level, it’s the point at which you look up from your checklist and say, “OH MY GOSH! I CAN’T DO THIS!!” and you find yourself totally overwhelmed. Or at least I do. Every time.

For us, we hit The Wall at approximately the 6 week pre-launch point every time.

The first time, I really thought I might die. Or kill one of the kids.

It’s the point at which I usually get physically sick (I felt it starting in the back of my throat two days ago.)

It’s the point at which my usual difficulty sleeping escalates into insomnia as an art form.

It’s the point at which I keep my pen and checklist within reach at all times because I can’t be trusted to remember that all important thought five minutes from now.

It’s the point at which I honestly ask myself, “WHAT THE HECK WERE WE THINKING?!!” Every single time.

You’d think after over four years at this “Living your dream” thing we’d be getting better at this, that it would be getting easier.

I guess we are getting better… but it’s not any easier.

There is an upside to hitting The Wall AGAIN:

I’ve done this so many times I know we’ll live.

The checklists will accomplish themselves.

We’ll purge the excess and get down to our fighting weight of gear and necessities again.

Visas will be procured.

Work projects will be prioritized.

The three week “friends and family tour” will get sorted out.

I will get sick, but then I’ll get better.

We won’t sleep, we’ll eat weird stuff as we clear our our cupboards, and “school” will happen on a weird schedule.

and then… we’ll be free…

Once again we’ll have accomplished the impossible and we’ll be on our way to a new continent and a new adventure. The stress will melt, the fears will fade, the open road will stretch before us in her alluring way, and we’ll remember:

“Ah yes… this is why it’s all worth it… this is why we sold it all, risked it all and live way outside the box… we wouldn’t have it any other way…”

I’m fixated on that moment for now. I’m so glad to know it’s coming. So glad to know it’s there.

I didn’t the first time, and that was scary.

Would you like a peek at the inside?

A look at the checklists and what has to be accomplished in the next 5 weeks:

Upcoming Guest List:

  • Wellman Family from Germany (three days)
  • Littlefield Family from Florida (one week)
  • Grandparents from Canada (four days-ish)
  • Lee Rehberg from Canada (one week)
  • Matthew Taylor from Texas (four days)
  • Schenk Family from NH (three days)


Work Related:

  • Tony has more than full-time work between now and then with new contracts in the pipeline
  • I have a minimum of ten articles due to various editors (and that’s if none of my new pitches are picked up!)
  • Five weeks worth of content to be created for the Dream Intensive
  • 20 hours of personal coaching time to deliver
  • 5 conference calls to host
  • A series of interviews to facilitate
  • Two blogs to maintain


Family Related:

  • Two concerts to attend
  • Schooling for four for next year to be sorted out and courses purchased to take with
  • Dinner to be had with a new follower (tonight, actually!)
  • Easter to be hosted
  • A Blast Off/Birthday Party to be planned and executed (thank you Wood Family for hosting!)
  • A Bridal Shower to be planned and executed
  • Arrangements for lodging and visits on the 3 week friends and family tour to schedule
  • Return the cottage to pristine condition to check out (Massive head to toe cleaning!)
  • Turn in NH Homeschooling evaluations to our umbrella school


Trip Related:

  • Procure plane tickets to Thailand
  • Procure plane tickets to leave Thailand in two months (necessary to prove onward travel for visas)
  • Procure Thai visas (triple stamp, 60 day visas if we can… cross your fingers!)
  • Move our entire home storage in NH from one facility to another (clean, sort, repack… ugh)
  • Pack school we’re done with & other excess for storage
  • Sort everything we own, once again, down to just our backpacks
  • Find size 10 men’s Keens for big-foot-boy
  • Arrange our first week of “holiday” in Bangkok
  • Make appropriate pre-contacts in Phuket for our house hunt
  • Re-up my supply of vitamins, sprouting seeds, cheese, yogurt and kefir cultures before we fly
  • Learn a little Thai (I have a Pimsleur course on my iPod, yikes)


There is more. That’s just off the top of my head.

Why am I posting this?

To whine? To complain? So you’ll feel sorry for me?

No. For truth in advertising.Β 

Living your dreams is hard work. I’m remembering that this month.

The folks in our Dream Intensive course are just beginning to define their dreams and identify their fears this week. They’re working hard to get the ball rolling, that’s hard work. Keeping it rolling continues to be.

  • There’s no magic potion.
  • We aren’t “lucky.”
  • There are trade offs to those “working from a hammock” pictures that I post to drive people crazy.


The trade off is months like this. We live this life by choice. Because we’re willing to push through the mountains of hard to have the privilege of sitting with our toes in the blue Andaman Sea and working from there instead of an office.

My usual approach to hitting The Wall is to hunker down and hide from the world. We tough this stuff out on our own, in “survival mode” and then post from the other side, when we remember why we love this life.

I’m going to try to do it differently this time, for the sake of my Dreamers as well as those of you who’ve been following for a while and keep asking HOW we do it. I’m going to try to share the HOW and the hard parts.

Deep breath.

Are you ready for this?

Hitting The Wall hurts…