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How to Meet New Friends When Your Traveling Full Time

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How to Meet New Friends When Your Traveling Full Time

How do you meet cool new people when you're traveling full time? 

Well, we've tried a lot of things. We go to cool events in town. We talk to strangers all the time: at the beach, at the laundramat, at camp, and about our Roost stands at coffee shops.

Small talk is great, but what we're really looking for are new friends in town to do cool stuff together. 

The challenge is building a quick relationship. How do you meet someone new + get comfortable enough to want to share time together in the future + in a short amount of time? 

After traveling full time for 2.5 years, we've found a favorite solution to meeting cool, like-minded, people: Trail work days.

Trail work is helping build and maintain local trails. We've volunteered building trails in Vermont at Ascutney Trails and in Colorado on Pikes Peak. These days have been awesome!

We've learned working on a project together with new people (who we know already like to be on trails) gives us time to chat, bond, and move forward in a friendship if we're keen.

If you haven't done a trail work day-- 

Here are five reasons doing trail work's an awesome way to meet new people:

1. You get outside!

And- you go to new places and see new views you'd never trek to without having the mission of trail work. 

New views

Look at this view! I wanna go back!

View from Mount Ascutney, Vermont with Jim and Steve on Ascutney Trails. 

New Places

In Colorado Springs, we worked on the Missing Link Trail with Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates. To do this, we got free tickets to take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up the mountain to the Four Mile stop and start working. A free train ride on Pikes Peak? Now, that's cool! 

2. You get a different kinda workout.

Moving rocks? Digging? Raking? Heck yeah! We don't do this every day. 

3. You meet awesome people!

When you're in the woods walking together, working hard together, and sweating together, you're bound to form new friendships. 

Who knows, you could even meet your next trail buddy!

4. You learn new stuff!

We've learned how to use new tools.

And, we've learned the strategy behind building trails. Did you know, when building a trail you should use the natural contours of the earth to plan the trail? And, trail builders form the trail so water runs off in sheets, instead of forming a river and creating ruts down the trail. I know! News to me, too!

4. You gain appreciation for the trails we use. 

When you're out there working hard, getting blisters, and working up a sweat, you look around and gain major appreciation for all of the hard work from those that came before you. You realize someone had to build these trails and someone has to maintain them. 

You also learn the history of the trails you're on and the tenacity of the people who dream them up and build them. 

Our friend, Jim Lyall (in the front above) has been working for 9 years to get permission to link the Ascutney Trails system to the local state park with a five mile trail. Talk about perseverance! We got to work on the linking trail on our trail day. So cool!

In Colorado Springs, Medicine Wheel's been working for 20 years to gain permission to build the Missing Link Trail to add to Pikes Peak's Ring the Peak trail. Talk about being perseverance and persistence. Amazed by these trail builders!

5. Give back.

We are always out on trails. When we're out there, we're making memories. Whether it's seeing a new place, escaping to the quiet, spending time with someone special, celebrating a birthday, or even being proposed to- trails are a big part of our life.

We have a responsibility to help maintain them for ourselves, our kids, our grandkids and anyone who comes after us. 

6. Bonus- You get free food!

Okay, let's be real. We really go for the free food. I'm kidding... no seriously... I'm kidding!

Thanks Whole Foods and UpSlope!

How do you find trail work days?

1. Local mountain bike groups. 

We've found out about trail work days from local mountain biking groups. 

2. Find your local parks and trails websites.

Then, check out their upcoming events. Don't forget state parks and national parks.

3. Can't find a local trail days but want to get outside with other folks? 

Become a member of Gociety! Gociety connects people who want to get outside and do awesome stuff together. We've gone out on running and climbing events with folks! It's awesome!


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on other aspects of this lifestyle we've figured out. 

Sign up and we'll learn together!

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Why It's a Good Idea to Talk to Strangers & 5 Fun Facts About Star Fish

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Why It's a Good Idea to Talk to Strangers & 5 Fun Facts About Star Fish

Our moms always scolded us, "Don't talk to strangers!"

When you live a nomadic lifestyle like us, we need strangers. We travel to a lot of places where we don't know anyone. Without strangers, life would be so lonely and boring.

In fact, meeting strangers has led to many awesome #nuventures: like meeting someone at the laundromat and getting invited to live on a sheep farm; or finding secret beaches that can only be accessed through a secret cave; or spending your birthday celebrating a temple's birthday

After re-learning how awesome strangers are, now, we look around and say, "Yay! Strangers! Now, who do we want to meet?"

Now, look what a stranger showed me last week: a star fish!

Last week I went to the beach and started chatting with two older couples on the way to the water. One of the men pointed out this star fish. Without talking to him, I would have never seen my first live star fish!

This guy's find launched me into three new things I had never experienced before. 

1.  I watched a star fish run away from me. Check out the video below. Total #nuventures! 

Two, a dolphin swam by as I was filming the star fish. I got to watch it swim down the beach! #neverseenthatbefore. 

Three, a dashing pelican gave me quite the photo shoot.

It was such an exciting day! 

When I got back to the camper, I hit the internet. Google: "Tell me about star fish!" I really wanted to know why it didn't attack my toes.

I found five surprising facts I had to share with you. These were news to me!

1. It's not a star fish. It's a sea star.

The star fish is not a fish. Huh- totally makes sense. It doesn't look like a fish. The sea star is in the family of sea urchins. They have a hard outer body.

 Marine biologists have worked hard to re-name these guys to sea stars

2. Sea stars live for 35 years on average!

Well dang! This little guy in the video could be older than me! I'm only 30!

3. They don't have a brain.

If they don't have a brain- what's running them then? You saw in the video- their feet! Ba-boom-ching:) They have hundreds of tiny feet that act like suction cups. Cool!

And, sea stars don't have blood either. Salt water circulates through their body. Interesting, eh?

4. They can grow up to 50 arms!

Most sea stars have five limbs, but some can grow up to fifty arms. Wow!

5. Sea stars can regenerate their limbs.

Sea stars' organs grow inside their arms. If they get injured, they can regenerate parts of their body. Now, that's cool! 

I never knew any of this stuff! Thanks to a stranger and Nat Geo, I learned more! 

 

Lesson from the day: Talk to strangers. Make new friends. You never know what surprising things you'll learn! 


Your turn! What's something new you've learned recently?

 

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How We Work Remotely from Our Camper

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How We Work Remotely from Our Camper

I've been busting to share this, because we found a game changer for how we work in our camper! Well, Adam's had this figured out for awhile. I'm late to the party and it's a good one!

When we transitioned to living and working in the camper, Adam set himself up with a stand up desk and a Roost Stand to protect his posture by bringing the computer to eye level. 

I didn't think this was important until I saw a video of me working. 

I'm a hunchback on my computer! 

You can look- the moment's only 11 seconds in. 

I couldn't believe what I looked like in the video! 

I freaked! I don't want to be a hunchback at 30! 

Adam's always told me my posture is terrible. However, he'd tell me when I was super focused on a project. I'd sit up straight for a minute then get engrossed in the project again resuming hunchback position. 

After seeing the video- I was converted!

I bought myself a Roost Stand on the spot. That's the fastest $70 I've ever spent! Knowing us, you know we'll debate and research days over spending $3 on a taco. 

Now, we both use Roost stands, but have had to make adjustments. 

Be warned! We're a sight when we both post up with our Roost stands at coffee shops. We get a lot of curious looks. The stand's have proved to be the best conversation starter to meet locals in a new spot!

Our Different Gear Setup for Working

Lindsey

I do a lot of writing and editing pictures as a photographer. To make using the Roost Stand comfortable, I needed to get two more things:

  1. Wireless mouse. Found this at Walmart for $10.
  2. Wireless keyboard. I snagged one for $15 at Staples.

For less than $100 I got myself un-hunched! I gotta prioritize my back and neck!


Lindsey's Gear for Writing and Photography

Roost Stand

Wireless Mouse

Wireless Keyboard


Adam

As an accountant, Adam's in spreadsheets and punching numbers. He's added six new things:

  1. Wireless mouse
  2. Ten key number pad
  3. USB hub to connect the iPad as a dual screen using the app Duet
  4. Stand up desk
  5. Rumble roller

Adam's Gear for Accounting Work

1. Roost Stand

2. Ten Key Pad

3. USB Port

4. Rumble Roller

5. Stand Up Desk

Custom built by Bel Espwa Designs

6. Dual Screen App by Duet

Changes your iPad to a dual screen


Wifi Setup

We have to duplicate coverage by having both AT&T and Verizon service on the road.

Our main source: Verizon's MiFi Hotspot. We get 12GB for $90 per month. 

For backup when there's no Verizon signal, we use our AT&T phones as hot spots.

To boost our service, we just got a wifi booster. We had trouble finding any signal in Florida and had to re-route ourselves. Hopefully this will help. 

Verizon MiFi Hot Spot

weBoost Wifi Booster


Check out more gear we use on the road here

Your turn! What's on your desk that you can't live without?

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Surprise Destination: Dead Lakes Recreation Area, Florida

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Surprise Destination: Dead Lakes Recreation Area, Florida

Thanks to Campendium!

After the holidays visiting with our families in Georgia, the plan was to head west to Arizona. Bah! Silly us! Plans- why do we make them? They always change!

With our Ford Explorer hauling our Casita, if Google Maps says 10 hours to get somewhere, it will take us double time to get there. We plan for a 20 hour trip. With tax season in full swing, for Adam that wasn't the best decision. 

We re-routed ourselves and headed south to Florida. We never expected 2017 would keep us in the Southeast.

Yes, we're 30 and snow birds already. We're claiming it!

Our destination in Florida: Camel Lake Campground in Apalachicola National Forest.

Why? It was a green spot on the map and only $10 per night. 

Morning Fog at Camel Lake Campground, Apalachicola National Forest, Florida, USA

We've learned too much research and too many decisions burn us out. So,  we make a decision and are flexible. Anything can happen along the journey.

We arrived at dusk and learned- no Verizon coverage. We never thought of ourselves as being "those" people attached to the internet when we're out in the woods. To live this lifestyle, we are. That's the reality.  

Dusk at Camel Lake Campground in Apalachicola National Forest, FL


Next Destination: Dead Lakes Recreation Area, Wewahitchka, Florida

Success! Four bars of Verizon. And, only $14 per night for water, power, fire wood, and laundry.

Lesson learned: Check out coverage at campsites before you arrive on Campendium! And, we called to triple check.

It's the perfect spot out in the middle of "nowhere." (It's only thirty minutes to Panama City, Florida if you want to get some activity.) It's the perfect spot to land for a lot of quiet time and little distraction. And- for photographers and fishermen/women.

The Apalachicola River changed course killing the trees in this area reasoning the name Dead Lakes. The bird watching is amazing here! Haven't seen gators- yet! 

The folks in the campsite have welcomed us as family and have been wonderful to us. Thankful for this gem near the Forgotten Coast of Florida.

Check out more photos from our Florida adventures here.


Watch a video of a Friday morning on the dock. 


Your turn! What are camping lessons have you learned the hard way? We all live and learn, eh?

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