My fingers have almost forgotten how to swiftly turn motion to words on the screen. Our lives have been active the last month or so as our departure date neared. For the past year and a half we have been cultivating a dream lifestyle for ourselves: buying a traveling home and making it cozy, creating wearable art and offering it to others, planning and celebrating our wedding, and finally we are about to put the entire plan into motion and take this troupe on the road. We have worked to create a sustainable lifestyle that includes a healthy balance of leisure time and work, with a dash of travel and adventure. Time has flown past us as we sprint to the south.
It almost feels like we have already completed a small circle along our path to full time RV living. As I write this blog from 1889 Park in site #1, I think back to five months ago when Derek and I moved into this very exact spot. We were bright-eyed and full of excitement, as we towed the trailer to our first location, ready to move into our new home. Checklists were frequently consulted and we continued happily plugging along, even when it took over an hour to get our trailer situated. The most recent move was quicker, slick and well-practiced. Rain started trickling, then large round drops pelted down sliding against slickers and water-proof boots. Still, in just about 25 minutes we had the entire rig set-up and were in warm jammies. Derek and I have lived in close to ten different sites around the western Pennsylvania area. We’ve gained invaluable information along the way, through reading, advice, and learning from our own mistakes. The two of us continue to take in more knowledge each day.
Currently Derek and I are not working traditional jobs as we pursue our traveling tie dye business. Through the month of September I was fortunate enough to find and be hired for a position listed on ecojobs.com with the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. Eco Jobs is a favorite job hunting site of mine that focuses on mostly short term environmental jobs. Searches can be completed for job postings by state or within a category. Several free job postings are listed. The site also offers to send subscribers a batch of hundreds of job postings every two weeks for a fee. We haven’t tried this service, but I have found some luck in the free postings. My position at the Audubon Society allowed me a unique opportunity to spend the majority of my days in nature while teaching. I was able to immerse myself in exploration of a beautiful scenery in Somerset county.
Since our jobs in Johnstown have come to an end, Derek and I have been in full lifestyle transition mode. After the wedding we began to make all the transitions newlyweds must navigate, and continued to get ready for full time travel. We waited in lines at countless agencies, made appointments for anything from cats to trucks, and organized like rock stars. Throughout our planning it has been important to take a little breathing time to enjoy Pennsylvania at its finest. Long days punctuated with checklists need built in respite.
Fort Ligonier Days is a long standing tradition in my hometown. Officially the festival is a celebration of the French and Indian War era fort located near the town center. To a local, the festival is a highly anticipated holiday full of traditions and memories. The entire landscape of Ligonier morphs. Scarecrows line the streets and rusted orange leaves litter the sidewalks. Main street is shut down to traffic and instead lined with tempting food booths along the Diamond at the center of town. Droves of people enter town to take in the variety of entertainers, craft vendors, food booths, and the Saturday parade. The fort itself creates a crackle in the air as reenactors swarm into formations and battle cries meet cannon blasts. Once the sun sets visitors may even share a drink at a local watering hole with a Red Coat. This year Derek and I wanted to make sure we carved out enough time to visit the town during such a festive time. We spent an afternoon eyeing up crafts and grabbing a snack or two along the way. In the evening we spent time with my parents around the campfire, before heading to a second campfire event where we managed to drop off dishes, have a cup of apple cider, and get home to the beasts in a timely fashion.
Another fall favorite of Derek and I is a trip to Faranda’s Farm! The year we started dating Derek took me to the farm for a flashlight corn maze event, and we have been going back ever since. Faranda’s Farm is a fun and affordable date, costing $11 per person for the works. Visitors can receive $1 off their admission by bringing a pantry item to donate to a local food bank, bringing a date to an even $20 (plus pumpkins!) The farm offers hayrides, a hay maze, concession stand, llamas, duck races, giant slingshots, tons of lawn games, and of course a giant corn maze! Each year the pattern of the maze creates an aerial picture of the sponsor. Visitors must answer trivia questions in an attempt to get clued in on how to find the exit. One Saturday each season at Faranda’s Farm they stay open late and host a flashlight, or late, night to go into the maze. Derek and I have a blast each year! I recommend picking out pumpkins to take home and carve. Usually we grab the biggest and best pumpkins we can find. This year Derek and I checked out the gourds, but opted to grab two fantastic mini pumpkins for the trailer!
I’m finishing this blog post of the eve of our southbound journey. While at first my fingertips needed to be led to the keys, they are now pulsing to life. Electricity runs through my veins as I picture the trip Derek and I have planned for so long taking flight. We are both excited to tackle the future, and grateful to reflect on the past few months of our lives. While days were full and time moved quickly, we were also able to enjoy the memories made and little moments of life. Travel along with us here on the blog to see what we’re up to next. Write a comment on this week’s YouTube video, find us on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. Stay in touch and follow along by liking, subscribing, following... on whatever social media platform you use.
Until next time,
The Tie Dye Travelers