Our journey began of May 30th, 2017. After a lot of work, a lot of planning, some sad goodbyes, and a scary first step forward, we walked away from our current life to pursue our dream to travel the world. There is so much uncertainty with this trip. So much can happen in three years, but we both know that we need to take the risk so that we can complete the majority of our travel bucket list before we are physically able to do so.
We are sitting in our hotel in Charleston, SC, less than a week into this journey, trying to convince ourselves that it's still just a vacation at this point. It should feel like a vacation, but it doesn't. The enormity of it all can be overwhelming. There is certainly much more work and much more planning while on the road than in other long vacations we've taken before. The flexibility of our journey coupled with our long-term plans means that we need to find balance between vacation mode, work mode, and planning mode. It's an adjustment not being on vacation and being out and exploring every second possible. Down time to work, plan, and just to recover is necessary and with no set travel schedule, we need to get used to taking the time we need away from exploring. Also, besides running our business back in Tampa, we want to make sure we are sharing this experience with our followers as well as documenting this journey for ourselves. Taking the time to do this is also an important part of this journey. Unfortunately, we've run into some tech issues this week that made this even more difficult for us. Hopefully we have most of the bugs worked out and will have a schedule and a system down soon.
So, that is some of what we are feeling at this point, but now let's talk about our travels this week! Our first stop was at Amelia Island, FL where we camped at the Amelia Island State Park. Upon check-in we met Park Ranger Jim who was extremely helpful and friendly. He let us know that our site was an open site, meaning that there was no shade, and he advised us that we might be able to move to the river side the following day if we needed to. We figured we would be exploring during the day so it should be fine, and it was. You should all know, that this was my first time tent camping as an adult, and the first time Toni and I tent camped together. As a matter of fact, we've only camped together one time before and that was just last year in my Dad's camper in NY! We had bought a tent about 10 years ago, but only used it once....indoors! We managed to set it up in about 15 minutes without killing each other, so that was a good start! The site was nice. It was an open site on the sand, which was pretty soft, so we thought we could sleep comfortably on it....we were wrong! So, lesson learned...always use the air mattress! The site was just a two minute walk down to the beach so we went to sleep and woke up each day to the sound of waves and birds. The park has plenty of wildlife to see. We would regularly see several deer and cardinals on the beach. We also saw an armadillo, a huge gopher turtle climing a huge sand dune, and the Rangers found a sea turtle nest in the morning which we watched them mark off to protect it. We also had interactions with some great people. We met Nenia, who like us, is a FL transplant from NY. Her and her husband are currently traveling across the country for the second time! She had some great suggestions for us that we definitely add to our list! Besides Ranger Jim, we met Ranger Michelle who was a huge help as well. The staff here is just outstanding and the facilities and park are clean and taken care of!
Downtown Amelia Island is like many historic coastal towns. It's quaint with a lot of shops and restaurants. We enjoyed a nice stroll around and we stopped at Peppers for an awesome Mexican lunch. We considered going to the pinball museum, but honestly couldn't justify the $14 admission charge per person. There were several other museums and water activities downtown offered, they just weren't on our list for Amelia Island.
Tip: Amelia Island State Park books 8-10 months out so make your reservations early.
We had a great time in Amelia Island and would recommend it, but definitely recommend staying at the State Park. Our next stop was Charleston, SC...New BLOG coming soon!