Our Endless Caravan crew, Yellow Co have just wrapped up their second week on tour and first conference in Orange County! From navigating the roads to navigating relationships, Director of Operations Kacy Schlener shares her perspective about what’s important and how to stay focused on who is important. Continue reading to learn a few tips on how to stay connected with family and friends while traveling!
At week two of our grand adventure, I find myself riding solo in our Airstream, fondly named “B.” Joanna has temporarily deserted me to go hang out with her husband (I’m fine with it, honest!), and I get to experience what it’s like to settle into my own routine on the road.
We have successfully had so many firsts this week. First time driving a 23’ trailer on highways— or anywhere, for that matter. First time troubleshooting logistical issues that are sure to pop up when you are navigating 2,000 miles in said trailer. First time in new cities. First time hearing the stories of the amazing people we have been privileged to meet. First time that we successfully sold out for our Orange County Conference Stop! To top it off, we ended the conference by making a lot of new friends.
This week finds me at a crossroads— on the one hand I find myself in a new place where I’m hungry to explore (talking ‘bout you, Santa Clarita), while on the other hand I balance my normal week’s workload, while playing catch up from last week, and also fitting time in to rest, exercise, prep the truck for another five weeks of travel, and trying to keep relationships prioritized in my spare time.
I’m a firm believer that people are the most important part of life. If I am doing amazing things through my work, and creating a platform for others to impact the world for good, that’s wonderful— but it’s undermined if I am not also making time to love and honor the relationships I already have.
This belief of mine does not always translate perfectly into my actions. As a high-achieving, goal-oriented, super-independent person, who loves exploring and isn’t bothered by solitude (I’m the weirdo who actually prefers going to movies solo rather than with a friend), I can get lost in my own agenda and forget to prioritize the people in my story— especially when they are hundreds of miles away.
I’m seeing how this quality is exacerbated by life on the road. As I adapt to a new rhythm of life, and have constant chances to explore new places and meet new people, it’s easy to let old, comfortable relationships slip.
As we prepare for our LA Tour Stop this weekend to explore the topic of “Taking Ownership of our Relationships” I wanted to lean into how I can take ownership of my own relationships while I’m on this epic, cross-country adventure. I want to share a few practical tips that have helped me focus on the people in my life.
How To Not Alienate Friends & Family While Traveling
- Set alarms— When you have been driving 13 hours in one day, and then have to dive headfirst into a full day of work once you park, you’re probably not going to remember to call your grandmother. Or your mom. Or your friends. From their perspective, you will have completely forgotten about them. And you have! Because how much space does one brain have? One of the easiest ways to keep the special people in your life feeling special is to remember to reach out and connect with them. At the beginning of your travels, set reminders on your calendar that will pop up throughout the week, reminding you to check in. You won’t regret it, and you’ll get to break up your day of driving with life-giving conversations.
- Be flexible— As the ultimate Type-A personality, this one is hard for me (all the better for me to practice it, my mother would say). There are two ways to travel— one is to create your route, knowing exactly what miles you need to hit by what point in the week, and commit to that before all other things. Sometimes you need that, and that’s OK. But sometimes, you need to go with the second way of travel— have your route, but allow your timeline to be interruptible. Look for friendly faces along the way. Smile at strangers and ask questions. Be curious about someone else’s story. Start your day with the intention of being interruptible. You will probably make some lifelong friends. Exchange email addresses and keep your new friends informed of your travels as you go!
- Invite others in— This one is a favorite of mine. Are you going to a new city? Think back to friends or family members who have spent time there or lived there! Reach out to them and ask their favorite places to visit or eat. Even if you can’t do it all, it will mean a lot to them that you were thinking of them while you travelled!
- Start a blog— This one is a no-brainer. Even if you aren’t the best writer, typing out the highlight of your day before you go to bed each night, and allowing friends and family to follow your blog is an easy way to share your stories when you don’t have a surplus of time.
- Practice patience, and ask for it too— When you are traveling constantly, you are not going to be the perfect communicator. Vulnerability is your friend here. Tell your friends and family that you love them, miss them, and that you suck at keeping in touch sometimes. Ask them to help you remember by reaching out to you on occasion, and by being patient with you as you learn how to develop in this area. The people in your life love you, and they will typically have much for graciousness with your failings when you warn them ahead of time that it’s something you struggle with, and that you are trying to improve.
The journey continues on!