Itching for a Big Adventure

My travel life has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Not better or worse; just different. My time is broken into smaller blocks so I’ve been piecing together shorter adventures rather than spending weeks on the road like in the past. On the one hand that’s simply the nature of my life at the moment. On the other, do I accept that fate? Or do I go full Val on this and orchestrate something within this context? A trip that serves all of the facets of my life at the moment instead of being constrained by them.

Make no mistake, I love all of my adventures, short or long. All of them have been fulfilling and worthwhile. Lately, though, they’ve been exclusively short. So I’m itching for a big adventure. One with an open-ended finale. One that takes weeks or months. Those trips have a different rhythm and context. They are their own distinct, wonderful beasts. And the construct on my life as it is now looks nothing like the last time I took and extended trip so I don’t have an established game plan like I used to. I have to build the framework for this from scratch.

This isn’t an easy task. But is it possible? Yes. It will take a lot of effort though. And that’s what gets us, isn’t it? When we can’t reconcile the effort involved with the return on investment, so it doesn’t happen. But for me, this is what makes life worth living. Exploring. So going to great lengths to make this a reality is well worth the effort.

dog in sidecar - val in real life
The adventure dog presents extended travel challenges but this is what Betty was made for.

What might it look like this time around?

In the infant stages of considering this, it will almost certainly involve Big Betty Blue. First because I by far prefer motorcycle travel. Second because managing the adventure dog is one of the biggest hurdles to being gone for an extended time. That’s a large part of the reason for buying Betty in the first place. Dog sitters add a lot to the cost of travel as well as time constraints based upon dog-sitter availability. If he’s with me, I can be more flexible.

But I’m not even remotely dialed in on traveling with him in the rig yet. There’s a big learning curve to keep everyone happy and safe. Going that route will mean starting with micro adventures to refine the process.

If I toss Betty in the toy hauler, then it’s an RV trip with mini motorcycling side trips, a process I also have yet to refine. That’s a very different adventure with both upsides and downsides over pure moto travel.

Either way this is slow, immersive travel. Both vehicle scenarios involve rigs that don’t get anywhere quickly. But that’s ok. Slow travel is what I like most and has been a footnote in my adventures the last few years.

grey wolf rig - val in real life
Is putting Betty in the big rig the answer to my wanderlust?


Thank you for joining me for this little “thinking out loud” exercise. I get a lot of questions about how to pull these things off. The lesson for the uninitiated is that big adventures don’t just fall into place. They require orchestration, especially when juggling family and pets. In my case that includes family on opposite sides of the country! As I ponder this year’s calendar, I’m not even remotely certain if I can make this happen in 2018 but I want to badly so I’m working to make it happen.

In the end, it’s a matter of priorities. My top priority is exploring.

Exactly how and when I will scratch this itch remains to be seen. Stay tuned.


  1. Go big or stay at home!!

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