Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Blog Is A Slog - Catching Up


Sorry if following my blog is like driving in bear traffic. I hope at least that you've enjoyed seeing the bison. :-)

Perfect Is the Enemy Of Good

Today is March 9, 2017. Our first RealImaginaryWest road trip was in July 2015, and our second was in July 2016. I'm still editing them. :-/ There are other trips in the Eastern United States I'd like to share with you too. There are also plenty of articles I have planned, like tips on how to road trip and tent camp more successfully so you can avoid some of our mistakes, and tips on equipment and places to see. And this blog is far from the only project I'm behind on.

But alas...I have been working against depression for the better part of the last two years, and that's slowed me down. I have been battling perfectionism, carefully editing every photo I've shot and every line of text I've written to make sure it's vibrant, interesting, informative, fun, and...perfect. >:-/ I love looking back on what I've finished so far—but I am constantly fighting the urge to go back and rewrite and rearrange things until I get the larger project finished.

The good news is, I think I am going to win the war! My ambitious goal is to have all of my journal entries from RealImaginaryWest 2015 and 2016 edited and up before we leave on our next big road trip. This is really important to me because I keep thinking of all the cool places we've been and I still wonder how my photos turned out. I spent so much time creating so many images and writing so much background on our travels...I want to see these projects finished more than anyone!

So if anyone is actually reading this blog, I hope you'll feel rewarded as I actually deliver! I have big plans and I believe that getting super sick four time in the last two months may have actually uncovered key underlying causes to my depression. This means that I will hopefully finally have the health I need to focus and see this through. I look forward to finally getting our stories out there to share. I also hope more than anything that I'll have inspired other people to get out of their comfort zones and explore this wonderful world we live in! Hopefully I can share what you won't find in the brochures that will help you to be well prepared when you embark on your own adventures!

Hey, How Was 2016?

Anyway, enough about my craziness—let's talk about RealImaginaryWest 2016! Our first trip in 2015 was exciting, and I think Becky and I both enjoyed ourselves, but we flew very much by the seat of our pants. Becky did a marvelous job planning everything up through Day 4 in South Dakota, and I had made some plans on where we'd stay in the Badlands and Yellowstone, but there were a ton of gaps that I never thought through before we left. Planning your first road trip while you're on it is probably not a great idea for a couple of anxiety-plagued 30-somethings! I got manic trying to see and do everything, which wore Becky out because she functions much better with more downtime and at least some semblance of routine. I eventually wore myself out too, because I ended up at the emergency room from dehydration! Everything turned out OK (we even went hiking the day after I was in the ER) but I knew at the end of the trip that it would have gone better if we set up more specific priorities.


Our first RealImaginaryWest road trip in 2015 just about fell off the rails on Day 9 of 18. I got some incredible images, like this one, but I almost ruined things for Becky...and myself, simply by trying to do too much in a day. I immediately slowed things down and saved the trip...but better and more considerate planning on my part in the first place would have prevented this!
Therefore RealImaginaryWest 2016 was much more thoroughly planned! I actually spent a great deal of time a month or two before researching and planning which specific activities and sights were important. I made several pages of notes and created a very detailed itinerary. When I shared this with people, many wrinkled their nose and said something to the effect of, "That doesn't sound much like a vacation!" But hear me out, please!