Traveling as an Exercise in Faith

Traveling cross country has been…challenging. Since leaving home on Friday, I’ve slept three nights in the RV, and once at a friend’s house in Pittsburgh.

Every time, I had no idea where I was going to sleep for the night. Yesterday, I thought I would stop in Lincoln, NE and find a place to sleep. Instead, I decided to drive on and sleep at a rest area. But there were no rest areas. I searched on Google Maps and came back with nothing. As the miles piled on, it was becoming pitch black, and I could see lightening in the distance. I had been on the road for ten hours.

Finally, I see that blessed blue sign indicating a rest area. But what’s this? There’s a gate blocking the entrance, it’s closed. As state budgets tighten, I’ve noticed a lot of states have closed their rest areas. Oh man.

The next rest area isn’t for another half hour, and there’s no guarantee it won’t be closed too. I drive on and on in a mild panic.

I do finally get to a rest area and promptly fall asleep among other trucks and cars.

Right now, I’m sitting in the Espresso Shoppe in small town North Platte, NE. There’s zero diversity here. I watched four old ladies play cards for a hour. My RV is parked three blocks away, hopefully it’s still okay.

I’m still working while I travel which provides its own challenges.

After work, I’ll be doing the final leg to Boulder, CO. I have no idea where I’m sleeping. Initially, I was looking at airbnb.com but abandoned it. I know couchsurfing is too late now. I’m hoping I find a quiet street.

I say traveling is an exercise in faith because outside of my home, I’m confronted with raw reality. There are less layers of manufactured safety or security. There’s a lot of unknowns on this trip. There’s a lot of doubts. Is it safe to park here? Is this trip worth it?

In the end though, I just have to cultivate that trust and faith that everything is going to work okay as it always does. I have to acknowledge that I’ve opened myself up to a lot of risk and potential danger, but that it is a very small chance.

It’s not a belief because I still have my fears and doubts. Despite those doubts, I keep going on, trying to remain calm and relaxed. And, everything has been going pretty well so far apart from the physical exhaustion.

In that sense, this RV trip is an intentional, artificial experiment of constant crisis. Rather than react to all these unknowns and fears with dread and fear, I can respond with faith and confidence that I’ll make it through stronger, better, and wiser than before.

It’s this type of faith that makes great souls so powerful. Without this faith, it’s very difficult to even do a mildly panic inducing adventure like this trip.

Sometimes, staring off to the rolling hills of cornfields, I smile and remind myself to cherish the good moments. I’ve imagined this moment for years, and it’s finally happening. Joys and sorrows altogether.

Gotta have faith

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