We’ve been three months on the road now, and we’re starting to enter a new phase of our journey. The first phase was the honeymoon period; we were giddy with possibilities and the flexibility to explore tons of new places we’d always longed to visit. We had stamina and energy and our initial euphoria to get us through. It has become increasingly obvious to us, however, that we need to transition into the next stage of full timing, where we learn to actually live on the road. Being a tourist has its perks, but there’s a reason most people do it for only short spurts at a time: it’s exhausting!
It was in Boston that we finally realized how badly we need to find ways to make this lifestyle more sustainable for us. We’ve been looking forward to visiting Boston for quite some time, but on arrival we found ourselves completely uninspired. It’s not that Boston isn’t great, it’s just that we were tired of being tourists and traipsing around the city and cramming as much sight-seeing as possible into one day. We barely took out our camera, mercilessly slashed sites from our to-see list, and eventually holed up in a random creperie reading outdated Time magazines as a way to escape and regroup. By the time we made our way home, we knew we needed to seriously re-evaluate things.
Boston was a wake-up call that we need to restructure our time, find more sustainable traveling options, and schedule in enough computer-time to satisfy the needs of our introverted and slightly workaholic personalities.
So we left the Boston area and headed for Cape Cod, determined to slow our pace and try a new approach. Up until now we’ve followed a system whereby we split our weeks more or less in half; we’d work long hours three or four days, then tourist/relax the remainder of the week (with our work/play days sometimes back to back and sometimes interspersed throughout). It’s become quite apparent that this division leaves us feeling rushed and stressed, so our new strategy is to fit small things in each day.
Provincetown was the perfect place to give it a shot; we found a great (nearly deserted) campground, so we chose a secluded spot in the back with just electricity hook-ups. When I paid at the office, the manager was fairly bemused — apparently the spot wasn’t meant for RVs, which explains why we had to practically fell a small tree and spend 20 minutes navigating the low-hanging branches to get ourselves in! From the campsite we could walk almost anywhere in P-town, which seemed to be the preferred mode of transportation for everyone on the cape. There’s one main drag (Commercial St) along the water, where pretty much all of the business is; it’s a one-lane, one-way alley that doesn’t really facilitate driving (as we discovered the hard way on our first day there).
One of our initial adventures involved our first taste of lobster. Seafood isn’t our favorite cuisine, but usually we can stomach crab and the occasional bowl of clam chowder or dip (if it’s light on the clams, of course). You can’t go to Cape Cod without eating seafood, though, so we choose one of the best-reviewed restaurants on Yelp (that was reasonably priced… for seafood) and ordered the lobster dinner and a barbecue shrimp pasta thing. When our food came we had to ask the waiter how in the world to dismember the crustacean, so he tied plastic bibs around our necks and showed us the proper technique for tearing off the claws and poking out the meat. Apparently the meal also came with mussels (which we had never eaten before), and our table neighbors giggled when we asked what they were and the waiter responded “little things that come in black shells.” So specific! They were indeed in black shells, smothered in marinara sauce, and very gross. Overall the meal was bleh, but the biggest disappointment was the lobster; it was very underwhelming, particularly give how much hype lobsters (in general, and even more so on Cape Cod) seem to have. As far as we’re concerned, all seafood should stay in the sea!
The rest of the week passed quietly. We would work a few hours, take a walk on the beach mid-afternoon, then work some more. One Pilgrim Monument here (the 252-foot tower we climbed), an exploratory bike ride there, a morning spent walking downtown and poking our heads into puzzle shops and used bookstores… overall more sustainable, more relaxed, and a heck of a lot more leisurely-paced. We feel rejuvenated!