The Boulet-Ede Extravaganza Part 1

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I’m sitting here on a couch that I’ve grown to hate. I hate it because I can’t seem to get rid of the goddamn thing. The sheer fact that this couch is sitting in my living room is stressing me out. It’s not even really the couch. I mean the couch, is a good couch. Not a great one, but a good one. I’ve never been able to sleep right on it though. No matter when napping occurs, I would wake up with either a crick in my neck or my feet would have fallen asleep. If you’re short like my wife, then it’s fine for sleeping. It’s a well taken care of, soft, comfy, couch…want it? I just can’t seem to get rid of it. Right now it’s the location in the living room that’s driving me crazy. It’s directly in front of the computer, so in order to write or use the computer, I have to kneel on the couch and lean over it like I’m a child. Trust me, I’ve tried to get rid of the prick. Everything has seemed to fall through though. I’ve put it on groups for free and had several people say they want it…nothing. Either people can’t get a truck or I get responses and then no follow up. Enough of my upholstery complaints. Have you ever needed to get rid of something? Shed something that doesn’t have room in your…”living room”?

Last summer Alaina and I had this odd idea to join the peace corps and move to Africa. This is one of those crazy thoughts that spurs out of pure boredom in life. Not that raising two kids and holding down jobs leaves you bored, but a rut was starting to form. We were serious for about an hour until we figured out that we couldn’t realistically join the peace corps as a family. You can create a family within the corps…but you can’t migrate one into the program. So, what to do? The town around us just seemed too small, too confining. South America’s too hot, Everything in Australia kills you and Canada already takes care of themselves for the most part. Also, as good intentions that I have for helping people…we would really be doing so we could see new sights have great adventures and work on our family…sooooo…at that point we decided we would buy a Breaking Bad style RV (without the intentions of making meth) and drive to Washington state and work at Olympic national park for the summer. We figured that’s as far away as we could get without crossing an ocean or surpassing a border station. Plus, I have his unrealistic idea of myself in the woods, probably holding a hatchet, with wolves and bears under my command.

That was our goal right until December. And then we started talking about what else we might want to see. There’s so much of this country we live in that I’ve never seen. And what’s the point of just going one place? If we wanted to drag our kids across the country we might as well see and experience as much of it as we can. This really started driving our fantasy into a better reality. After talking and hashing out details and finances and what not we finally came up with a plan…for now… We are taking our small family into a small car and going on a BIG ADVENTURE!

For Roughly 2 months starting in May, the four of us will be journeying across the United States, camping as many nights as possible and staying with as many family and friends that we can. Simple.

Right to the point.

Adventure!

A while back we were having dinner with friends. It was around the time that we were toying with the idea of an old school RV. Without going into too much unnecessary detail,(the meal was fricken amazing) the meal ended with a German man telling the table of his upcoming adventure biking around Austria. He said something that stuck with me, that eliminated all the fear and doubt of our trip and made it made sense. “Do it. People just need to do it if they want to. You think you don’t have enough money? If you wait to have enough, you’ll never have enough. Just do it. There’s no reason not to. Ha ha.” It was like that German slapped me across my inner being.

In my early 20s all I could think about was money. I was obsessed with making money. And I worked all the time. I remember checking off 60 hour work weeks or working for almost 20 hours at a time. All I did was think about money. I was obsessed with making it and spending it. The worst part was that I bought useless shit. I would walk around Best Buy or Costco looking for something to buy, something that might give me momentary happiness. I bought into consumerism 110%. The world was my oyster, as long as it had a price tag.

Then, we had Jude.

All of a sudden I felt a happiness that was missing for me. I’m not saying I was completely unhappy with my life. I loved my friends and wife and a lot more. And I can’t completely explain what I felt, but it was different. All of a sudden, stuff (actual  material stuff ) didn’t matter. When we moved into our house 3 years ago, I can’t believe the amount of shit we had accumulated. Especially for the size of our apartment. I was so obsessed with self worth that we ended up not having any actual money. Just shit cluttering our life and a ton of debt… We never thought to leave on a trip at that point. I had work, Alaina had work, we had a life we had to pay for.

He was right though, the German. I never want to feel stuck in life. And that’s how I felt. As a family we needed to change something for the good, before something for the bad changed all by itself. And no, we don’t have the money to “tour the U.S.” But we have enough to live our lives across 23 states for roughly 2 months. If we wait, I fear we won’t ever do it, we won’t ever have this amazing experience.

Am I nervous? Hell yes.

Please step into my head.Be careful. The floors sticky. In order to make this trip possible there are a few very minor details that must be taken care of:

1: We are leaving our house, we extended our lease by 1 month and then we will officially be homeless.

2: We are leaving our jobs. If you’ve read early articles you’ll have noticed that I once attempted to leave my job already (and if you missed that article fine it here). This time, I am leaving for sure and when we return I will be unemployed. The same goes for Alaina.

3: We are selling a large chunk of our personal property, not only to fund the trip, but also to make sure that we don’t have to store it for two months.

There have been points in planning this that I have felt like I’m going insane, like this entire idea is ridiculous. And maybe it is. But to me, running a marathon last year was ridiculous. Having two kids in less than 3 years was ridiculous. Deciding to spend the rest of my life with someone I love was ridiculous. I did all that though, and when I came out the other side, I realized how perfectly sane it is. What’s ridiculous is not pursuing a dream. I have many of them, for me, for Alaina and for our kids. This is one I’ll be able to check off the list.

And…loyal readers, I have never done this in be past and honestly I have never liked to. Asking for money for something I believe should be free goes against every grain in my body. I will never turn into the media that hangs click bait over your head just so you can subscribe to them for a fee. But if you’re new to this blog, you may not know that I am also a children’s book author and illustrator. And I do this largely on my own. Every sale I make goes directly into growing more content and supporting my family and my dream of maybe one day being able to live completely off book sales. Until then, I ask that you just go view the two books I have. I’m not telling you to buy them or that if you don’t I’ll stop this blog (I don’t have enough of a following for that kind of dirty marketing anyway) but I would be grateful to see my work in the hands of young readers all across the country. Find my books here. And please check out my Facebook page for Buckles The Snowman books: facebook.com/readwithsnowmen/

You can also follow me on twitter, instagram, and subscribe to this blog (for free). If you’re just not feeling any of that, feel free to drop me an email, drewede@gmail.com
This isn’t just an adventure for my family…I’m taking you along with us…as long as you’re ok with that.
-AF

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