So as we sit on our beautiful balcony on this overcast morning at the Hard Rock Panama Megapolis overlooking Casco Viejo, we are reflecting on our first year of travel.
It's been an amazing year!
Thought I'd do a Q&A to record some of our memories. Looking back we really loved everything we did and everywhere we went. It's really hard to pick just a few to answer these questions but we'll give it a try! What questions do you have for us?
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
What's the best thing about your retirement?
Marcy: Having nothing we have to do and all day to do it.
Scott: Not having to wake up to an alarm clock.
What's the most stressful time/thing?
Scott: Our first drive down the Baja. We had built up such expectations about what could go wrong...and then nothing did (if you don't count forgetting to get our passports stamped at the border and having to drive all over Tijuana and down to the port at Ensenada to get them!) .
Marcy: Remembering what day, date, month it is; where we will be next and when do we need to be there.
Do you miss home?
Marcy: It's hard to miss something you don't have.
Scott: Occasionally, but yes its hard to miss something you don't have but I do miss some of our friends.
What DO you miss about the US?
Marcy: Well, we left Cadeau and Ruby there this last year and I miss them very much. Other than that, friends and family.
Scott: Easy access to sports in my home. Friends and family, of course.
What mistakes did you make?
Marcy: Well, there was the time I booked the same flights from Porto to Montpellier twice! And there was the time I convinced Scott to do the "short" drive around the Lake of the Ozarks that turned into a seven hour drive.
Scott: Eating a Super Burro in La Paz! Never been so sick...Thinking it would be cheap to stay in the rural western US. Turned out to be some of our most expensive accommodations - looking at you Tiny House in Custer SD for $110/night!
What did you get right?
Both: We didn't decide to camp our way around the US! The few days we did it we did not enjoy very much (to put it mildly). Still think it's the best way to see Bonneville, however.
Is there anywhere you wouldn't go back to?
Marcy: Magdalena Bay, not worth the time, except for the oysters!
Scott: Cartagena, being there once was plenty
So your rookie year is complete, are you a pro?
Marcy: No but I'm not sure that's the goal. When we think we have it all figured out I think it just means we've lost our curiosity.
Scott: No, we're maybe "journeymen". Still figuring things out.
What's the secret to your success?
Marcy: Taking each day as a new day and having the right partner who does the same.
Scott: Having the right partner is essential. Being flexible, really talking about what's working and what's not working, making adjustments when we need to, acknowledging that there's no "right" way to do this.
Is it hard to live out of a backpack?
Scott: Little bit, not really. Limits the temperature zones you can visit.
Marcy: Not if you don't mind wearing the same five outfits all the time!
What's the most frustrating thing about full-time travel?
Marcy: Never knowing what the airport bag inspectors will confiscate! Last time it was tweezers! Really?
Scott: It's a little hunter/gatherer to figure out food. Where/what to eat, where to shop. We accidentally stumbled into a grocery store here that was totally kosher - most things imported from Israel. Not only couldn't we read the labels but the selection was strange to us to say the least.
What are the differences between traveling in North American and international travel?
Scott: It's the first time I haven't owned "wheels" since I got my first bicycle!
Marcy: Other than the obvious things about language, food, money, I'd have to say it's the shopping. Shopping in the US is easy, whether for food, clothes, goods, etc. Finding what you need/want outside the US can be a challenge.
What's it like not to have a physical home?
Scott: I'll answer with a story. When we were in Las Vegas and we decided to go to Nashville for Marcy's birthday, we parked our truck with all our belongings in the airport parking lot, left it, came back, jumped in and took off again. As long as you have the things you need, it doesn't matter where to keep them.
Marcy: I find it surprisingly easy and liberating. I only have to worry about the here and now. That being said, spending a month with my parents in their home was fantastic. I was especially grateful we were there to let Cadeau go, that she passed so easy, her ashes are scattered beneath their pine tree, and they were there to comfort us. Not to sure what we would have done had we not had their surrogate physical home.
BEST, WORST, AND CRAZIEST
Where did you have the most fun?
Scott: La Paz, we were there so long we racked up a lot of good times
Marcy: As a single place/event, Red Lodge Montana for the Stanley Cup. I agree about La Paz and we made good friends there too. Having friends and family visit Baja was great fun, too.
What were the most fun activities?
Scott: 4x4ing in Colorado, Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo and concerts, Bonneville!
Marcy: Driving to remote beaches in Baja, Keith Urban in Nashville, Train to Silverton, ATVing in Colorado
What's the most beautiful place you went?
Marcy: Baja, for sure. Followed closely by SouthDakota/Wyoming/ southern Montana in spring - the WILDFLOWERS!
Scott: I have two, the Tetons and the San Blas Islands.
Where's the hottest/coldest place you went?
Both: Hot - La Paz in September (if you don't count the time we got out of the car in the desert of Nevada when it was 106)! Cold: Field, BC! We had every layer we owned on! (And it was July)
What's the best accommodation you stayed in?
Scott: Nicest, the Wynn Las Vegas. Best Overall, Matlacha
Marcy: Our second house in La Paz or Matlacha, can't decide. Jackson, Wyoming a close third.
What's the worst place you stayed?
Both: The very first "hotel" we ever stayed in on our first night on the road. It was basically a toxic waste dump. Lesson learned that first night - you get what you pay for.
Marcy: Going to the Sun road being closed. Not being more impressed with whale-watching.
Scott: Cartagena. Underwhelmed me, totally.
Craziest thing you saw?
Scott: The snow banks on the Beartooth Highway
Marcy: Day of the Dead in La Paz...and Scott after too much Mezcal that night! Ha!
Craziest thing you did?
Scott: Driving the shelf roads in Colorado to 12,000+ feet.
Marcy: Sailing to the San Blas!
Scott: Northern Baja is cold in February! It was snowing in Yellowstone in late May!
Marcy: San Diego is cold in August! And we had a great surprise when the Wilkes sent us shots of Jameson to Cadeau's wake in Fort Collins. I'll never forget that kindness.
What was the best food?
Scott: Oysters from the bay in Baja, Lobster from the boat in the Rosario Islands, crab from the boat in Bocas. But topping it all...Chateaubriand in La Paz at the Mesquite Grille.
Marcy: Everything Scott said plus oysters in Apalachicola and shrimp in Matlacha.
What food surprised you?
Marcy: Wild Boar Osso Buco in Custer, SD! Delicious! Amazing gin and tonics in Colombia!
Scott: Lime and salt soaked crickets served with Mescal. The wild boar was outstanding too. Almost worth a trip back.
Coolest thing you saw?
Scott: Needles Parkway in South Dakota where you can see Mount Rushmore through the tunnel openings.
Marcy: Wild horses on the Pryor Range and that part of South Dakota
Most interesting things you saw?
Marcy: Civil Rights trail in Alabama, Birds in Boquete, Roadrunners and Coyotes in Baja - ok all the birds and animals we saw
Scott: Abandoned mines in Colorado and Baja, slick rock cave formation in South Dakota.
What are you most excited about in the coming year?
Marcy: Leaving the Americas and exploring other continents.
Scott: Croatia and Cyprus because I've always wanted to go to islands in that part of the world.
So any questions you have leave us a comment and we'll answer! Also, keep up with us @arrradventures on Instagram.