“The romance of my life began here.” (Theodore Roosevelt, observing the Badlands of North Dakota in 1900).
During the summer of 2018, Glacier National Park had a similarly profound impact on D and me as we honeymooned in Montana and Wyoming. While we sat on the deck of Many Glacier we looked at each other and said, “What are we doing? Why, when there are mountains to climb, lakes to paddle, and sunsets to absorb and ponder, are we spending so much time (and money) commuting to jobs that only sustain a lifestyle of frenetic activity and materialistic accumulation?”
Fast forward…after months of sustained reflection, we chose to retire early from our jobs with the federal government (at ages 57 and 59), sell 95% of our belongings, and adventure with purpose. It was not an easy decision to leave my home of 19 years where I raised my children, but we felt called to two pursuits: 1) physically challenging adventures on our bucket list, and 2) service to people and communities impacted by natural disasters and in need of assistance.
To this end, we bought a small RV (Coachmen CrossFit 22D), and have resolved to explore the US with an eye towards serving the communities we visit. We have selected to serve with Samaritan’s Purse as they respond to natural disasters and be the “hands and feet of Christ” and follow his command to “Go and do likewise;” Team Rubicon, which focuses on veterans and disaster recovery; American Hiking Society, which helps maintain the trails we love to hike; and Habitat for Humanity through their “RV Care-A-Vanners” program to build homes for those in need.
We are so grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to be of service to others. We selected “mountainandmission” as our blog name to reflect our dual pursuits – adventure and service, and hope to be a blessing as we travel.
This April we are on our “shakedown cruise” and we will be posting about our decision making process (for those considering #vanlife), the blessing of service to others, and of course – the adventures unique to this amazing United States of America.
Thanks for joining D and me on our journey!