Day 153 of the Nowhere To Be Project marked my 47th year of life and the fourth day of our British Isles Explorer voyage onboard the Viking Sky. The morning was spent at the spa as we cruised the English Channel. A deep-tissue massage followed by a few minutes in the hydrotherapy pool gave me a lot of time for reflection. I am so grateful for the life I’ve had, especially for the many low points. It is easy to wish away bad days, but without those I probably wouldn’t be as profoundly appreciative of the good ones. Speaking of good days, my husband and I raised a glass to at least 47 more years as we floated in the infinity pool and watched the world go by. Can life possibly get any better?
On Day 85 of the Nowhere To Be Project we started the day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. After such a nice time last night and this morning, we decided that we needed a vacation from our vacation. We’ve been moving from place to place each day, packing it all up each morning and unfurling it later each night. For those who’ve never RVed, the lifestyle requires a surprising amount of work and physical labor. As a result, we’ve been feeling a bit worn out and decided that we needed to find a spot to park and pamper ourselves for a few days. We lucked into a place with a RV Park called Turning Stone Resort and Casino. It is located in Verona, a beautiful area of New York with rolling hills and wide stretches of nature. The park itself is about a mile from the main resort and casino, but a free on-call shuttle service makes that a nonissue. Our goals for this get-away from life on the road are to relax at the spa and pool, and to live it up at the casino, restaurants and night clubs that are on-site. We’d also like to take showers that are longer than 30 seconds for a few days, haha.
We had an RV when our kids were small and always felt so exhausted after those trips. Back then, we were working around the kids’ busy school and activities schedules as well as our crazy work hours. These limitations made us feel like we had to cram everything the kids were interested in seeing into one trip. Now, we have nothing but time, yet we still find ourselves spinning like crazed tops. The bottom line is that we literally have Nowhere To Be (hence “the Project”) and it is about time we start enjoying it! I think a massage will be a good place to start tomorrow, don’t you?
On Day 62 of the Nowhere To Be Project, my husband and I (along with our dog:) worked our way back to our home in Lake Mary to close out four days on the road. As we drove, we passed several trailers filled with livestock. I mentioned to my husband that they were probably being taken to a slaughterhouse.
My husband is a self-proclaimed cave man when it comes to diet. Meat is definitely his primary food group. I have never forced my plant-based diet on him nor would I ever. I do encourage him to try many of my meals and he usually expresses surprise at how good meat-free food can taste. When we stopped for lunch at a sub shop, he decided to eat what I ate, a vegan sub on what bread loaded with fresh veggies, spices, olive oil and vinegar. After lunch, I asked him if he felt satisfied and he responded by saying that he didn’t miss the meat and cheese one bit! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked! For dinner, he again decided to “have what I was having”. This happened to be vegan Italian sausage with sauerkraut on toasted sourdough bread with a side of fresh sweet corn on the cob. He dug in and said, “this is really good!” Again, I was shocked because he is the sausage king!
I am excited to share my delicious plant-based food with my husband, but I still don’t plan on forcing it on him. I do have a sneaking feeling that he is inching more toward a plant-based approach though and that makes my heart sing! He adores animals as I do and he has a strong desire to improve his health. The bottom line is that baby steps can add up to enormous differences and I’ll take that!!
I spent Day 34 of the Nowhere To Be Project at a wedding. Weddings give us the unique opportunity to witness the promise of commitment between a couple. Weddings celebrate love. In my mind, there are far too few events in life that do so. Whether big or small, splashy or subdued, a wedding marks a formal declaration of love. Each and every wedding brings with it hope for the future. Right now, in this moment, there’s just nothing better than that.
It is Day 28 of the Nowhere To Be Project and I spent it revisiting my social science roots a bit. I came across a British study today on marriage that boasted the following headlines:
“More than 9.6 million Brits have regrets about their marriage.”
“One in twenty married adults believe they married the wrong person.”
“One in ten married Brits are heartbroken over the one that got away.”
“1.6 million currently married Brits regret having had an affair.”
Interestingly enough, despite these perceived failures with love and marriage, researchers indicated that a good portion of participants were still able to find fulfillment through friendship and travel. Even though the study ended on a positive note with friendship and travel, reading these declarations made me so sad. My travels just wouldn’t be as thrilling without my husband who also happens to be my best friend. We both worked really hard to retire early to travel and spend more time together. We’re actually excited about spending months on end together in a tiny RV! I’m currently in an amazing marriage, but I have experience in a really bad one as well. Needless to say, I know what matrimonial regrets and what-ifs can feel like. I also know that the fairy tale is possible. I decided to dig a bit deeper into the study.
The research was sponsored by an insurance company and was conducted by an organization called Opinium in January of this year. I couldn’t find any information on the research methods, data collection, or data analysis other than the claim that the sample used was comprised of 2002 adults and was representative of the population as a whole. As a former psychology professor, peer-reviewed empirical research was a major focus in my work, research and teaching. Since I’m not sure that the steps for conducting valid and reliable research were followed here, I am hanging on to the fleeting hope that perhaps the data is flawed in some way.
Maybe the claim that nearly ten million Brits regret their marriage is erroneous. Perhaps the number of people who think they married the wrong person or lost out with the one that got away is much, much lower. And maybe, just maybe, there are fewer than 1.6 million citizens in need of a scarlet letter. If, by chance, the data happens to be correct, I’d ask that no matter how dark things may seem, never cast aside the possibility of happily ever after. It’s real and it happened to me.