A few months ago Todd said, “I think we should drive Madison out to California when she goes to school, and see Mount Rushmore.” I said, “Sure.” This is how we ended up planning a tent trip across the United States during a time of complete chaos. We made the decision before we knew we would sell the Ohio house in two weeks and have to be out by May 31st, before we found a great townhouse in West Palm Beach, Florida that isn’t available until July 1st, and before we realized just how much work would be involved.
I started planning the trip in earnest only a few weeks ago when Todd had to begin booking his work travel. The reality is, Todd is going to need to travel in and out during this epic adventure three times and we need to know where we will be when he flies out and where we will be when he flies back. Enter Google Calendar (cue sounds of angels singing).
I readily admit to us having more than one conversation during the schedule phase of this adventure that ended in one of us walking away in a huff. Here is one example:
One day early on in the planning Todd was pissed that I had scheduled Madison and I to do the 3-day drive from Georgia to South Dakota during one of his work “breaks”. We were sitting at the kitchen counter and I had no idea what was happening. I was thinking who gets pissed about missing three days driving in a truck? AND who the hell does he think he is getting angry with me? I am the one who is going to have to do the driving because Madison won’t drive the BART! Yeah, fuck him getting mad at me… mic drop… leave the room.
BUT that is not what I did. I sat on my stool, took a deep breath, and recalled something I had read; anger is a secondary emotion and don’t take anything personally from The Four Agreements. After all, I was angry because it gave me a feeling of control and softened the fear that Todd did not love and respect me.
I choose to respond to Todd from a place of love after my deep breath. This pause allowed us to continue to the conversation long enough to find the source of his anger; fear and sadness. He was worried about us driving alone and he was disappointed to miss three days of our adventure. He loved us! If I had responded without the pause we would never have gotten through the anger to the love.
Google made it simple to share with Todd and Madison. It works incredibly well on the desktop and on our iPhones. I can attach PDF confirmations (with links) for activities and reservations. We can pull up directions quickly while on the road. It it easy to read on the phone. We can share the calendar with our family and friends so they will know where we are while traveling. I cannot imagine heading out on this trip without Google!
We started by plugging in the key dates, when we had to be out of the Ohio house, when we had to return the UHaul truck, Todd’s work schedule, and our must arrive in Los Angeles date. Once we had those dialed in it was time to decide what we wanted to see and plan our route. I thought we could use Google Maps but it turns out that their mapping application is not as awesome for planning a road adventure as their calendar. I am currently finalizing our trip using Roadtrippers and will be writing about that shortly as well as sharing the link so that you can follow us across the USA!