We Finally Hit the Road! First Stop: Maine

by Erica

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We did it! After 8 months of RV ownership and 6+ months of renovations, we FINALLY hit the road for our great American road trip. As I write this, we’re cruising down Maine Route 1 on our way to Sebago Lake to camp with one of Tim’s best friends from home. Before yesterday, I never fully understood the utility of being able to work from a moving vehicle – but since we left home 5 days ago, we’ve been so busy soaking up the sights, connecting with people, and trying to figure out how to actually work our RV… that I haven’t had the time or energy to get anything written.

 

The first stop on our journey was Portland, Maine. We had initially planned to head to New Hampshire first to catch up with some friends… but packing and actually being ready to leave was a longer process than anticipated. (Just like everything else while preparing for this trip!)

 

We finally made it out of Connecticut on Friday, June 22nd and headed straight north to Portland. Prior to leaving, Tim and I were both pretty tense…  but as we put miles between ourselves and our house in CT, that tension started to dissolve and turn into excitement. By the time we made it to Portland and parked Yoda in a nice parking lot by the water – we were feeling pretty damn accomplished.

 

We wrapped up our first night on the road like any good road travelers would: in a Walmart parking lot. There were at least 20 other vans and campers spending the night, and we still had to pick up more supplies – so it suited our needs and ended up being a comfortable place to rest.

Open float pod at Float Harder Relaxation Spa in Portland, Maine. Sensory deprivation or isolation tank

The float pod that I used at Float Harder Relaxation Spa in Portland, Maine. I chose purple lighting (of course!) and Tim picked green.

 

The Highlight of our Maine Getaway: Float Harder Relaxation Spa

 

On Saturday, we got an opportunity to try something we’d been interested in for a long time. We went to a float spa and tried out their sensory deprivation tanks! Before leaving CT, I posted on Instagram that we were leading to Portland. Soon after that, I received a message from James, the owner of Float Harder Relaxation Spa, to see if we wanted to come try out the tanks in his facility. He’d been following our journey online and was cool enough to set us up with some free floats. 

 

The whole experience was amazing. The float spa was clean, relaxing and very zen. Upon entering the facility, I noticed Aubrey Marcus’s new book “Own the Day, Own Your Life” along with products from ONNIT for sale – and immediately knew that we were in the right place. As long time fans of the Joe Rogan Experience (the BEST podcast!)… it’s always exciting to meet other people who share our interests and world view.

 

The actual experience of floating was incredibly relaxing, especially after months of stress from remodeling and planning to uproot our lives to travel. Also, as someone who suffers from severe and chronic low back pain… this was one of the first times I’ve been truly without pain in years! That alone had me sold on floating. The water was also perfectly warm and salty enough that I didn’t have to worry about struggling to stay afloat, allowing for total relaxation.

 

Before entering the float pod, we were able to choose our floating music and the lighting color inside the tank. These were two things I hadn’t thought about previously, but made the experience much more inviting. Also, upon first seeing the pod I was to float in… I was slightly worried about feeling claustrophobic, but as soon as I got in – the feeling subsided. (I only mention this because I’ve heard so many people state this as a reason they won’t try floating.) Float Harder Relaxation Spa also offers the option of float rooms, that are much larger in size for those who actually suffer from claustrophobia – we didn’t try them out but they looked glorious.

 

James Harder and Charlie, two of the owners of Float Harder Relaxation Spa in Portland, Maine. Amy Harder is the other owner, and wife of James

James Harder and Charlie, two of the owners of Float Harder Relaxation Spa in Portland, Maine.

Connecting with the Owners of Float Harder Relaxation Spa & Other Internet Friends

 

After floating, we had the chance to hang out with James and his wife Amy and learn a little bit more about their story. A few years ago, they embarked on a similar (but much more difficult) journey as us. They ditched their apartment, stored their belongings, and set off to hike the Appalachian Trail for 6 months. Upon returning, they knew going back to regular jobs would no longer satisfy them and took a leap of faith by opening Float Harder Relaxation Spa.

 

While they’ve been working incredibly long hours for the past two years, it’s clear that both their business and their personal lives are thriving because of it.

 

For Tim and I, it was really cool to meet another couple that are tackling life in a similar way. While we’ve been planning for this trip, we’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what we actually want out of life. And to connect with people who’ve asked themselves the same question and answered it by following their gut and working hard is always awesome and inspiring. Also, aside from the the coolness of their business venture… we had SO much in common and had a really great time hanging out!

 

It never ceases to amaze me that we’ve connected with so many cool people through the internet. Having grown up in the age of AIM and Myspace, internet friends are something I always kind of had in some capacity or another. But since we started working on this camper and documenting it… we’ve actually met (or plan to meet) a lot of the people that we’ve connected with online. And I have to say, so far it’s been really great!

 

A beautiful view of the coastline and mountains in Acadia National Park. We couldn't get over how beautiful Maine was!

A beautiful view of the coastline and mountains in Acadia National Park. We couldn’t get over how beautiful Maine was!

Our Trip to Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park

 

After our stop in Portland, we headed north to Bar Harbor for the next two nights so we could explore Acadia National Park.

 

When we got into the park on Monday, it was cold, overcast and super crowded. We went in without a plan or prior knowledge and somehow got lost while driving the Park Loop road – and ended up outside of the park. We hadn’t realized we missed the whole coastline and weren’t particularly impressed, so we *almost* just left.

 

Our boxer, Suzy soaking up the sun on a rock in Acadia National Park. We were happy to learn that Acadia is one of the more dog friendly National Parks. Go Maine!

Our boxer, Suzy soaking up the sun on a rock in Acadia National Park. We were happy to learn that Acadia is one of the more dog friendly National Parks. Go Maine!

 

Thankfully, we stopped at the visitor’s center to use the restrooms and asked for a little guidance on where to go. Once we made it to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and the other costal attractions within the park – we were super thankful that we didn’t leave. The only thing we wanted to do, but weren’t able, was to drive up Cadillac mountain for sunrise (No RVs or trailers allowed!). Instead, we made up for it by hanging around until sunset.

 

A rare family photo where we're all looking at the camera! This was one of our last stops in Acadia National Park in Maine. The day started cold and rainy, but ended in perfect weather.

A rare family photo where we’re all looking at the camera! This was one of our last stops in Acadia National Park in Maine. The day started cold and rainy, but ended in perfect weather.

 

Our Last Stop in Maine

 

Our last stop in Maine is Naples. It’s close to Sebago Lake – which I’ve only been to once as a child. Our friend Pete has been staying in a local campground long-term.. so we figured it would be fun to camp together! Tomorrow, we’re planning to visit Portsmouth to catch up with our friend Mikaela before heading back to CT for a small music festival over the weekend.

So far, we’re LOVING life on the road and the freedom to go wherever we want, whenever we want. We have no plans after the second week of July… so if there’s something or somewhere we should check out on our way across the country – please feel free to contact us! (And if you’ve already reached out and I haven’t responded – it’s coming soon! Actually getting on the road has been my top priority, leaving my blog and inbox to suffer).

 

To my friends, family, and awesome strangers from the internet…. thank you all for enthusiastically supporting us throughout our journey so far. It’s because of you that we’re absolutely thriving and making this thing happen. I can’t wait to share more as time goes on!!! Keep an eye out for more posts than ever before! 🙂

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2 comments

Kendra B June 28, 2018 - 7:06 pm

Yes!! I’m so excited to read that you guys are having such a fun time so far! If you come through Arkansas, you should say hello! 🙂

Kendra B.
http://www.helga-marie.com

Reply
Erica June 28, 2018 - 7:19 pm

We definitely will!! You’re the only person I’ve ever even met from Arkansas! (How crazy is that??)

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