#PHroadtrip Mount Tamalpais, CA | picklesnhoney.com

What Happened When We Traded Our Life in Boston for a Year on the Road

Glacier National Park, MT | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

April 6th, 2015
I realized in the last year that we have this thing we do where we set a lofty goal, work really hard to get there, and then as soon as we do, we tell ourselves, “okay, onto the next.” It makes for very productive, very exhausting days. And the thing about all of this is that for me, there’s this mind game element where I somehow convince myself that as soon as I do x, I’ll settle in, be more present, take a break, etc, etc.

I felt this happen when we finally saved enough to buy our condo last spring. There was this chaotic flurry of events leading up to it and following it, and then as soon as we unpacked the last box and it became a lot more quiet, we got this intense urge to travel…like pack up our tiny car with a suitcase and the dogs and just go. Leave it all behind.

#PHroadtrip | picklesnhoney.com

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#PHroadtrip Week 1: Boston to Acadia to The White Mountains | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 1: Boston to Acadia to The White Mountains | picklesnhoney.com

May 5, 2015
For all of the amazing things technology brings to our lives, it can also make us feel really isolated, anxious, and disconnected. It can pull us from being present in the moment, from slowing down, from getting out, from seeing and doing.

…this adventure has the potential to be life-changing, and that’s exactly the point. How exciting to try out different ways of living instead of our usual routines, to live for the experiences instead of the destinations. There can be such promise and joy in not knowing.

#PHroadtrip Week 5: Bighorn, Wyoming | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 3: The Badlands, SD | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 4: The Black Hills, SD | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 5: Bighorn, Wyoming | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 4: The Black Hills, SD | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 5: Bighorn, Wyoming | picklesnhoney.com

Sedona, AZ | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Santa Fe, NM | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Sawtooth Mountains, ID | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

Mount Rainier National Park, WA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

#PHroadtrip Week 9: Hoh Rainforest, WA | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 9: San Juan Island, WA | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 9: San Juan Island, WA | picklesnhoney.com

Sawtooth Mountains, ID | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

May 11, 2015
This morning I woke up with the realization that it’s very often the simple things in life that are the most wonderful. Somewhere along the way, we’ve learned that we value experiences over stuff.

#PHroadtrip Week 10: Portland, Oregon | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 11: Sonoma County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #roadtrip

#PHroadtrip Mount Tamalpais, CA | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Mount Tamalpais, CA | picklesnhoney.com

Big Sur, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

#PHroadtrip Week 11: Sonoma County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #roadtripPoint Reyes, CA #PHroadtrip

June 3, 2015
And then the sky turned such a bright gradient of orange and pink, I actually stopped what I was doing inside the house three separate times to go outside and just stare at it in awe.

#PHroadtrip Week 3: Cashton, WI | picklesnhoney.com

#PHroadtrip Week 11: Sonoma County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #roadtrip

#PHroadtrip Mount Tamalpais, CA | picklesnhoney.com

Week 6: Yellowstone National Park | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

#PHroadtrip Week 9: Port Angeles, WA | picklesnhoney.com

Santa Barbara, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Joshua Tree National Park, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Orange County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

The Grand Canyon, AZ | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Austin, TX | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Week 6: Grand Teton National Park | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

June 17, 2015
We’ve declared today to be an “easy day”, which makes me laugh because shouldn’t every day be an easy day when you take a year “off” to explore? But this isn’t a vacation in the traditional sense—we want to push ourselves, get outside our city-centric world, and learn more about how other people live and how we think we want to live this time next year. It’s exciting and eye-opening and tiring, because each moment feels very, very full.

Jenner, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

Jenner, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

Jenner, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip

#PHroadtrip Week 11: Yachats, OR | picklesnhoney.com #roadtrip

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

July 22, 2015
One of the things we most wanted to do during our year-long road trip was to try different ways of living. Small towns, big cities, mountains, deserts, farm life, and most especially—tiny living. There are so many people who aren’t living the way we live in Boston with 1,400 sq. ft., a sizable mortgage, looooong work weeks without clear boundaries between business and personal. And while this was the life we crafted and one that gave us a lot of satisfaction to build, it’s sort of mind-blowing to stay in a yurt on ninety-six acres, a tiny cabin in Pray, MT, a horse farm in Wisconsin, and realize that you can strip away a whole lot of the stuff and space and live exceptionally well.

Dry Creek Road, Sonoma CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Dry Creek Road, Sonoma CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Dry Creek Road, Sonoma CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Santa Barbara, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Orange County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Orange County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Joshua Tree National Park, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Joshua Tree National Park, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Orange County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

Orange County, CA | picklesnhoney.com #PHroadtrip #roadtrip #travel

#PHroadtrip Mount Tamalpais, CA | picklesnhoney.com

No words could do this last year of our lives justice, though if we were to provide one takeaway it would be this:

There are a lot of sound reasons to talk yourself out of going on an adventure—time, money, and all of the scary what-ifs. But you know what? Life is short. So if you want to take a year-long road trip, quit your job, move cross-country (or whatever makes your heart feel like it might beat right out of your chest)—do whatever you need to do to make that happen.


Find our previous road trip posts here.

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  1. Amanda, i absolutely enjoyed following your journey throughout the US..it has certainly inspired me and i am getting closer to that day when im ready for an adventure. cant wait!!!

    1. Thank you, Dixya! That’s so flattering that our journey is inspiring an adventure of your own. Keep pushing for it and let me know how it unfolds when you’re ready to take the leap! <3

  2. I’ve loved following along with what you’ve shared with us! Such a beautiful and life changing experience to have, to open you up to so much, strip so much away, but fill you right back up with so much MORE!

    1. I love what you wrote about stripping so much away and filling you right back up with so much more. Beautiful and very true!

  3. Marikay says

    Amanda, love the photos, they are wonderful! I followed your trip with flash backs to growing up with parents who traveled ( two weeks at a time ) each summer which allowed me to cover 46 states in this wonderful country we live in! Can’t say I did the same, married to a traveling salesman for our five children. Thank You so much for the experience!

    1. That must have been amazing to get to travel with your parents every summer and cover so many states at such a young age. Thank you for following along on our adventure! I’m happy it provided some good flashbacks for you. <3

  4. Amanda says

    I love this. Congratulations on taking a leap of faith and chasing a dream.

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! (P.S. I dig your name 😉 )

  5. Kellie says

    Wow what beautiful pictures! I have always loved how you write but these quotes are stunning & hauntingly powerful, every single word. I love challenging how I live and think but I still choose safe. I am becoming more confident in really going for it more and more, especially with inspiration from you.

    1. Kellie, you really do leave the sweetest comments. Thank you, especially for the words about my writing. I think it’s amazing that you’re putting yourself out there and taking leaps, however small they may seem. You have to do things at your own pace. I’m similar—I have to take baby steps and build confidence as I go. Truly though, one step begets another and another, and then you look back and realize you’ve climbed a mountain. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

  6. I could not agree with any of this more! As you know, my husband and I moved out here to Portland – from Boston – for a year, and drove here…and, of course, will drive back. Every aspect of this adventure has been incredible, and so…worth it. If we didn’t “just do it,” I don’t think we ever would have, which I would have regretted. And we’ve learned SO MUCH, met so many amazing people, changed in so many positive ways. It’s so critical to change up the norm in a big way…at least once. 😉

    1. Yes to everything you wrote, Michelle! We are totally on the same page, especially what you said about “If we didn’t “just do it,” I don’t think we ever would have.” It is SO easy to talk ourselves out of doing something big and new. I find I almost need to have tunnel vision to “just do it”, but thus far, I’ve never regretted taking a leap because I realized I can always make changes. I find that mind shift to be so freeing!

      I’ll be curious to hear how your move back to Boston goes. Portland (and the PNW in general) is magical.

      1. PNW is magical! We leave two months from today and I’m trying to enjoy every single moment. I have a feeling we’ll be back here to visit a lot. 😉

  7. Lisa says

    I am in awe of your photos. They are incredibly breathtaking. I’m so glad you had such an amazing year!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Gah, it’s been an incredible year. I’m so glad we documented it on the blog because even putting this post together brought back awesome memories. <3

  8. shanna says

    These pictures are breathtaking!

  9. Michael B. says
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