If your trip lasts long enough – plan on setting aside time for maintenance. Short trips are heavenly for putting all cares aside, getting “away from it all,” and truly taking a vacation. However, as you add weeks on to a trip, someone has to pay the credit card bill and check the bank statements. If you add months on to the trip, then car maintenance and even health checkups have to be scheduled. When you’re in a lovely tourist destination and you’re setting aside time to prepare taxes, take the car to be serviced, and get your annual medical check up, You recognize a new reality. “Hey, I’m not on vacation. This is my life in a new mode. I have to take time for the regular things, as well as the sightseeing.”
We did anticipate most of the maintenance and tried to tuck it neatly into our schedule, though sometimes that just didn’t work as well as we’d hoped. Monthly time is set aside for financial work and bill paying. Beth actually enjoys this so that isn’t burdensome. Preparing the taxes is another story. We gave up most of our time in Austin, TX to just sit, working away till it was done.
The car maintenance has been a bit trickier. We suspected a car problem as we drove down the highway to a motel in Homestead, FL. Luck was with us when we found out that 1) a dealer was a 5 min drive away from our hotel and 2) the car was just fine. They serviced the car and off we drove. We planned the next regular maintenance service for late June in San Jose, CA. Alas, the car died the night before the service appointment! The next morning a tow truck delivered our 95 Honda Civic to a little repair shop nearby and 5 hours later it was running (much) better than ever.
Our annual health checkups needed to be scheduled for May and June to coincide with a 2-month visit in CA with our daughters and their families. A month before we were to arrive, we sat in Tucson, AZ and googled “best doctors in San Jose, CA”. We cross-referenced various lists to see if a doctor was mentioned more than once. What kind of way is this to find a doctor? Maybe not the best way, but we are very happy with the doctor we chose. He was a good listener, gave helpful advice, and recommended specialists we needed to see for mammogram, eyes, and skin. After a round of tests and some treatments, we’re now declared healthy and ready to get back on the road just as we scheduled.
We’re looking forward to our upcoming visit to Portland, OR where it’ll be time for dental appointments.