If there is one thing you can count on when living a traveling lifestyle with your lineman, it’s that you can’t count on making short-term plans. Whether it’s dinner, a celebration, or a shipping address; this lifestyle is constantly on the go. The men get called out at odd hours for power outages, have to go out on storm calls, work long and unexpected days yet on the flip side can have unexpected rain days, relocation and extended periods of time off. It’s something that I have learned not only to live with, but honestly, I have come to love. Yes, I love the excitement of not know when and where we will move to or what my day has in store. I’ve talked about this before in other posts which you can read, here, but I’ve never discussed planning for the long term.
Even though we life our lives by the seat of our pants, we still plan for the long term. We plan out vacations, we simply don’t book tickets until 1-2 weeks before the trip because we don’t know where we’ll be flying from. You can read about that here. One of our biggest long term plans though has been how to incorporate this lifestyle we love, be in climates (warmer) that J.O. prefers for work, and still not miss out on our loved ones back in Minnesota so much. Between J.O and myself we have been on the road full time since 2007 and when I started to travel full time with him, we knew that some day we would want to make a compromise: summers in Minnesota/midwest and winters some place warm.
Snow birds. That’s what we always knew them as. People that lived in Minnesota (4 season states) for the summer and fall and flocked to warmer climates (1-2 season states) for the long winter months. Most people do not have the luxury of doing this until retirement (one more reason we love this trade, we are able to do it now). Starting May 1st of this year, we will be starting to live out one major part of our dream and work close to family and friends during the midwest’s camping season (April 30-October 15) and then return to some place warm during the cold, winter months. Yay!
We fly out of Honolulu on May 1st and into L.A where we will pick up our truck and 5th wheel and then drive back up to Northern California to have some work done to the truck and see friends. We plan on then driving back to Minnesota to start work in either Alexandria or Southern Minnesota, but if there is still snow on the ground, we will most likely be finding work in California until the snow melts (we promised ourselves that winter camping and working was no longer an option for us). We’ll have all summer and most of fall to be closer to friends and family, attend celebrations and events and only be most likely a 2 hours car ride away! Come late October we will then pack up and move somewhere warm again; Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Australia, who knows!
I had a great time telling my family, whom’s reactions were priceless. There were tears, hoots and hollars and my favorite, our niece’s reaction. I was able to have what she thought was a non-sholant FaceTime chat where I asked her what she wanted for her upcoming birthday. She said, “well, I know it won’t happen, but all I really want is for you and Uncle J to fly back and come to my rock climbing birthday party. But I know it’s not possible, still I thought I’d tell you what I really wanted” I then acted like I was thinking really hard about it and said, “well, we MIGHT, be able to make that happen!” Confused, she looked at me with a blank expression and I told her how we were coming back and MIGHT be back in time for her party. She was very happy, and so was I.
So, now we are in the process of packing our Hawaiian life up and preparing for life back in the 5th wheel on the mainland. Luckily, most things can be shipped, long dog’s process to fly requires a simple trip to the vet (unlike getting him over to the islands, here) and we have more than 24 hours to do everything! It’ll be sad and different to leave the islands, but at least we know that we’ll be back soon.