When we took our epic road trip to Honduras five years ago, I came back in surprisingly better shape, despite many hours of driving, often punctuated by wonderful meals. This trip is similar as I break from a lifestyle that has become way too sedentary. I ran out of steam this year trying to get enough daily walking in. I blamed the weather, but there were probably other reasons, like stress.
This trip has seen us a lot more active, at least for me. If you count steps, you know 10,000 is a pretty good daily average to keep in pretty good shape. I had slipped pretty badly in that goal, so seeing my average climb has been welcome. My buddy on this trip is generally more active and thinks nothing of it. He also tends to lead us through towns, setting the pace.
This sort of travel also takes a lot of effort. Just getting the truck and trailer ready to go and set up can be exhausting, especially if it goes sideways. It takes 30 minutes to hook up and get on the road, unless something goes wrong, and it adds another 15 minutes of running around. There is incessant cooking, cleaning and organizing. Having a partner who can help is highly recommended. My son is a reluctant partner on this trip.
At home you can let an area of your home go. You're not terribly concerned a counter is dusty when you're spending time in another room. In a 230 square foot home with two people, you are constantly faced with everything out of place, every crumb on the floor, and every emanating smell. Go outside, and there are more things to clean, lubricate, tighten, and organize. If you catch up on all of these things, there are weekly, monthly, and seasonal chores. Hotels sound kinda good at this point, no?
The best reason to get those steps in though is exploring the various towns we visit. This is where we get into trip philosophy. Are we on vacation or are we living on the road? If you're on vacation, you tend to take every opportunity to explore, while living on the road is a more normal pace. The answer is it depends, both on where you are and who you talk to.
My goal was to live on the road, so I have a travel trailer decked out with all the amenities of home; better than home in many cases. My home situation is not great, as my friends know. I am set up to live in my RV, so living on the road is just living away from home. My buddies RV is set up to live out of. I push the touch panel to turn on the air conditioning, while he opens all his windows and embraces the outdoors. I live in my RV, he lives out of his RV. There are obviously times I come outside and sit in my camp chair under my awning, and there are times it's too damn hot and he buttons up his RV and puts on the AC.
When it comes to fitness, a vacation mindset is more expensive, but the payoff is we're getting a lot of great exercise. We've also found the food is fantastic and inexpensive. The portions tend to be a bit smaller. Carbs are optional, ranging from very little to as many tortillas as you can stuff your gob with. Ingredients are fresh, preservatives and hormones are at a minimum, and we've found we feel better. One friend has had one of his health conditions subside, giving credit to better eating at local restaurants.
Anyway, this has been a welcome change, one we hoped would happen, but not guaranteed. Good exercise, good eating and fun exploration.