I get a lot of comments from people about how it looks like we are having the time of our lives on this trip. We are, overall, having a good time, but there have been many things that are very challenging about this trip also. For the most part, I think of social media as a public forum and I talk about topics that I would consider appropriate in the break room at work. Drama or whining or general crankiness aren’t really appropriate there.

But of course, that means that browsing through my Instagram feed will give you the sense that everything is always beautiful and framed perfectly. So, in an attempt at keeping it real (while still within the bounds of a public forum), here are a few of the photos that I have NOT taken and shared.

-the piles of used Kleenex collecting on flat surfaces for the first full two weeks of our trip, as Preston and I both had nasty colds that took forever to kick

-Preston and I pointedly not looking at each other while sitting on opposite ends of the RV in silence. Had I wanted to post this picture, there would have been many to choose from, there being *many* moments where we had got on each other’s last nerve

-Preston and I racing in sheer terror across a desert acre, chasing two German Shepard dogs, who are in turn chasing our cat, who darted out of the RV right in from of them. Pavi made it up a tree in time, and everyone was fine. But that was definitely my least favorite moment of the trip.

-lines of anxiety etched around Preston’s eyes as I navigate us down a steep, rough, dirt road that we probably shouldn’t have gone up in the RV. As I bonus, I’m also not sharing with you the smell-o-gram of the hot brakes as we stop on the occasional flat spot for long minutes to let them cool on our way down. (Also, I could maybe make a little collage including the “Two-wheel drive vehicles not recommended” sign we had passed on the way up.) (But also, that image at the top of this post is from the area where that road took us. Possibly still worth it.)

-Had I wanted to, I could have shared image after image of one of us melting down as a result of not enough sleep or not enough food.

-The 47 times that one of us left the dog’s water dish in the middle of the floor and then the other one stepped on it and spilled water everywhere.

-the time we left a full gallon of water out on the counter accidentally when we took off, and then it slid off the counter on the first turn, hit the opposite counter and exploded all over the RV.

-let’s just not talk about the RV dump situations we’ve seen. That’s still not appropriate for a public forum.

There’s lots more, but you get my point. This trip has been beautiful, amazing, educational, totally worthwhile. But it’s hard to live on the road, and we’ve had a lot of learning to do. We can’t wait to try it again.