Lost In Travels

Chelsea and her husband Jeremy didn’t want to do the “typical” after they got married.  Instead, they packed up and taught English in South Korea.  After three years abroad, they returned to the United States and decided to get reacquainted with their home country.  What better way than an indefinitely long road trip?  Chelsea and Jeremy moved into their RV and are currently on the road.

Photos above and below by Chelsea and Jeremy Diamond.

Get to know Chelsea’s adventurous spirit:

How did your trip come to be?

We have spent the last three years traveling predominantly in Southeast Asia as we taught English in South Korea. So often people would ask if we had seen various famous destinations in America. As we had to answer ‘no’ about 90% of the time, we quickly realized that while we felt like we had seen a lot of the world, we had seen very little of the country that we call home.

How long have you and Jeremy been together when you hit the American road?

We had been together four years before we hit the road.

You spent the last three years living and teaching in South Korea and taking your time to travel greater Asia.  Was it a culture shock to come back to the United States?

It was so much harder coming back to the States than moving to Asia! When moving to a different continent you expect culture shock, you almost welcome with open arms as a new adventure. But you don’t expect it when moving back to the country you call home and so it throws you for a loop.

I was returning to a place that I knew well but yet at the same time felt completely different and where we would lead completely different lives than we had been for the past three years. We came back to the land of Targets, discount stores, vast shopping markets with every type of food you could ever hope for, family, friends, and convenience. We came back to all the things I had missed when we lived half way across the world. But to be honest, I wasn’t sure where I belonged anymore; I felt torn. As much as America remained my culture, I have adapted many more cultural aspects along the way in the past three years. I missed seeing weird and bizarre new foods in the stores, being able to speak a second language (albeit, not very well) and being able to experience something new almost every day. It took me a few months to finally feel like I was home and to feel settled back into the States.

Did you meet anyone in South Korea that lived a mobile lifestyle?

We met a lot of other foreigners there and to a certain extent, all of us led a mobile lifestyle. None of us called Korea home and yet here we were, traveling and living together. Some returned home, some moved to another country, and some are still in Korea. It was a great sense of community there and one that made the transition all the easier.

You blogged extensively about travel in Asia.  Why did you decide to stop?  Was it ever difficult to balance “work” and a web presence with traveling?

I honestly loved my time blogging. I met amazing people that I still keep in touch with and was welcomed into a very supportive community. I feel like some things in life are long-term and some are just for a season. And for me, I honestly just felt like my time blogging was an unforgettable season in my life that had naturally come to an end. Sometimes I still miss it, but overall I feel a peace about stepping away and exploring other ventures.

If your RV roles were a Ven Diagram, where would they overlap and where would they differ?

Pretty much ever since we moved in together, we’ve had pretty distinct roles in our household. It works for us and makes things run a little more smoothly when we don’t have the discussion of who’s going to make breakfast (and more importantly, the coffee) when we’re still half asleep. Jeremy handles anything mechanical, finding a place to stay, and a large majority, ok, all the driving. He also makes amazing breakfasts (which lets me sleep in. Bonus). As far as researching our next adventure, budgeting, cleaning and majority of the cooking, I usually take on those responsibilities.

What have you learned about Jeremy that you might not have without your extensive travel?

He truly is a jack-of-all-trades and as sappy as it is, he amazes me every day. A broken fridge that turns day old milk into curds? No problem, he took the entire fridge out and placed it in our kitchen/living room and fixed it. Generator problems? Not for him. The list goes on. If it weren’t for him, I’d be alone in a random parking lot waiting for a repairman on several occasions.

Does the RV ever feel small?  How do you get alone time (if necessary)?

We really thought that we would want the space that we have in our 30 foot RV and that all the extra storage would be necessary as it is our only home. We have our RV and a few boxes stored at his parents house, that’s it. But even after completely moving in we have only filled it about 60% of the way…if that. We have more space than we know what to do with and often think about downsizing. As for alone time, I’ve been surprised that we often don’t feel the need for it. Many times on our down days that we’re not doing much, one of us will be at the kitchen table and the other on the bed and it feels like we’re alone when really we’re about 6 feet apart.

Snap a photo of your five must-have items for life on the road.

Photo by Chelsea Diamond
Photo by Chelsea Diamond

Phone – helps with capturing moments and not getting lost on back roads.

Notebook – one of my closest friends back home got this for me before we hit the road. I love writing down all of our adventures to look back on in years to come.

Keens – one of our major sources of entertainment is hiking wherever we go. These are great one of the most comfortable hiking shoes I’ve owned and a bonus; they’re water proof.

French press – coffee makes the world go round does it not? And thankfully I have a rock star husband who makes the coffee in the morning so I can get some extra zzz’s. Lately he’s been adding some apple pie spice to the coffee grounds yumm

Lonely Planet Book – These books have been my go-to ever since we moved overseas. So when it was time to start planning our road trip it was one of the first things I bought.

Where are you now [September 22, 2014] and where will you be in one month?

We are currently on the Oregon coast and loving it. This is both of our first time to the Northwest and we’ve quickly (and not unexpectedly) fallen in love. As far as where we’ll be in a month, it’s hard to say! We’ve been moving at a much different pace than we originally thought so we could be in Northern California or all the way down to San Diego by then. We’ll see!