Meet Darrell, Colton, Shawn and their families. Three key members of the Apiary Fund cycling team riding from coast to coast. Shawn’s whole family is going on the trip and he will be trading to support them the whole way. That means he has to make enough to cover hotels, food, and transportation for his family of 10 just by trading a $25,000 Apiary Fund account.
When you come to a fork in the road, pick it up… and make sure to pack nine more. At least that’s how it is in our family.
A three-month long trip can be exhilarating, but packing can be a real hassle. The number one rule to packing is to pack light, and for a teenage girl who will pack a months worth of clothes for a three-day trip I was doomed to be put in charge of creating “the packing list.”
The first problem I ran into happened to be the number one rule: pack light. How do you pack light when you have 10 people in your family? You have to have 10 of everything! You have 10 toothbrushes, 10 plates, 10 pillows, 10+ pairs of shoes (I say 10+ pairs of shoes because we have little boys in our family who have stinky little feet. The shoes need some time to air out. You’d be amazed how often we have to remind them to change their socks because they seem to forget that you have to change your socks daily). The second problem was the fear of forgetting something. We had a lot of gear we needed to pack and I was overwhelmed. The old adage, “divide and conquer,” finally gave me the direction I needed. The job was too big as a whole, so I divided everything into 5 classifications.
Funny how the older you get, the more you try to sound intelligent. People ask me what I’m looking forward to and I try to say some thoughtful answer about meeting new people, getting out of my comfort zone or seeing new environments. But when you ask a little kid, they give you a honest answer.
Today I took Bridger to a cute little bistro called Cravings. It sells gourmet grilled cheese, which are AMAZING. We were sitting there sipping our ice cold floats, and talking about how weird girls are (the type of conversation a seven year old boy decides on). Tired of trying to defend my gender, I decided to ask Bridger what he was most excited about for our trip this summer. Expecting an enthusiastic response, I was surprised when he didn’t answer.
“Bridger, what are you most excited about for summer?”
How do you fit clothing for a family of 10 (including 5 teenage girls) on one bus? We are about to find out.
I share a room with two of my sisters, and after just one day of laundry at least half of our floor disappears under our mountain of clothes. The pile is so high you could get altitude sickness at the top. After a week of warnings, Mom, also known as the family CEO, finally made us go through the clothes we had gathered over the years and get rid of every stitch of clothing we weren’t using. Three hours later, we ended up with seven bags to give away. Seven! Our strategy for packing includes three phases: reduce, reuse and re-wear. Let me explain.
What type of family would voluntary live on a bus for four months while biking across the country? None. What kind of family would voluntarily go on a four-month adventure testing their physical abilities, meeting new people and basically having the trip of a lifetime? This family! The power of perspective is amazing and our family is excited to see what we can learn from this trip and how it will change our lives. We have all been assigned organizational jobs for this trip so that our unit can function, but we’re also ready to play whenever we can. Meet our family of ten — and join us on our adventure this summer!