Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Stuck in the Middle With You

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
and I'm wondering what it is I should do.
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face.
Losing control yeah I'm all over the place.

-Stuck in the Middle With You
Stealers Wheel (and not the Beatles, as I just learned)

There's a downside to living in the middle of the continental US. There is largely nothing to do here. 

That's not really true. But one often needs to drive a fair ways to do something. But that's okay, because I'm in the mood to go adventuring. And with the world slowly rising from its slumber, my options for actually doing things again has increased tenfold. And I am paralyzed with indecision.

I have created a vacation backlog. 

How do I always do this?

It's not enough that I have a video game, book, and TV backlog. I need to overthink and ruin the act of leaving the house.

Actually, I think this one is a bit more understandable. Trips require planning, packing, and a lot more money than buying yet another bundle of games. Spur of the moment trips are still doable, but the whole living in the middle of nowhere thing makes options limited.

There are some practical difficulties. Mainly, the Everwake Family only has 1 car and Mrs. Everwake needs it just often enough for work that I'd feel guilty absconding off with it for a week at a time. Public transportation in the US Midwest is ... not really a thing. Flying is expensive. We do have a passenger railroad nearby. But it's destinations are limited and its pricing makes it essentially just a slow airplane. At a certain point, I'll need to suck it up and finally purchase a second car. Although the used car market in the US is crazy expensive at the moment, so that was probably a decision I needed to make two years ago.

I'm also having difficulty really nailing down a destination. The wife is busy with work so my next trip is likely a solo one. But I'm stuck in a place where I want to go someplace interesting, but not too interesting and wish I had waited until the wife could come along. 

A nice long bike trip is sounding like the correct move. It mostly solves the transportation issues and the wife is too smart to think crippling exercise is a vacation. But I lack confidence in my ability to pedal the long distances between towns in the Midwest. Thru-camping could be a choice, but carrying a whole huge bag of camping gear is maybe more of a logistical effort that I can handle at the moment. I want to keep things reasonably simple as I'm learning. The more factors I add the more of a chance of something going wrong.

I'm spinning my wheels and procrastinating. And it feels terrible. It's a hydra of malaise. Every time I make an effort at answering one question another 3 pop up. Eventually my brain just short circuits and I move on to something else. Usually lunch.

My goal for today is to make some decisions and pack some bags. I might just have to figure things out on the road.

I know the concept of a games backlog is pretty common, but I guess I hadn't realized I was doing it in other facets of my life as well. Is anybody else dealing with something like this? And I guess, has anyone had success in dealing with this?


  1. Is car rental not an option? Our normal method of holidaying, when pandemics don't get in the way, is to fly somewhere then hire a car. The car hire part costs more than the flights but that's because a) flights here are insanely cheap in normal circumstances and b) I always take all the insurance options. If I was wiling to risk going with the minimum insurance the car hire would be as cheap as the flights.

    Given that you would be starting from where you live, approximately, the car hire would be the only travel cost. Would that bring it in line with your budget? I have no idea what car rental costs are in the USA. If you could hire a van you could even sleep in it and save the accomodation costs, too!

    1. That actually is a good point, I tend to forget about renting a car. The cheapest I can get a car in my area seems to be about $800 for a week. I think rental cars are quite a bit more expensive in the US because of the pandemic, and I just don't live in a very touristy area.

      Maybe that's just what they cost? Once I get somewhere, particularly in a city, I don't tend to drive very much so it always feels like a little bit of a waste. But I guess traveling is just expensive.