How We Kill Time Between Trips

Mr. Nerd drinking local coffee

Mr. Nerd and I love (love, love, love!) to travel as much and as often as we can, but unfortunately, we're not full-time travelers. We're not even part-time travelers!

Yes, I know. Sad face.

We both work full-time (4o-hour week) jobs and can't often work from home, so we're limited in the amount of traveling we can do a year. Technically, we get 10 vacation days, plus a few holidays and weekends thrown in there too. That's not a lot of time to travel if you consider travel time, layovers, etc. (For example, our 5 days in the Dominican Republic in February ended up being 3 days because two of those days were spent driving, sitting at the airport, and lounging uncomfortably in planes.)

Exploring new places and meeting new people and cultures fills us with joy and awe. It's an addicting feeling, so we work hard to fit as much travel into every year as physically possible. In fact, this year we're lucky enough to have the following itinerary*, which allows us to travel once every couple months!

*This doesn't include the times Mr. Nerd has traveled for work or family visits.

  • (February) Dominican Republic 5 days, and Chicago, 2 days
  • (May) Canada, 3 days
  • (August) Arizona, 3 days
  • (November) Seattle, 5 days, and Iceland, 6 days
  • (December) Jamaica, 9 days

We run Two Nerds Travel because we love travel (have we mentioned that already?), so obviously, it's hard to go months without springing free of Minnesota and embracing the world. We get stuck in a travel slump and end up needing to kill time between trips.

What do we do to kill time, besides plan our next trips (of course)?

Lots of things, because Mrs. Nerd is crazy!

Exercise

When we're home, we try to get as much exercise into our daily routine as possible. Keeping fit and hitting the gym while at home prepares us for the crazy amount of walking, hiking, swimming, biking, and etc we tend to do while abroad.

And we especially need to maintain our stamina if we want to do a rim-to-rim hike across the Grand Canyon next spring!

When we're not at the gym, we also like to go on local hikes or walk around our neighborhood. But our current go-to way to exercise is, surprisingly, running!

Recently, Ben came to me and pitched the idea of tackling a couch to 5k program. I was skeptical (see: terrified and completely unconvinced that this was a good idea in any way, shape, or form), but he talked me into trying it. So down we went to the nearest running shop, where we bought some new shoes and workout clothes. As of today, we've been training 2-3x a week (generally early morning runs before work) for the last month or so ... and it's not as bad as I thought! It's been a great way to explore our local neighborhood, meet new people, and train to do a 5k sometime this fall!

Not too shabby. :)

Write

I deeply enjoy writing; in fact, I have since I was 10 years old (and have been devouring all the books I can get my hands on since teaching myself to read at 2 or 3). When between travel, then, I like to write two things:

1. Travel articles for Two Nerds Travel

2. Various different kinds of fiction

Recently, I've been corresponding/collaborating with a friend to get some personal writing done, all with the goal of subbing my fiction at some point in the future (either late this year or next year). We spend time in the evenings Skyping and pitching ideas around. It's great fun, and a great way to spend time on a new project while waiting for the next chance to travel.

In fact, the trip I'm taking in September to Seattle is for writing (rather than for travel). I'm going to a writing workshop with said friend to meet new writers and work on my craft. I can't wait!

Home Improvement

Hahaha. No, not the show!

A few months ago, Mr. Nerd and I bought our first house, thus putting down some local roots in Minnesota. We may never be able to quit our jobs and travel full-time, but in some ways, that's OK. Having a house is an exciting, incredibly nerve-wracking, wonderful, and adult adventure that we're taking together.

And that means that we have a lot to do when we're not abroad.

Here are some projects we're tackling to kill time between trips:

  • Cutting, trimming, and prepping the lawn
  • Planting/managing the garden (let it be known that I don't have a green thumb)
  • Priming and painting the office (so I can set up base camp for TNT & other writing projects)
  • Cooking meals in our lovely new kitchen
  • Decorating and organizing the house
  • Unpacking leftover boxes
  • Setting up a guest room for visiting family and friends

A lot of these things may sound boring, and sometimes the tasks can be tedious, but we rather like having something that's ours that we can work on at our leisure. And when that office is finally painted and organized, man, it's going to be so worth it. I'll have to share pictures!

Local Travel

Even when we're stuck at home, we still try to get some local travel in on the weekends (could you even try to keep us away? No sirrie! Travel is in our blood).

Our new home city is one of the first places we've been exploring. We've found several gorgeous parks and hiking paths in the area, which has woven into our morning runs, and deeply enjoy trying new restaurants and breweries.

Who knows! Maybe we'll be inspired to write some blog posts about our city for other local travelers, like we did with Saint Paul, MN. Some of the best travel we've experienced has been right next door to our house, no matter where we've lived.

There you have it! A few things we've been up to while waiting for the next trip to roll around (Arizona on August 14th—so close now. Only a few weeks left). What do you do to kill time when you're at home?