Another Amazing Adventure’s Unconventional American Dream | Lippert Scout Spotlight
Posted: June 09, 2023
Categories: Travel & Lifestyle
As Lippert Scouts, Emily Boreing and her family of five, also known as Another Amazing Adventure, began their part-time RV life after taking a family vacation to South Dakota in 2014. Filled with wanderlust, the Boreing family has now made their way to various locations in the U.S. with their Wolf Pup travel trailer in tow. While documenting their travels, they’ve learned a lot about themselves and how to create their own adventures that work for their lifestyle. Read on to get to know the Boreings and find out how they got to where they are today.
Another Amazing Adventure’s Unconventional American Dream | Lippert Scout Spotlight
By Emily Boreing of Another Amazing Adventure
Personally, I have always loved to travel. It’s been a huge passion of mine all my life, as I have always been a bit of a wanderer. As a young person, I always dreaded the idea of one job and one house for eternity. While that may be what many view as the “American Dream,” I’ve always seen it more as an “American Trap."
My own American Dream has been backpacking across Europe, tent camping my way through national parks or touring on a bus. It’s always seemed magical and adventurous, living on the edge, both figuratively and literally (think of a tent on the side of a glacier or the Grand Canyon).
However, traveling with a disability or medical condition can be quite challenging. There are numerous factors you have to account for. Physical limitations may affect what you can do or how you can do it. For me, it's incredibly important that I get a good night's sleep, as my body is incapable of doing so on its own.
Traveling with Narcolepsy
You see, I have narcolepsy. No, I don't just randomly fall asleep, but I do struggle to stay awake if my body is thrown out of whack. Prior to my diagnosis, I was convinced that my dream of traveling would never happen because I just couldn't get my sleep pattern under control. After years of misdiagnoses and a bunch of trial and error, I was finally put on a treatment that allowed me to regain some normalcy.
Around the same time that my treatment finally started to give me my life back, some really good friends of ours moved from Ohio to South Dakota. Naturally, we wanted to go visit them! We decided to take our first trip as a family (our boys were between three and six years old at the time).
This is where my passion and dream for traveling really came back. We went for a week just road tripping it. We drove out to Sioux Falls, visited our friends for a couple of days, and decided to keep going afterwards to see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. I couldn’t get over the beautiful landscape God made. It was nothing like back home in Ohio. I had never fully realized what the West offered. I went to the Grand Canyon as a kid and to Hawaii after high school graduation, but I didn’t truly appreciate them as a kid.
As we were traveling, I was constantly in a "go, go, go" state of mind. I had to see it all. After spending all day driving, hiking and exploring, sleeping on a hotel bed was not the most comfortable. By the time we got home from this trip, I crashed for about a week. It was as though my narcolepsy had regressed. Since it was so draining on me, we decided it would be best if we did one big trip about every other year. Despite the sheer exhaustion, though, I still longed for more travel.
Starting with the Basics
Fast forward a couple years. After the boys joined the Cub Scouts, we got into tent camping and decided to keep doing so for family trips. We tackled the Blue Ridge Parkway by driving until we got tired, finding a campground and pitching our tent. It was affordable enough, and it became a huge adventure. But again, I would come back home with my body hating me. My sleep was broken, and I had to take a good month to recover from those trips. (For those of you keeping track, yes, I'm quite aware that I really need to learn how to pace myself! Haha.)
Not Just My Health, but the WHOLE WORLD'S!
As my body continued to give me strong indicators that I shouldn't be sleeping on the ground in a tent, the rest of the world was dealing with its own health issues — COVID-19, to be exact. Travel as a whole became increasingly difficult, especially with lockdowns all over the globe. However, we very quickly learned during lockdowns that we are not homebodies at all.
Since most hotels and travel destinations were closed anyway, and since my body just wasn't going to let me continue with tent camping, we decided to invest in a pop-up camper (and so did everyone else, apparently). Now, not only did we not have to worry about gross hotels and not knowing if the beds were comfy, we also weren't at the mercy of a tent floor.
We had our home-away-from-home on wheels that we could take pretty much anywhere, and it fit in our garage during the winter! This was the answer to everything! Well, so we thought, anyway, until we made the mistake of hitting Myrtle Beach in the middle of July.
The daily temperatures were in the upper 90s, with a heat index that I swear had to be around 147 degrees. Of course, our little pop-up had no air conditioning, so with the heat and humidity, we spent several enjoyable days at the beach, followed by several very uncomfortable nights in our camper.
There always seemed to be something wrong with our traveling plans. It got so unbearable that we actually forfeited a night at the campground and left a day early, just so we could stop halfway and cool off for a night in the Smoky Mountains.
Maybe This Isn't Going to Work...
At this point, I once again felt defeated. I started to think the traveling thing must not be in the cards for me. If I'm going to always be miserable whenever I travel, what's the point of even going?
Before we bought the pop-up, we had actually acquired plane tickets to Orlando and a Disney World package, but COVID put a stop to that within a month of finalizing our plans. While we got the refund for Disney, we were still stuck with the airline tickets. By the time we had bought the pop-up, we had decided that we wanted to see the Southwestern U.S., but we didn't really want to spend half of our trip driving and towing, so we took advantage of having already purchased the plane tickets. We had the flight changed from Orlando to Phoenix and flew out to Arizona in late summer. We decided to take the Disney refund and rent a Class C motorhome through Outdoorsy, driving through Utah and all of Arizona.
It was amazing! My hope of traveling was once again restored, as we now had air conditioning, multiple bunks for our boys and an actual bed for us to sleep in. It even had a bathroom, so I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night and walk to a bathhouse (or worse, use the portable camping toilet). We'd found our way to travel without me having to deal with the constant pain and a broken sleep pattern. The only problem was that buying a Class C of our own was just out of the question from a budget standpoint. Those types of RVs are EXPENSIVE!
Finding Our Home Away From Home
So, we came up with a bit of a compromise — we sold the pop-up and purchased a smaller travel trailer. It wasn’t a Class C, but it wasn’t a tent or a pop-up either. We still had a full bathroom, kitchen, bunks, a queen bed and air conditioning (we even made it back to a beach).
It truly gave me all the things I needed to feel as though I was at home, especially for narcolepsy. Now, I can be comfortable, rest as needed and have a bed that helps me get the sleep I need, at the temperature I need, to facilitate regulating my body temperature (one of the many things my body can't do on its own, thanks to my condition). All it took was years of trial and error to find what worked and what didn't.
I can finally have my own American Dream to live in a van down by the river. Okay, that sounds weird. How about a trailer down by the river? No... still weird. I get to bring my home with me so I can travel, even with my current health issues!
Is it perfect? No. There are still times where my fatigue and pain impact me even in the best of circumstances. By and large, though, I am able to continue traveling and doing what I love, even with the occasional setback.
Looking to the Future
Our end goal is to be a full-time RV family within the next year. This means taking the biggest leaps we've made so far — downsizing, preparing our family and most importantly, looking for the right rig.
Our Wolf Pup is great for shorter trips, but for full-time living (especially with three teenage boys), we are going to need something a bit larger. We have plans to check out several RV shows and dealers as we take this massive step (while also trying to convince our skeptical teens that this is the right move for our family). We are aiming for a motorhome, as we feel it will fit our lifestyle best while affording us the comforts we still need, which includes my ability to go take a nap while on the road — something I can't do now with a travel trailer. It's both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us!