Natalie Webster and Tony Novachis

Natalie Webster, left, and her partner Tony Novachis.

We are often so destination driven that we forget to enjoy the journey. I spent years driving to Mankato when my girls were in college. Each time I made the picturesque drive, I wanted to stop and check out an antique store or historic site. I never did. I was too focused on getting to my destination.

I’ve been undergoing treatment for Lyme disease since the fall of 2018. I’ve gone from not being able to walk to living a fairly normal life. My current symptoms make physical activity difficult, but otherwise you would never know I was battling a chronic illness. The day of my treatment or the day after can be rough. When there is a large die-off of the bacteria that cause Lyme, they release a toxin that makes you very ill. Simply, you get worse, then better, then worse, then even better. It is three steps forward, two steps back. Overall, I come out ahead in the long run.

I’m thankful for the many good days I have these days, but it’s so frustrating when I get knocked on my butt and am back in bed, unable to find the right words for things. As a writer that is devastating. It’s part of the journey to wellness. Battling a chronic illness is a lot like a road trip. If going left doesn’t work, you go right, but you have to keep moving forward.

What I’ve learned throughout my dance with Lyme disease is that focusing on what I can’t do makes me miserable. Focusing on my destination of a full recovery can be daunting. Especially since I don’t yet know how much permanent damage I have. Reluctantly I’ve begun to accept that my dream of pairing up with Peter Dinklage (the brilliant actor on “Game of Thrones”, for those of you living under a rock) on the “Amazing Race”, probably will not happen, given the state of my knees.

What has helped me greatly is finding the joy in the journey. Finding what I’m grateful for each day, no matter what challenge I’m facing.

Through mutual friends I was able to meet Jason Sprayberry and his beautiful girlfriend Becky Ankeny. Jason owns RVThereYet.com RV Rental. Jason and I share similar views when it comes to life and livingness. We both recognize the need to wander, to explore, to be in nature. Becky is a talented freelance graphic artist. I knew I loved her when I saw a video of her fishing in a dress.

Jason and Becky have been having a ton of RV adventures. I love how Jason describes what the RV life is about. He says, “RV travel is not so much an escape from life — but rather an opportunity to escape what life has become; to reconnect with our original self by tapping into our revitalizing sense of freedom and adventure.”

I thought “Heck, that sounds right up my alley.” I ran the idea of a one-week RV road trip by my partner in life, laughter and love, Tony. He was all for it. We decided to make it even more interesting by using our trip as a way to raise support for the Twin Cities Lyme Foundation. They are a local organization that aids people in getting an accurate Lyme diagnoses as well as needed treatment. Most effective Lyme treatment is not covered by insurance.

I’ll be sharing all about our Epic RV Adventure in real time across social media. I’d love to hear your tips for a successful road trip. What one item can you not do without? I can’t obsess about the destination, so I’m going obsess about the packing.

We leave Excelsior on July 8 and return on the 15th. We are encouraging people who will follow our adventure to donate directly to the Twin Cities Lyme Foundation by visiting www.Twincitieslyme.org.

We are partnering with other local businesses who are helping to raise money. For example, Nani Nalu Swimwear is donating a percentage of their sales to the Twin Cities Lyme Foundation during the weekend of July 13-14. That would be a great time to head to their store and treat yourself to gorgeous swimwear. We will be doing giveaways during our trip via social media as we play road trip trivia along the way, with fun prizes from local Lake Minnetonka retailers.

Tony and I are looking forward to sharing this adventure with you and getting back in touch with the wonder of wandering. He is a decent outdoors man, whereas he jokingly calls me a “Delicate tropical flower.” Not completely inaccurate. I’m just thrilled the RV has a flushing toilet and a shower.

You can find all our social media links on my blog www.AdventuresInLivingAloha.com.

You can learn more about Natalie Webster and her adventures in the Lake Minnetonka area at WebsterEffect.com.

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