Quitting my full-time 9-5 job in Downtown Los Angeles, and deciding to take a extended road trip with my husband, was an easy decision. The hard part, is prepping for this kind of trip.
My (now) husband and I decided about a year and a half ago to take this trip: which gave us plenty of time to prep our newly purchased Toyota Van, as well as ourselves, for a journey up to Alaska, and back down to Mexico.
Here is my advice: if you're looking to do something similar, it may seem obvious, but...
Saving money will be your new priority- I had to learn to limit EVERYTHING I do- no more shopping for a dress for every event I go to- limiting how often and how much I spend going out and eating out- asking myself before I buy something, 'how will this contribute towards the trip', and 'do I really need this?'
I mean, my mind might work differently than some other "outdoorsy" people- even though I love the outdoors and camping, I may love fashion and shopping more. So when I ask myself, "do I need this camo t-shirt that is back in stock from urban outfitters?"- I will almost definitely, always say "yes" internally. HOWEVER, the goal is to limit these impulse buys, and do this less (PS, I did buy that t-shirt, AND it was totally necessary)...
TRUST THE PERSON/PEOPLE YOU'RE GOING WITH.
Traveling with someone you're not compatible with, is a nightmare. It makes everything more difficult, when you should be relaxing and having fun. If you're traveling with your significant other, learn who is good at what, and learn how to balance tasks.
DON'T GET TIED DOWN BY DEFINITE PLANS.
This is a tough one for me (being slightly OCD, and highly TYPE A)... I love planning things, and planning things ahead of time. But having a plan, like trying to to get to one place by a certain date, goes against the entire concept of "going with the flow", and adds too much pressure to meet a reservation that you may have paid for. For our trip, we are planning on relying on first come first serve campsites, or camping more off the grid (which doesn't include as many of the resources that a campsite may have (for ex: restrooms, toilets, etc.)).
IT'S OKAY IF THINGS GO WRONG.
Before even leaving for our trip, our van engine needed to be rebuilt, and had to be in the shop for a month- which cost a lot of time for us, and a lot of money. We had to push our trip back a month, and leave in July instead of in June, which was not planned. We are leaving in a couple of days, and I have no doubt that things will never go as planned, but that's part of the fun, and the adventure.
HAVE FUN. DUH.
If you are planning on traveling for an extended amount of time, try to relax and let all the other things fall into place. This is something I am reminding myself, and as a naturally anxious person- sometimes this is difficult to do. But having fun, and challenging myself at the same time is the purpose for me, on this trip. And I have no doubt, it will be the time of my life.