Kate and I have some pretty extreme political views. We believe people should have food, shelter, healthcare, education, fair compensation for their labor, clean air and water; and should not be judged by their color, creed, gender, or who they love. A leftist hellscape, I know.

It’s been a rough couple of years for people who think like us. Now, we have been very privileged and the day-to-day impact on our lives has been minimal, especially when compared to others. The most consistent negative force, at least for me personally, was the news. I’ve learned that my desire to know and understand can lead to obsession, especially when important things don’t make sense. Now I still believe in the pursuit of knowledge, but I began treating myself as a phone addict in recovery. I’ve managed to be much more mindful about my use of social media and the news. A major thing I was looking forward to on this trip was uncoupling from screens even further and getting off the grid. Out in the wilderness with no service, awe at nature’s grandeur replaces anxiety about the ramifications of the latest tweet. But there’s a wrinkle in our escape plan.

Complaining about how the government shutdown is impacting the planning of our grand adventure while people are out there wondering how they’re going to make rent and feed their families feels ludicrous and more than a little selfish. I know we are lucky and am grateful that these are the problems we face right now considering the alternatives. But it’s still a problem, and it’s introduced a lot of uncertainty in us.

We are getting a little stir crazy on Hilton Head and are itching to launch the next phase of our adventure, but we don’t know what we’re going to find out there. Such is the nature of adventure. We could have spent our honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort, or been part of a group with a prescribed itinerary, but we opted to make our own way. We prepared for the challenges nature might throw at us, and now we have to contend with the government as well. It’s not going to stop us.

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