March 16, 2022

Damon's Solo Trip To Houston In Baby Malanah

Damon does a solo trip in Baby Malanah to Houston to overcome the fear of traveling alone.

Damon's Solo Trip To Houston In Baby Malanah

Since my trip to El Salvador last year I've been afraid to go on a trip alone. Tiffany's death caused me to become very sensitive to feeling trauma from events that would normally be no big deal. This is a normal consequence of your spouse dying. And El Salvador while wonderful was also challenging because it triggered trauma and made me scared to venture out alone.

Mitzi was heading to St. Louis for Benson's one year old pictures before heading to Houston where we would meet up for the Lifestyles Expo 2022.

I decided that instead of flying to Houston I would drive the Baby Malanah and rendezvous with her there. Then we could drive home together. It sounded like a fun four days. On the surface it seems like it would be no big deal. After all I had travelled around alone a ton in my old motorhome after Tiffany died.

The El Salvador trip was partially responsible for causing me to feel severe anxiety for several months and I've been afraid that if I travel alone it would come back.

So I waffled on the decision to drive. I was too scared to do it. Too scared I would fail. Too scared it would trigger anxiety again. I wasn't feeling confident. I wasn't believing in myself.

Mitzi encouraged me to do it and she believed in me. That helped and I followed through on my desire to drive out alone.

I'm really glad I did! Huge success! I'm feeling way more confident and glad I "got back on the saddle after getting bucked off the horse."

The first day I drove a couple hours then stayed overnight at a Harvest Hosts location, Grover T's BBQ in Milton, FL.

The next day I was feeling more confident and drove on for a couple more hours through Alabama...

then Mississippi...

and into Louisiana...

where I stayed overnight in a Walmart parking lot in Slidell.

Mitzi was having a blast in St. Louis with Benson's pictures. After the photo shoot they gave Benson a chocolate covered ice cream bar and she sent me a picture of him loving it. You know the power of suggestion. I marched right into Walmart and got one for myself! Well, actually a box of six :)

The next day I stopped at a Camping World to purchase a new shower head. The one that came with Baby Malanah had broken. This wasn't a perfect match but it will do the job until we get the original part.

As I was driving toward Texas I saw this little town in Scott, Louisiana that has multiple Boudin and Cracklins stores. I'd never had Boudin before. It's a traditional Louisiana food and high time I tried it!

Delicious! Crunchy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside with amazing cajun flavors that tingle the mouth.

Driving on I went through the Atchafalaya national heritage area. I like saying that name. Say it with me ... Atchafalaya :)

Made it to Texas!

I stayed my last night of the drive in an RV park just inside the Texas border.

If you've never been to Texas you might not know about Buc-ee's. The gas station that made a name for itself for amazing restrooms of all things. Now they have these HUGE gas stations that are landmarks along the main highways. It's fun to go there and I almost always stop to get food.

I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the pulled pork sandwich, but alas I did not.

Walking into Buc-ee's I snapped a quick selfie.

After Buc-ee's I drove over to the Hobby Airport in Houston and picked up Mitzi, Sydney, Logan, and Benson ready to enjoy the Expo in Houston. Emily and Nechemia were coming to and I was excited to see them as well!

This little trip boosted my confidence A LOT! It's such a sad thing being broken down. But it happens and I'm grateful to Mitzi for helping me have the courage to step out to build myself up again.

It was a fun, relaxing, and strengthening four days.