When Things Don’t Go As Planned…(I messed up)

Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew because nobody looks attractive spitting it back out.”?  Well, that’s been me for the past few weeks.  I had a plan, it started to change, and rather than let it be what it was, I held onto it desperately.  That was a mistake…

“Easy does it” hasn’t ever been a part of my mantra.  But this time my desire to create the dream vacation and keep up with everything else collided in a less-than-desirable way.  I couldn’t let the whole situation just slide by without acknowledging it.  Then of course, because it involves the people I love most, I tend to be extra emotional about it all.

Luckily it wasn’t an epic failure, and nothing was ruined, just a very good reminder to set reasonable expectations.

And speaking of expectations…that is what has led us to the boat show.  We are itching to get a peek at a now 3-year-old HH50 Ocean Cruiser.  How has it held up?  What’s the wear and tear look like?  What problems or issues has the owner run into?  These are all things we’re eager to know.

I believe it’s the first Ocean Cruiser HH ever built and will be a much more realistic expectation of what our HH44 OC will resemble.  Because we didn’t go for the Sport Cruiser with the carbon mast and daggerboards.  So we shall see…





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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (36)

  • Henry & Eve Gaudreau

    Dear Nikki and Jason,
    We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your last video filmed in Florence. It had special meaning for us. My wife and I lived in a small village outside of Brindisi for three years. During that time, we visited Florence several times, and visited the same shops, walked the same steps and marveled at the same awesome art and culture. We also brought family, my mother and grandmother, to Florence. One evening we were walking across Ponte Veccico when they began to complain of sore, tired feet. Next to the gold smith that you visited at the center of the bridge is an open area with a bench. We told them to meet us there and we would be back in thirty minutes. When we returned, there they sat, my mother’s purse had been slit open and a pickpocket had given it a try, fortunately she had a lined purse and it became “just one of those stories”. We loved Florence, loved Italy and found it to be one of our most treasured adventures (having spent time in Korea, the Pacific and a smidge in Germany).
    You live a life that we attempted to live while having a career and a child. Now, a bit further down that path, we’re trying to follow in your wake. We bought a Catlina 380 last year and have begun exploring the Great Lakes, hoping to begin the Loop late this year or next. Your videos are valuable. They are not about sailing, they’re about living. They show travel and life and love as others don’t. We’re able to relate because you make it relatable.
    Don’t apologize for your video, don’t apologize for crying or being human. Celebrate that you may be the best video bloggers in the YouTube world. Thank you so much.
    Henry and Eve

  • Emm

    Land or sea, I enjoy adventuring with you two!

  • Joe

    Awww Nikki. You didn’t mess up – you’re living and sharing real life. Time heals all wounds. This one is merely a very minor emotional paper cut. It is nothing but it got to gnawing on you a bit. You are a high-achiever perfectionist with a fully stocked portfolio of creative genius and life skills. It is always engaging and inspiring to be a part of your adventures, challenges too. Just be you. You’ve both got all our shoulders anytime. Onward!

  • Pam McClure

    💖💐 to you.

  • Michael

    NIKKI, YOU DID WHAT?????? ……… Oh wait, is that all? Whew, you had me worried for a minute. I thought it was about a big mistake or something.

    You obviously did nothing wrong. So please don’t worry. You both are greatly loved by the Creator for being who you are. And we all love you too. Please don’t ever stop being such nice people.

  • John Alex

    Just wanted to make y’all smile. Thank you for the raw emotional video. Deep breath in / let it out / make a toast to the Good Lord above / smile / move on.

    Next time. til then…

  • Mary

    Nikki, great video. Truly. Others have been eloquent. I’ll just say be kind to yourself. And keep in mind a treasure I was introduced to last year: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” Such a balm for us over achievers.

  • Cindy

    We are all who we are: Type A, Type B, introverted, extroverted, positive, negative, travelers, home bodies, etc, etc, etc.

    The important thing is to recognize when it is not best serving you and make the (usually small) shifts in behavior.

    You two would not be where you are in life with all the adventures if you didn’t push. No public apology necessary, but does show your emotional intelligence, IMHO.

  • Christopher Uriegas

    I am a Texan (San Antonio) living in Serbia with my wife and daughter. If you find your way East drop me a line, we would love to host you guys. Enjoy!

  • Alan Solomon

    Wow Jason and Nikki. I considered that was a lot of international road travel you captured. With all the road signs, toll booths, roundabouts, GPS voices and foreign reality outside your van windows it is amazing you eventually managed to find your destination. I believe I could not have coordinated everything seemingly problem-free as you did. Also, I believe that was a lot to take on and a Congratulations is in order on your behalf for your patience, acceptance, humility and understanding driving to the Boat Show.
    It is a beautiful countryside, but I have to say I like the Tuscan colors and castles better.
    Nikki, thank you for your energy and explanation. I believe, looking back and recognizing to much is too much is where gratitude supersedes any negativity or mistakes. You don’t have to apologize.
    Happy and Joyous, Best Regards and looking forward to your next video.

  • Ellis

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! We love your videos. Always interesting and honest. A little schedule diversion is perfectly fine.

  • Kim Biddick

    Everyone needs a break! I actually did watch your Florence video, and it was great, but you need to ease up on yourself (and probably Jason as well) . As many others have said, we initially started watching you as RVrs back in the day, and actually camped in EXACTY the same spot in BC on the Racing River ( I have pictures, although we got no double rainbows) as you did based on your coordinates on our own Alaska adventure. We did sail our own monohull sailboat for awhile, although like several posts we have seen, I get massively seasick, so that turned out not to be our thing. We still own the RV and have taken many trips (last one 5 months) and your videos always give us inspiration. Please just post when you can, and know that we all appreciate your efforts!

  • Tev

    Hope it made you feel better to unload all of that stress and hope you now understand your limitations. You got to see family for a few weeks and that’s what’s most important. Don’t feel bad about taking a break. We all need to do that and we all need to know we can’t do it all. Especially us women. We are made that way because we do indeed handle ALOT. So relax, move on and enjoy the next few months. Your boat is just around the corner of being finished. Woo hoo. We look forward to your next adventures and I for one have enjoyed this last year and I love seeing you in an RV again. Every video you put out is a winner no matter what the content is so stop beating yourself up! Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter. Looking forward to next week.

  • Clay Rushing

    Hi Nikki and Jason. I love following your adventures and have been watching a long time. I wanted to let you know that your last two videos (Florence and the one before it) are not showing up on your “sailing” home page, which is probably why people (like me) are not finding them to watch. That’s the page I look at to find your latest videos.

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Clay,
      The vids are being tagged as “RV’in” videos and are showing up there because the content is primarily land travel. If you go to the main page of the blog, the newest vid will pop up there, regardless of what category it’s in! And thanks for being a part of the crew!
      Curious Minion

  • Mike Wodzinski

    Why are you both knocking yourselves out? It might be good to bank some “short takes” to use when something unexpected happens or you just get overwhelmed. For example, something like “Trip Planning Pro and Cons”. You could use some video clips from previous episodes like when you got a flat tire in Alaska or when you had to divert on your boat due to weather. You could pop out one of the Short Takes (10-15 minutes) when life interferes with your production of your Travel Log videos. My father was a professor and he used to plan big trips. He would get very upset when things did not go as planned. It used to drive my Mother and us kids batty. Later in life my father slowed down and the trips were much more enjoyable. No more “Family Vacation” Grand Canyon moments.

    I used to travel to Europe early in my career and I discovered that detailed plans were a waste of time. I found that I became frustrated when things didn’t happen like I planned. A friend told me that to truly enjoy traveling, enjoyment is about 90% attitude. If you have a good attitude and be determined to take time to enjoy the surroundings, your chances of having a good experience increases significantly.

    It might also be interesting to identify the differences in European RVing vs US RVing (e.g., 220V power, cassette toilets, smaller RVs). I was always surprised by the lack of parking and that in Europe driving a smaller vehicle is always better than a large one. I used to watch Americans griping that things in Europe were not like the US. I use to tell them to take some time to talk to the people and listen to their perspective. The so called “ugly Americans” might learn something from other cultures.

    You have created a great community. We understand when the unexpected happens. I think you’ll find that if you keep a couple of “Short Takes” in the can, your anxiety will decrease and your will better enjoy life’s adventure. I really enjoy your videos. Take some time to enjoy life. Often the unexpected makes traveling the most interesting and most memorable.

  • Jess

    You two are one of the big reasons we started RV life when the pandemic hit; why not, let’s go! – We sort of bit off a bit much ourselves, especially with scheduling. Three years later and we’re still biting off more than we can chew, but our scheduling has improved.

    Vacations that don’t go as planned are always the ones you remember more vividly. Exploration and adventure by their very nature/definition are unpredictable – just go with the flow. You two can miss a week here and there with all the years you’ve put in; life happens, and it’s fantastic you took the time to put down the camera and be in the moment.

    We’re having our own chaos on our side of the world right now as well, so I FEEL THIS VIDEO. I even started crying along with you – because – ALL the FEELS!

    Sending you the good juju. Hang in there; we’ll all still be here. 💜

  • Shirley Gautreau

    No need for apologies. You both do a wonderful job every week with your videos and I know they take a lot of work to put together. You are entitled to a holiday and if you take a few weeks off every now and then, that is okay. Life is too short to not be able to relax and rejuvenate so don’t worry. We will look forward to next week and I am glad you had time to spend with your family.

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    Never apologize for needing a break. You two are such hard workers, I can bet that in your head, all of the filming, editing, and posting would be super easy along with family time. It is always more important to spend more time with your kin; they belong only to you and once they are gone… is a long time between hello’s. I personally loved the goldsmithing video. Once you are back on the boat, maybe your aunt and uncle will take a small cruise with you. They certainly seem like wonderful, interesting folks.

  • David E

    Jesus loves you. God is good, Life is amazing. We enjoy what you bring here, Thanks

    • Michael

      And a hearty “Hear, Hear” to that.

  • Craig D

    Good advice, achieve a work life balance which must be extra hard for your profession.

  • Lisa Cantrell

    #1 and most important, Jason is right, we love you. You are the breath of fresh air no matter what is happening on Sunday and no matter what your video is. You give insight and understanding to everything. =(Jason, you too)
    #2 I LOVED the Florence video because although I have lived overseas in several countries and have been to Europe countless times I had not been to Italy until 2021 when my husband and I went. It was a whirlwind trip which served to inform me that I love Italy and its people and that I need to go back for longer. The interview with the goldsmith was fascinating and delightful. I will watch it 100 more times if that boosts it. I started out watching you guys in 2014 because we were buying an RV and going FT but your videos are so wonderful that I just continued because you guys are so fun.
    #3 As one who also spends a lot of time chewing all that I’ve bitten off and thinking…I mustn’t do this…I hope you have better success than I have in my 72 years. But, rest assured that if you choose to take a week or 3 off I will certainly not complain.
    #4 Thank you thank you thank you for always being honest with us, for showing us your vulnerabilities but be aware that the motivation behind what you do-sharing your lives, teaching us all about the world, how to care for it, what there is to learn about so many things and places far out balances the few “slip ups” you may make.
    The best to both of you!! Have fun.

  • Annie

    This was my favorite video of yours ever! And I liked the video last week. I will say I was hoping for a little more info on how it was for your aunt and uncle to be vacationing in that way. As a older person myself I can’t imagine how hard it would be to stay in a van for several weeks. Sleeping less well at night and more frequent bathroom visits make that very unappealing for me. I was wondering how they felt.

    One of the reasons I don’t love “trips of a lifetime” is that it puts too much pressure on one event.

    You certainly don’t need to apologize to any viewers. But I will say just giving notice of breaks you want to take is nice for viewers.

    Finally, since family bus clearly so important to you maybe it does need to move to the very tip top of your non -boating priorities list. Make the time and give up something else that seems cool but maybe less important so that you don’t ever regret it.

  • Andrea Lawson

    First of all loved your Florence video! I’ve heard it said that when we make plans God laughs! It’s so disheartening to have taken the time to make plans and then, due to whatever, our plans go awry. And we’ve had some doozies! I think as humans it’s natural to want to beat ourselves up. In the 7 years that we’ve been full time RVing (I might add thanks to finding your posts) we’ve come up with two mantras. The first is ” It’s all part of the adventure!” And the second one is “If that’s the worst thing that happens today it’s going to be a great day!” We feel as long as no one is bleeding or dead it’s been a good day.

    Your message was heartfelt and real. We’ve all been in your shoes. Sometimes our plans always look great on paper but not so great in real life. Especially when we’re trying to do something nice for other people.

    Our plan this year was to both work for 6 months to make some money and then get back to traveling. Our reality is we’ve been sidelined since mid February with health issues. First my husband, who is back on his feet, and now myself. While I may not be able to return to work we will just regroup and carry on. Instead of 6 months it will take us longer to reach our goal. But the good news is we are together and life goes on.

    Carry on dear Nikki! Your videos are the highlight of my Sunday!

  • Julie Robertson

    Just like John S. ^^^ stated earlier, we’ve been watching your videos for years! Went we were going to become full time RVers, you became our number one resource.
    When you jump over to the boating lifestyle we kept watching, because we love your style and because I live vicariously through your videos. My husband gets VERY motion sick 🤢, so I don’t ever see us joining the boat community 😔.
    Honestly, that Florence video was the video that made me decide to finally join your Paetron community! It made me realize how important your message and videos are to me. That being said, you absolutely deserve to enjoy your life privately and have time off from performing.
    Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

  • Chris

    Great traveling vicariously thru your blogs these last 2 years… keep it up… And as my dad used to say “Make haste slowly”.

  • Jan

    I’ve watched you weekly for many years and look forward to catching up with you to hear about your adventures as I relax on my couch. I feel like you are part of my family. Nikki, there is no need for apologies; we have all taken on too much at times. Forgive yourself. I hope the boat show was interesting and had fascinating things for your new boat. I look forward to many more Sunday mornings with you.

  • Doreen

    Like they say, you can do it all, you just can’t do it all at once. Such a hard lesson we all have to keep relearning! We love your adventures no matter where you go or what you are doing. Your willingness to share your thoughts as well as the glorious video is a big part of what keeps me tuned in—like we are part of the tribe!

  • Vernon Hauser

    You two are awesome and you sure don’t need to beat yourself up for needing or wanting time off. I can’t speak for anyone else but be sure that most of us will be here when you do post. Just keep smiling and know your appreciated for what you do.

  • John S.

    I started to watch GWTW videos when you were bounding around in your Bounder and continued to watch when you went to the wet side. Like so many it’s because at first I wanted to learn more about the RV lifestyle (now an owner) and then I kept watching because you were sailing places I’ve only flown to. (And I was already watching sailing vessels La Vagabond and SV Delos).

    But the one video you made that touched my heart the most was the one when you visited your home town and took us along. Looking at your High School grad photo and knowing that in a few short years after that photo you were married, had adopted your younger sister, had a successful career going and were about to hit the road for an RV adventure, well, it made me pause.

    None of us knows our future. We can make plans and we can do a lot to point in the direction we want to go, but there are always other factors that really control everything. Always. Ask anybody who travels anywhere. (My career was travelling so this I know.)

    What you talked about in the last two minutes of today’s video is amazing. You describe, with your tears, just how hard it is when you make plans for a perfect holiday and ‘other factors’ blow you off course as it were. Family obviously means a LOT to you and for that you are fortunate. That you treated your Aunt & Uncle to a ‘trip of a lifetime’ will be something that they will always share with you in their hearts and memories. And those memories will make your visits ‘home’ all the better for all of you in the future.

    You and Jason are wonderful people. But, yes, a little stupid for thinking you could do everything, all at one, on a holiday, with family. (What were you thinking?!?)

    • John S.

      I typed ‘silly’ but it changed to ‘stupid’. Sorry, did not mean to insult. 😉

  • terry klassen

    thank you for sharing and i loved the florence video as we are watching Medici on your recommendation so it has added to our viewing experience.

  • Bernard

    You guys, tranquilo, as we say in Spain. Take it easy, you are the best!! Cheers, Bernard

  • Mary Van

    It is stressful enough putting out a good video every week. Throw in 1 person or 2 families and the stress of getting it all done is overwhelming! I think most of us feel this too when we have to continue to work when family and friends are visiting.

    The great thing is that you had time together and made some beautiful memories! It was a trip of a lifetime for all of you.

  • Buck

    Everyone needs a vacation, including you. We would miss the weekly updates but understand that you’re taking time for yourselves.


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