Before we set out for this adventure, the idea of fishing everyday was only a dream. Unimaginable. It’s gotta be the life! When we would tell people what we were gonna do, many would exclaim, “I wish I could fish everyday” or “do you know how many people would kill to do what you’re going to do?” Well, for us it really was a dream come true. We planned, built, and saved up for 7 weeks straight of fishing, driving and living in a van. Now we are about to set out and do it again to finish the last leg of 8 streams in the panhandle of Nebraska.
As much as it was a dream and we were “living the life”, I come to write today to explain how it wasn’t really my “ideal life”. We didn’t necessarily set out to do this in an attempt to make this our full-time living situation but it was more so an experiment of experiences to 1. fish and explore all the Nebraska trout streams and 2. see what this “van life” was all about – all the while taking photos and writing about it along the way – so going into this we didn’t think much of what would be ideal. However, as we play the waiting game for weather conditions to moderate, we have a better idea as to how we will live and take on this adventure second round through.
I love to go with the flow and dive into the unknown, however, I also really appreciate stability and having a game plan or generalized set schedule. And when you’re fishing everyday, you kind of have to just go with the weather or go where the fish are, if you can find them! Plus, our initial idea was to fish every damn day and fish as much as we can so we can report back and say we did it. This is actually a very demanding mission, even in a state where trout fishing is nearly entirely unknown. Especially for me as I wanted to see it all and be immersed in it all.
However, as winter approached, we made it a priority to crunch as much as we could in – even at the expense of our own personal values. For example, I like to stretch and move on a daily basis and I even go into mild anxiety and depression when I don’t get to rock climb for extended periods of time. It’s part meditation and part something that just helps my mind and body feel good. Well when the days are planned to fish as much as possible for two months, those things are tossed out the window, which sucked, because they are really important to me. On top of that, learning to maneuver life in a halfway finished van is a little stressful as well…
The thing is, my passions lie with health, wellness, and becoming my best self; mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I love to fish, but I don’t want to make it my vocation. I love it being a hobby. I need balance.
But somethings need to tried in order to know what you really want in life. You have to see what works and what doesn’t. You have to be willing to push yourself in directions to honestly figure out how you want life to be. For it’s our choice as to what we decide to do and it’s best to simply let go and experience it for what it is then reflect and learn.
This time around and as we finish up the second half, we won’t be rushed to fish. The days will be getting longer and the weather will be getting warmer. We now have a finished van and know that the balance is a priority we will set in place.