During my months traveling, there are certain things to which I easily adjusted. And then there are others I'm still working on. So here are my top five things I've found to be extremely difficult and have yet to master while constantly on the road:
1. Banking & Maintenance of Finances: Even though I recently added some PNC Virtual Wallet to my life, I still just can't master how to keep up with things during my travels. Though the Virtual Wallet has been a huge help because I just schedule out bills to be paid and automatic portions directed to my savings accounts, I just can't seem to not be negligent in some way each month. It's never anything huge, but I'm always hitting myself in the forehead when due dates are coming up. I guess there are just too many bills *cough, student loans, cough*
2. Seeking Medical Attention: It's hard being away from doctors, dentists and other medical providers when on the road. Luckily Highmark has this nice feature where you can conduct an online search of doctors in any area of the country. I used that feature when seeking out a physical therapist, and I ended up with a really great professional. Though it turned out okay, it is still a little nuts squeezing in dentist, doctor, eye doctor and other appointments when home for a few days -- especially considering the availability of some doctors.
3. Car Maintenance: My car has been so wonderfully reliable since I got it in 2006, and even after all the mileage put on it recently, it's still chugging along. Until the other day when my check engine light came on for the first time I've ever noticed. In my hometown, my dad's friend always works on my car and -- this is so sad to say -- but I've never had to take my car to any other place (other than oil changes.) This job has definitely improved my resourcefulness, but I wouldn't know how to begin looking for a mechanic in a strange city. My dad and his mechanic friend have instilled in me a fear of being ripped off by mechanics who want to take advantage of my gender and lack of automobile knowledge. And let's not even get into inspection! I should have gotten it inspected in January because I have a two-day window of opportunity to get it inspected before it expires in March.
4. Catching up with Friends and Family: I often use travel time to talk on the phone, because it's so hard to communicate with friends and family when I'm on a chapter visit. Often times I will see a missed call or text I received in the late evening, but by the time I have an opportunity to respond, it is probably too late at night. Out of all the struggles on this list, it's definitely the one I have the best grasp on. Maybe it's because it's the one I prioritize most. Quality talk time > health > finances?
5. Haircuts: Now I don't even know where to get my hair cut! I used to always get my haircut in my hometown. Then in Erie. Now in... where, my car? The next town I visit? It will probably be May before my next haircut.
Until you're living this lifestyle, these are just some little things you don't really consider. I guess that's the life of a jet setter - er, this semester I guess I'm more of a Cavalier captain.