Our Favorites- Things and Food from our Traveling Sabbatical

While traveling on the road in an SUV and living in Airbnbs for 120 days we came up with our favorites list. Here are our Favorite things and the food we loved during the traveling sabbatical that we’re sharing with you.

Dark Chocolate

Yes, I had Dark chocolate many times in a week. Just a square or two, because it’s all in moderation.    I got to eat chocolate because I burned many calories hiking.  My faves are chocolates from Aldi and Trader Joes and my new one was Reese’s dark chocolate thin peanut butter cups you can get at Walmart.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoes

I started the trip with my Under-Armor river rock shoes.  These were great if I got them wet and they were breathable.  Not perfect for coming down the steep incline of a mountain.  

We found Salmon hiking shoes for half off at an outdoor store in Prescott, AZ.   They were a perfect fit as well as a great price, so we each bought a pair.   My hubby already had a pair of them and loved them.  They are perfect for climbing over rocks and helping you go down a hill.  The gription (traction) is the best.  I had no problems navigating difficult terrain with these on. My husband noticed I was faster at hiking with them on.   



We had coffee 5x per week.   We mostly made our own but found the best coffee in Albuquerque, New Mexico called Pinon Coffee. Their website is nmpinoncoffee.com and you can order it online.  I loved the Pinon Fudge coffee bean the best.   Many locals like the Pinion coffee and they have coffee shops all around Albuquerque.

For a treat, after hiking we would stop for lattes a few times a week.   Lattes gave me the energy to endure a long hike and my added calcium for the day.

My View
My View

Riding not Driving

Another favorite from my trip was riding and not driving.  My hubby drove 99.8% of the trip and I enjoyed being driven around.   I just don’t like to drive and I didn’t have to.  

Homemade Breakfast Cookies

I made sure I had oatmeal with us as well as mini chocolate chips.  If we had bananas that were getting brown, we made oatmeal breakfast cookies and ate them for breakfast or a snack.  We even made these for our Airbnb hosts.


Here is the Breakfast Cookie Recipe 

  • 1 cup quick oatmeal
  • 2 mashed bananas  (frozen and defrosted work too)    I have substituted ½ cup applesauce for 1 banana.
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips and optional to add 1-2 tbsp chopped nuts.

Mix in a bowl and place small tablespoons on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes around a dozen small cookies. I love these hot out of the oven or heated in the microwave for breakfast or a quick snack.

Trader Joes Light Kettle Corn

This is the best snack.  Portion control all the way.   One bag and it satisfies the sweet, salty, and crunchy cravings for snacking. We must have eaten two or three bags a week on this trip.  1 bag equals 120 Kcals and 4 grams of Fiber.  Eventually, we ran out, so sad.

Kettle Corn

Salad Kits

To eat healthily and get our veggies in our diet, we ate at least two salad kids a week.  Easy peasy, just open and mix and eat.   We loved the avocado dressing salad as well as the Southwest Salad.   So many good varieties out there that get you to eat your veggies.

I love that the salad kits include, cabbage, kale, carrots, and radishes in these salads.  They may be more expensive, but we had less waste and more convenience. We usually got 3-4 servings from one salad kit.


Tuna or Salmon Packets  

You know those tuna packets you see in the store for $1 and you don’t buy.  We did.  Those were my go-to foods when we ran out of sandwich fix-ins and couldn’t get to the store.   We’d eat the tuna with Triscuits or crackers for lunch along with some raw veggies, hummus, and an orange.  

My hubby loved the hickory-smoked ones an I liked the garlic herb flavor.   They need to redesign their bags to have a shallower opening so you don’t have to dig so deep with your spoon or fork.  


Cara Cara Oranges

An orange a day keeps the doctor away was my new saying.  Vitamin C is great for your immune system, especially with the virus going around. We bought a giant bag of these oranges from Costco on our trip and pounded down a bag in 2-3 weeks.  I still can eat an orange a day.  Somedays we shared an orange too. These are the best and so flavorful.


We are tea lovers.  We enjoyed fruit-flavored green tea every morning and we also enjoyed mint tea or ginger turmeric tea in the evenings.  We like tea in the evenings to add to our fluids for the day and it kept us from evening snacking.


Trident White Peppermint Gum

This gum’s flavor is strong and you can chew it awhile before the mint runs out.   I found this gum perfect to chew when I went in stores or out in public.  I have an allergy/sinus problem and every once in a while, my throat will itch which then triggers a cough. No- not now!  I solved it by chewing gum in public.


You are going to say hiking?  Okay, I liked it for multiple reasons.  The more I hiked the better I felt.   My lungs increased their capacity for air and the elevation helped too. My back and hips have never felt better.  No more Chiropractor.

I also was able to turn my leg fat into muscle.   The biggest perk was I was able to trim my body and lose a few pounds.  Technically I don’t know that because muscle weighs more than fat and I didn’t have a scale to weigh myself.   When I finally weighed, I lost five pounds but gained tons of muscle. Now in MN, it’s slowly coming back…yikes we’ve got to move!



Not too many books read since I spent most of my time hiking or writing. We did read our Bible app every day and read at least four chapters of scripture a day together.

I read Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson and loved the 40-day prayer challenge which I started and accomplished. I am still praying beyond 40 days because these prayers need to be answered. This is a book I would recommend to read every year.   We can never pray too much or circle the things we are praying for too many times.

Living Minimalistic

Finally, I did enjoy living minimalistic.   Just enough clothing to wear each week and just enough food to eat each week.  It taught me to live week by week and trust God. God took care of us and will take care of you.  See past blog on Trusting God.

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