Since we started this crazy adventure with the Phaeton our lives have been so focused on learning all we could about how this thing works, fixing what was not working, making improvements, and traveling as much as we could. During the last 9 months – yeah, it’s been 9 months! – we have realized there is a tempo to this lifestyle… A different drumbeat we thought would be easily accommodated. 

Boy, were we in for a surprise!

Almost EVERY time we thought we were about to merge and easily flow within this new lifestyle something else popped up that became a complete distraction. The awning being crashed off in Laughlin (stressful, but not too bad), the Phaeton’s engine dying while going down a tall hill in Omaha during rush hour (hugely stressful), the subsequent issues from that bad repair (more stress) leading to needing a huge repair in Elko Nevada (big financial stress), and the ultimately horrible situation when I had to visit and revisit the ER because I couldn’t urinate due to a sudden flare-up of a prostate issue caused by all of, you guessed it, the stress

This was the apogee of stressfulness that nearly broke me…

Of course, if you were following before we ever moved into the Phaeton you already know how I tried to plan our ability to adequately connect to the internet. What we do depends on this! That expensive great looking box last November was worthless… After a couple of new boxes over 5 months, we resolved those issues and eventually ended up with a crazy powerful system! But, during several months it meant no shows and pretty weak communications between you and us. The internet connectivity issues were constant stress for me. Kathy and I are deeply committed to keeping our promises and commitments to you. Knowing we were failing our community was hard to bear.

You folks who have been here a while knew what we were going through and stayed committed to being our patrons. Kathy and I are both so grateful for that! Thank you for believing in us! It’s because of you who stuck with us we are still inspired to charge forward with our lofty plans and big ideas.

So, with that in mind…
Today, Kathy & I poured over everything involved with our Patreon account. The goal was to see what we needed to flesh out, clarify, and improve on. Because we’re no longer living in a house, some of the concepts we started with no longer apply completely. There was an item that should have been moved to the $2 tier long ago. It’s there now. Sadly, we also realized there was a lot of stuff we just flat didn’t do because we were so distracted and mentally fatigued.

We’re about to change all that…
First off, each tier has been rewritten for clarity. Take another look at the tiers and you’ll see what we did today.

Next, we have a sheet pinned to the wall with your names and patronage level. On this sheet we can, at a glance, keep track of each thing we have promised you; phone calls from wherever we are, photo’s sent to you, postcards, and all else we promised.

Several of the perks have been improved and expanded! 

For example…

Every month ALL supporters at or above the $10 level will receive a special postcard from us as we travel. That’s well over 100 postcards! I’m going to use our printer to print the addresses. Writing out each address by hand gives us cramps : (

Every month ALL supporters at or above the $25 level will also receive a personal phone call from Kathy & me, and a photo taken during that call that we’ll send out electronically. The calls are not scheduled, so if we miss you we’ll leave a recorded message : ) Be sure to include your preferred phone number on your Patreon profile.

We also have ideas for merchandise
This next week we’ll start a process where we will design T-shirts, tote bags, caps, and koozies (for your beverages!). We’re also planning a 2020 wall calendar with photos taken from 22+ years of exploration and travel.

Additionally, we’re about to promote our Patreon site with a special offer to you folks, and to new members! It’s called The Mystery Box. These will be offered at specific tiers, as we see it now; $15, $25, and $100. This is a limited offer until March 1st. Here’s how it works…

What’s in a Mystery Box???
Can’t tell you. It’s a mystery after all, haha : ))

New Patrons
Those who join on or after December 1st at $15 or higher will automatically receive an appropriate size mystery box (size is related to the pledge) after they have been a supporter for 2 Patreon billing cycles. 

For example, if you joined December 1st, 2019, your mystery box will be sent out after February 1st, 2020.

Mystery boxes come in three sizes, each associated with a support tier!
•  $15 = small
•  $25 = Medium
•  $100 = LARGE

For Current Members
First of all… Be SURE your correct name and address is on your Patreon profile. We cannot send you something if your address isn’t there : /

If any of you increase your pledge from any lower tier to any higher tier of $15 or more (we start sending out mystery boxes beginning at the $15 tier) you’ll receive one of three mystery boxes right away – you don’t wait 2 months! The greater your pledge, the bigger your box!

For example, you increase your pledge from $2, $5, or $10 to $15, you receive a small mystery box. Go to $25 or $100 you get a BIGGER box… It’s just that simple! 

If you’re already at $15 or higher and increase your pledge you’ll receive a Medium or LARGE mystery box. 

If you’re already at the $100 level you will automatically receive a large mystery box soon!

Any questions? Please ask!

Finally, as our way to thank each of you who have been with us from the beginning (or through the last year), we have something cooking in our brains… We’ll let you know more about this soon. I have more work to do before I announce this one : ) Just know, we mean it when we say how grateful we are for your support and how much we treasure you folks!

Ok, that’s all for now. I’ll announce this through our public Facebook page and through The Xpeditons Newsletter before next week. Before that happens, we wanted you to know first!

Have a great weekend, everyone! More later!

Jerry & Kathy Wills : )