written Wednesday, December 31, 2008
New Years Eve
Tonight marks more than the turning of the calendar to a new year -- it's also the completion of 18 months of fulltiming in an RV for Dar and me. Wow, a full year and a half! It certainly doesn't feel that way.
When we started in July of '07 each of us had different thoughts about how long we could do this. Dar thought the minimum was five years and it'd probably be much longer. I was thinking, oh, maybe two years and, if things went well, maybe a year or two more. But after a year and a half it really feels like we're just beginning. We've made the big adjustments... being away from family for long periods; living in 300 square feet and without the clutter of so much landfill-destined stuff; having 50 different campsites during a year. I'm now more in synch with Dar on this question. We'll see how long the money holds out.
During 2008 our thoughts changed from "we're on vacation mode" to "this is our normal living mode". It doesn't feel at all strange to wake up in the morning, a little groggy, trying to figure out where we are. We know we'll stop traveling at some point but we don't pine for a traditional house -- not yet anyway. We're in the groove. This is what we have right now and we're enjoying it too much to think about alternatives. We're experiencing a real sense of freedom that's very addictive... if you let it be so.
There are so many things to see in the USA it's impossible to see them all. Our preference from the beginning was to focus on rural and small town America and minimize exposure to the big cities. I've found the feel of one big city is pretty much like the rest thanks to homogenous institutions like Outlet Malls, Starbucks, Network TV, and WalMart. In our explorations we prefer natural wonders and history. We prefer staying in wooded well separated campsites instead of RV Parks. You might say we want to experience the old, more locally focused, America.
One of my goals when we started was to find that place we'd like to live once our vagabond days are over. Looking back that goal was probably driven more by the weather than anything else. Foolish me. I've come to realize, over the past year and a half, that there isn't a single perfect place; that there are compromises everywhere especially when it comes to weather. I've also come to realize that in a lot of ways, like Dorothy said, there's no place like home. People... friends and family... are much more important than the weather. Well, what d'ya know, it took this guy 57 years to figure that out?? Just call me a slow learner.