On A Home Base
After almost 5 years of living in our 300 sq. ft. motorhome we're talking more and more about establishing a home base somewhere.
There's an old saying that we've commandeered that goes something like this: The warm peaceful feeling that accompanies going home is exceeded only by the great anticipation and freedom that accompanies leaving home. In other words, there's nothing like the feeling of coming home... unless it's the feeling of leaving again. For us, we enjoy "coming home", whether it's an extended stay in an RV park near our kids in Washington, parking on our RV pad while visiting the rest of our family in Wisconsin, or an extended Winter refuge down south. There's really something special about coming home that we look forward to... time to work on the bigger projects... a R&R break from traveling... more time to spend with the same people... perhaps put down some shallow roots... get into a mindless routine... a change. But, for true nomads, that "coming home" feeling starts to ebb after a while (hitch-itch?). For us, after a month or so, the feeling that it's time to hit the road again... to leave... overpowers the good feeling of coming home, being home. But we've learned to savor them both.
Someone said to me recently that, and I'm paraphrasing here, there's an excitement and anticipation that accompanies planning and executing a shorter trip... say a few weeks or a month or two... that isn't present when living as fulltime nomads and all your trips flow together in one long series. I hadn't thought about it that way before, but there's something in there that rings true with me.
Having established that we're really living two lifestyles (being "home", sitting in one place for an extended time versus traveling, exploring), and that the bus-house is really too big for exploring in a nimble efficient linear manner, having a home-base would provide some of the benefits of a fixed home (more space for living, storage, workshop, etc) while making it possible to downsize the RV to one more efficient, nimble, and appropriate for our preferred linear exploration mode. In other words, if done right, we'd get some of the bests of both worlds.
Having a home base also provides other benefits. It's a place, a retreat, a refuge, that you can always go to if necessary. If things go wacky or crazy, if illness strikes, if an accident puts your RV out of commission, you can retreat to your home base and regroup. Most fulltime RVers carry this burden with them as they go about their tenuous lives... bravely going forward, being out there, exploring and living... but always carrying the burden of a riskier lifestyle and the "what ifs" of unforeseen situations. A home base helps minimize that burden.
If we ultimately decide to establish this home base, it will NOT be a hunk of real estate in a traditional subdivision or a condominium. No, an important element of our ideal home base is that it be virtually maintenance free, worry free, and in an RV oriented community - don't want to worry about mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, shoveling the snow, and what the neighbors are saying about the RV parked in the driveway. And being around like-minded people living similar lifestyles provide, in our experience, an enjoyable tight-knit community that watches out for one another.
At this point we're still talking and pondering the issue. We've taken no action beyond getting on the waiting list for membership in a number of SKP Coop Parks in the south and northwest. Being within an easy days drive of our kids and grandkids is one of the criteria we're considering, but also being a little further south and somewhat warmer is another. Being close to a good airport and good medical facilities are important too.
Timing? We're not rushing into anything. These thoughts are in the realm of short to medium term planning. Perhaps we'll make a move toward a home base in the next year or two.
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