Monday, February 24, 2014

Wow, What a Ride

The Blog RV World is abuzz with discussion regarding a would be future RVer as he contemplates whether full time RV travel is the way to go.  I certainly can't judge anyone elses journey but it reminded me of my own wild ride this past year.  It was a year ago that I put my home up for sale.  It was a big decision and one I considered carefully before committing to a complete change in the way I lived my life.  One answer will not fit everyone.   Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer, rather it is a process of discovering what works for you.

I knew that I was seeking a simpler, debt free life, with fewer possessions, and a way of  meandering travel without 'vacation frenzy'.



I lived in a house that due to circumstances I could no longer support.  A major life change was necessary whether I pursued the opportunity to travel or not.  So I set about the work necessary to downsize my life and sell my home and most of my possessions. 

 

 

 It was a lot of work!  

The more I did, the more resolved I became.

For all of my life, I was an explorer.  I was (and still am) the hiker who had to see around the next bend and beyond the next hill.   I am the hiker everyone begged to turn around and return to camp while I longed to go farther.

I had long ago decided I would never again sleep on the ground.  Thus, Lolita, my little vintage trailer came to live with me long before I considered living full time on the road.  I traveled first with kids, then solo with other women with vintage trailers.   When traveling with others I discovered that I needed time on my own.  I wasn't always a group kind of person and I needed more alone time to recharge.

 

To Travel:  Full-Time,  Part-Time, Some-Time, Any-Time?

What ultimately will work for you?


I have little advise for someone contemplating this process.  I can only tell what I considered when looking at this change in my life.

        
About this time I discovered  Rv travel blogs.  For me,  I found a huge variety of blogs and books to be a source of information on the immense variety on the ways people travel.  I have been drawn to blogs that share with great honesty their daily lives, AND struggles and triumphs. 
  
Some people have wondered if bloggers gloss over the trials and focus only on the joy of RV travel.  I have not found that to be true in the blogs I read.  


Two blogs I first followed met with personal struggles that they shared with their readers.  The first, a serious motor vehicle accident and the second a serious medical emergency.   Certainly, not light reading for the would be traveler.   Yet, I was encouraged by their problem solving and courage in facing all that life brought them on their personal journey.   I will always be grateful for the honesty I have found in the blogs I choose to read.  


I wondered if I could travel on my limited means and I found blogs who were dealing with just that and living life with gusto.  The beginning of my dream crystallized.

Bloggers taught me that women CAN and DO travel solo.   I ventured out more on my own.  AND I LIKED IT.   I learned that people live in vans,  travel trailers, 5th wheels, motor homes - tiny to HUGE. That it is common for people to try out different sizes of living spaces AND change their minds.  So I explored more and more options about what might work for me.   I am not in my forever home but it is enough for now.  I also now that I don't need the best of what exists to be happy.  In fact for me now the best things in life have very little to do with things.

 

Indecision  Can Become Paralyzing  - Fear Overwhelming


 

Some blogs are great travelogues and I have found many places that I want to visit.  I have found through reading and trial and error how I like to travel.  I am not a every day a different destination traveler.  I like to stay a while and find the back roads and out of the way spots.   I have learned from others about the equipment that makes life easier on the road and what I need and don't need to make the journey work for me.

 

I have developed a network of other bloggers that provide a support system and source of information.  Some have become friends.  I depend on the wisdom and knowledge of others who travel the same path but I always filter the information through my filters of life experiences.  

 

I read blogs that are just starting out, others living life boldly on their terms others living to the end of their days on the road.  Some travel exclusively, other work along the way while others work from the comfort of their home on wheels.  I have found reading blogs to be very informative, inspiring and entertaining .  I don't always agree with all that is said, but I have learned something every day when I am open to listening to different points of views. 


 

In the end, simply reading about others lives was not enough. 

I have also learned by trying out new ways to travel and live my life.

 


When I find myself looking to others for answers, I often become more confused and overwhelmed.  As I looked inside for my own understanding, I found what I needed to make the decisions in my own life. 

  
  

I have discovered that I am not immune from dealing with life problems just because my house is on wheels.  After four months on the road family needs brought me back to my home town.  New priorities have kept me from the full time travel I planned for.  My heart still longs to travel.  I will travel at every opportunity.  Indeed, I will create those opportunities. 

 

I think about the future and Plan B  (or what happens when travel isn't a major focus in my life).    I sometimes wish I had resources to maintain a homebase and travel but I I will continue to plan  for that next chapter as I also listen to others as they make life choices for themselves.  I don't know completely where my path will lead by I know this......

  


Thanks to my teachers and blogger friends for sharing  your lives with me.  Thanks to my faithful readers for joining me this last year....  This last year has been quite a ride, full of twists and turns I could never have imagined.   All of this makes me more determined to  live life with gusto.....




~ Happy Trails ~

  






13 comments:

  1. What a great post. Sometimes it's good to write down what you have done and what you needed to change. I am confident you will one day make this full time life a reality.

    I did read another blog about this should I or shouldn't I. Makes you really think. Of course I know I never would full time. At least not to sell my house. Maybe I should right about it tonight.

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  2. It can certainly be confusing when one contemplates a major lifestyle change. It's good there are so many choice out there and you are certainly correct that one size does not fit all. Glad your choice is working out for you, even though it may not be exactly as you envisioned it - but then life never is, is it?

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  3. I loved your post today. After traveling for a couple of years (not full time) family matters also dictated that we stay home for 6 1/2 years. During that time I also developed a circle of blogger friends, and traveled through their eyes, gleaning information from their experiences. Now we are in the California Desert and have already met four of our blogger friends for the first time.

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  4. Great post...I have been reading your blog from the beginning
    I wondered what happened to your travels...I am sort of in the same boat
    as you ....family and all...but someday I will be on the road...
    donna

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  5. Gosh you are brave to be reading the whole darn thing..... I'm getting ready to travel through the Spring and Summer months. Utah is calling my name and I'll be heading out for adventures in April. I'm hoping to meet some bloggers during that time as well. My feet are definitely getting itchy feet.

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  6. Seems to me that you have to be open to change whether you're full-or any-timers. That and the importance of family doesn't change no matter where we are.

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  7. You are so right. At the end of the day I need to be able to look myself in the mirror and know I did the right thing. I'm heading out at every day possible!

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  8. Great post and I agree with so much of what you wrote. The blogs are a wealth of information and connections to others that share a love of travel.

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  9. Very thoughtful post. I love the quotes you put up with it. All saying the same thing..........you know what's right for you if you just listen and follow. So true that each path is different.

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  10. Thanks for your honesty and quotes that help remind me why we took this plunge too. While it hasn't gone as expected...loss of family, rig changes, and unexpected expenses, I remind myself, whether on the road or not we seek to just find strength to work through it and find happiness in what we want out of life. I wish the best for you...thanks for putting this out there!

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  11. Really interesting post, and much of it is exactly what I did in the beginning, and what I'm doing now. I learn a lot from other bloggers, and often ask my readers questions if I can't find the answers or I'm not sure what to do.

    I read that comment on Steve's post, too, and thought the writer was a little rude, a little sour grapes, and very judgmental. I read it through once and then dismissed it. The writer should certainly stop reading RV blogs. :)

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  12. Wonderful post...you are braver than me. I don't think I could ever give up a home base. But I thoroughly enjoy the road and it's many adventures. I too look forward to some quieter trips just for me. Some national parks are in my view as well.

    I love reading about your adventures. Keep sharing.

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