Tumbling Forward

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So it’s been nearly a year on the road for us. We’ve traveled our beloved home state of Pennsylvania, barreled through the South, and spent a ton of time in Austin and the Southwest. As nearly every RVer’s blog will assure you, the lifestyle is a good one. I haven’t read many accounts of people who’ve started out with the idea of going on a yearlong trip and then actually stuck to that — almost everyone seems to tack on the inevitable indefinite extension to their voyage. I very much agree, and particularly find living in an RV to suit me. I’ve always wanted to live in a small space, just big enough to hold my dearest possessions while eliminating the inexorable accumulation of extra stuff. And I can’t say enough about the joys and virtues of being able to pack up and head out whenever the mood strikes. Life can become routine, and routine can all too easily become taking-for-granted. With our finite number of minutes on this Earth, I hate to take any of them for granted.

On the other hand, lacking steady connections outside of our immediate family is at times daunting. While I enjoy finding the local watering hole in a town and seeing who I can meet and shoot the breeze with, having a close friend to call up and meet for beers or coffee without having to go through the effort of meeting someone new is a valuable piece of lifestyle and anyone without it might do themselves well to attempt the enterprise sometime soon. And while my unquenchable desire for socializing is one reason I am entertaining the idea, quite seriously, of settling down again, I have to say that our RV — who has been lovingly dubbed the Dutchess as of late, due to her peculiar temperament — is a major source of stress. As a standstill abode it suffices, a leaky roof notwithstanding. However, as a means of transportation — particularly through these western Rocky Mountains, the most beautiful and desirable states of travel — she is less than a willing participant at times, prone to breakdowns, frequent overheating and spontaneous combustion. We picked her up cheap, and like a cheap date, while she’ll come home with you at the end of the night, don’t expect her to stick around for the long haul.

I thought it might be valuable to someone to read this, as from most accounts of the RV lifestyle, you’d think that giving up your home and community in favor of travel was the equivalent of an ice cream cone made of pudding and fudge that made you lose weight and somehow got you inebriated as well. It’s grand, for sure, but there are gives and takes as well.

Over this next year I expect this site to take less of a focus on “the RV lifestyle” and more of a shine towards travel in general. There are some big, tentative plans on the horizon as well as some very real ones currently in bloom. By the time this post is published, barring any tragic plane crashes or Hadron Collider mishaps, we’ll be sipping up the summer sun on the shores of South Carolina. We’ll be spending June couchsurfing in Pittsburgh with friends and family. It looks like some old high school buddies of mine will be going on one of those iconic roadtrips across the country, 30-something men acting like teenagers, no doubt, as those of them still in Pennsylvania and myself head west to meet up with those of them who’ve moved to Lake Tahoe and Portland, Oregon. The Grand Canyon, Big Bend, the Sequoia National Forest, they’ve all been waiting so patiently for our arrival I hate to keep them questioning our fortitude much longer.

There are also rumors of European backpacking trips and hiking the Appalachian Trail, a new Stella on the horizon and who knows what other adventures.

We’ll still be living in the RV, we just might find other means of travel. Or maybe we’ll give the whole thing up and move to Nebraska to start a corn husking business. There, I’ve done it, I’ve finally used “corn husking” in a sentence.