Originally Posted by Melanie B in NC
Norm and Ginny - you two are our role models (that really puts the pressure on you, right?). I finally got my DH to try the plank and he lasted 30 seconds, but was really quivering at the end - he was surprised how hard it is. Do you travel with a pet of any kind? We have a little dog who goes with us (too small for a kennel). This limits somewhat where we go and what we can do - at least the time spent doing it. He can be left in our Snoozy while we go off, but I don't like to leave him for hours at a time or get too far away (like miles and miles). Anyway, he likes to walk also, and I enjoy taking him on our walks (as long as we are not meeting many other dogs - he does not play well with others). We can take him on some trails, but not others. He is a joy for me even if he does complicate touring around. Do you travel all the time? Do you have a home base? In some ways, I would love to be free to just go all the time. In other ways, I am drawn to staying home with my garden and my little Charlie. DH seems pretty content to do either - he seems to think "if Mama is happy, he is happy."
Melanie... answers to your questions.
I've stated before, we have the no pet rule. "No pets, more petting". I hope that's not too crass and I do understand that a pet can be more than a pet. In a measure we feel our lifestyle would be unfair to a pet.
As to role model pressure, I feel little pressure in our new life, definitely as compared to our old. I feel so happy I almost don't know how to explain it. When away it's just us, my job is to 'date' Ginny and her's to date me. I'm not kidding when I say we almost have a high school relationship. I really am a kid, hence the love of the new, the love of exploration.
When we started our RVing my thought that it would be a change of life, an opportunity to chart a new path. We separated ourselves in a measure from our past. Our neighbor rents his house to vacationers. This weeks renter said to Ginny, did that used to be a flower bed? For a fact I was into flowers, we had two curvy 25 foot beds. When we got home from Newfoundland the beds were 25 feet of weeds and grass at least a foot high.
I spoke of our short hikes, usually 2-4 miles. Newfoundland for example has at least one formal trail in every town and usually more. Usually, particularly the time of the year we travel, there's few people on the trail, a dog would certainly enjoy our hikes. We're not vigorous hikers but we get there looking for the unusual along the way. (I'm always looking for different stones to add to my multicolored walk way of stones.)
As well we're geocachers and will every now and then go looking for a cache, a little like hide and seek. I still love flowers but they are no longer part of our life as growers. We have consciously moved onto a new phase of life. Life is short, doing different things is like having more lives.
I have nothing against short term camping but to develop the freedom we seem to have, one needs to get away, to separate from the old everyday, truly get away. The mistake of our life style has been not selling our house.
When our boys went to college we moved from the big house to our summer cottage at the beach in NH, a change of life in itself. Living in NH is really nice, no sales tax, no state income tax, the safest state in the nation. Since we've started RVing we're here for about 4-5 months a year usually summer into fall
. There have been years when we've only been here 6 weeks. We should have sold it and may yet sell it. To be honest, I'm ready to go after a month or so, Ginny needs more relative time than me.
We average 7.5 months a year on the road. Every other year we make a loop of the USA/Canada. The other years we usually stay in FL. We reserve the spring for Newfoundland or Alaska or some place we can't go in the winter.
Our home base is in Hampton Beach. When home we do get visitors, not to mention that 2 of Ginny's sisters live within walking distance plus a slew of nieces and nephews in the area, most moved here after we did. We used to be active in the area when we first moved here however our road travels has caused us to lose touch with many of our old friends. On the other hand we have made many new friends over a wider area, through out the USA and Canada.
Ginny does understand me. I need stimulation, stimulation of the new, of the unknown. Her return is my happiness and the information I share with her. She learns from the adventure. We seriously seek to grow as we travel, but not at a forced pace. We just collected the 8 books we bought on our Newfie trip, no tough reads but all stimulating. We each read them and now have a common base of Newfoundland stories and lore, material for chit chat.
We're having a surprise party for a relative next month. Ginny's looking for pictures for the party. She just said, "Boy we've lost a lot of weight". We have. RVing's been both physically and mentally good for us.
Always happy to share. Ginny always tells me that our life is not for everybody or maybe anybody but it's what we happily do. Simply a very happy road life is possible.
Life is a choice. You are as free as you chose.