Learning from Our Travels

The very concept of an Life Unscripted is predicated upon learning from one’s mistakes and experiences and not making them again. For whatever reason the process of beginning to think about life after the Forest brought back another reality.  I fear I have forgotten how to plan a voyage by RV.  And that, now driving a 40 foot coach instead of our short little 32 footer

“All travel has its advantages.
If the passenger visits better countries,
he may learn to improve his own.
And if fortune carries him to worse,
he may learn to enjoy it.”
– Samuel Johnson

I pretty much view any travel quotation about countries as equally applicable to the RV lifestyle.  And it’s the Improve or Learn dichotomy that appeals to me a lot!  Wherever we go we get the chance to do one or the other.


everyone has their own way of trip planning… some more complicated than others

Please don’t ask me which of the two our experience here on the Forest has been.  To be truthful I can’t answer that question because there have been lessons on both sides of the equation.  But my reason for writing today is about learning.

When we were still in the Midwest I thought I had gotten pretty good about route planning and campground selection.  And then we stopped making plans.  I think that the last campground reservation I made was about August of last year.  Not only have I not been honing my travel skills; I’ve forgotten a bit of what I had learned.

In yesterday’s post I was commenting about stopping off at AM Solar for a alternative energy installation.  That gave rise to a few hours of what-if pondering.  Is there a better time of year to have the work done?  Depending on the time of year we would leave where would we go first?  I have an annual physical coming up in a few months. Would we leave here before that appointment? Would we drive or fly home for the Dr.’s  appointment?   We could take a couple weeks’ vacation and return to volunteer here longer.   If we drove would we take the car or the coach?

All of that had me revisiting recreation.gov and reserveamerica.com — I’ve not looked at either of them very much since October and there are a few tweaks that have been made.  But mostly it was a reminder of why we usually stay in places a couple weeks:  I don’t really enjoy the process of making reservations.

we still have our Rand McNally gps, and we use it a lot but it's not our route planning tool.

we still have our Rand McNally gps, and we use it a lot but it’s not really a route planning tool.  I find it helpful, but there are other things I want to know which it does not include.

To be honest — I’ll bet I used to spend nearly as much time researching and looking at alternates as I spend volunteering at the office.   One of the things I liked about hosting in WI and volunteering here was the fact that I wouldn’t have to do as much route planning!  I’m only partly serious about that.  It’s not about the planning, it’s about the learning to be a better planner.  There are a lot of little tricks that different RV’ers have to make the process easier.  The most obvious ‘trick’ isn’t a trick at all — it’s simply returning to the same place year after year after year.  That’s something that isn’t us.   We like diversity and change.

We didn’t DO a lot over the holiday; purposely.  We’ve been plugging away pretty good at the office and have been tired; but the temps haven’t been all that warm lately and it’s not all that much fun sitting outside in 55 degree weather or low 60 degree weather as it might be if the temps were in the 70’s.  There are tradeoffs to living in a cooler climate.  We’re getting acclimated to different seasons, but cool weather is cool weather.

I guess I need to learn to improve my planning skills.  At least thinking about it this weekend has me thinking so.   And in planning better maybe I’ll appreciate this amazing life that we have all the more.  The good part:  I have plenty of time to do so.  We’re still here for a while.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!



2 thoughts on “Learning from Our Travels

  1. My question would be, if you like diversity and change why are you staying there so long?

    I personally like the planning of going on to something new, I just hate the driving.


    1. Linda,

      You ask a legitimate question and the answer is simple. Because we are enjoying what we are doing and where we are. When we first started RV’ing we thought that we’d stay a ‘few nights’ in a place and move in. It didn’t take long to realize that often a ‘few nights’ isn’t long enough to get a feel for where we are. Not long after we started we were hanging out about 2 weeks in most of the places we stopped. We really liked that.

      Peg has been hearing me talk about the South Coast of Oregon for a good ten years and it was always in our plan to get out here and spend some significant time here — to test whether it’s a place we might ultimately like to settle down. We had no problem committing to a 6 month stay. We are currently in our 7th month. We have vacillated about whether to leave shortly, whether to stay until this time next year, or do something in between.

      Right now, it looks as if we will be making a move within this calendar year but exactly when depends upon some inquiries we’ve made and answers to which we are awaiting. So, we’re hanging tight. And getting things done in the meantime.

      I used to enjoy the planning more than I do at the moment. And I love the driving — but with well over a million miles under my belt (some commercial, some not) I don’t NEED to dry to enjoy life and we are both wanting to experience other places. Not to SEE them, but to experience them — as much as possible like residents not tourists. And that doesn’t come with a few weeks in one place.

      Part of what is less than comfortable about travel planning is getting used to planning for this sized vehicle. In a while after I’ve made a few mistakes and made a lot of successes I’ll be happier about the process. I found that planning for a 32’ RV with a toad was a lot different than planning for a car — as in a vacation. And when driving commercially you aren’t going the same kind of places. Now with a 40’ coach we have to adjust our way of thinking all over again. At the moment if ‘feels’ strange — after we’ve been in this coach for a while it will be second nature.

      Long answer to a short question…

      Cheers, P >


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