Do you really need Plan A, Plan B, Plan C?


It’s time for me to come clean! I’ve been struggling  for 3 1/2 years — ever since we decided to sell our house and go mobile.

About most things in life I’ve never been a follower.  I’ve been happy to break rules, go my own way, and be happy about the things that make me happy — not the things that make someone else happy.

So then, why is it that no matter what I do I can’t stop thinking about some ‘plan’ that we should be following for now and/or for the future?  We talk with all these people who go ‘here’ every year for 6 months or they go back and forth between two places every year — as regular as clockwork.  And there’s this part of me that keeps wondering why we son’t have some kind of plan?

You can know intellectually and not know it emotionally.  Or vice versa.

No matter how many times I say, There’s no right way to RV. there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to embrace the reality;  there’s part of me that longs for some sort of structure; yet in the midst of one of those structured periods I’m longing for the structure to be gone.    I never said we were a rational couple.  We’re working it out as we go.

Neither of us has been the sort to return to places year after year.  There have been some that we’ve wanted to revisit maybe 5 or 10 years later, but we like seeing new things and enjoying new places.  When we were at Palmdale last winter it was hard to understand the folks who would return to So. Padre Island every year for 20 years and then when they retired they bought a park model mobile home and have been returning another 10 years.  That’s just not us;  so then why do I keep thinking a Pazucha version of that dream is something we should be looking at?  Beats me!

South West Wisconsin
South West Wisconsin

These things being true, in our undocumented times at Potosi, and Thomson, and here at De Soto, we have been scouting around SW Wisconsin in search of private campgrounds that might be suitable for a periodic — or regular return.  We really like this area and if we could find a place we liked we might be willing to consider returning; after all in 3 1/2 years we have been back to one of these Corps Campgrounds four summers in a row, and we have been to a couple of them three years out of four.    In short doses we haven’t minded being in the same place; just not for months at a time.

 

I was saying to Peggy just the other day that Bosque poses a strange situation.  I have wanted to volunteer at a Wildlife Refuge,  I can think of no better Refuge to do it at, and yet I’m chomping at the bit about having made a commitment 6 months in advance and right now it feels like that time will never get here.

And then I do something like this.  Monday we are going to visit the Genoa Fish Hatchery. We made an appointment last week, to talk about volunteering there.  They have recently added an RV site to their facility and while I am not a fisher-person, and know nothing about fish, the idea of learning about what goes on at a fish hatchery is a curious draw for us.  So we’ll see whether it’s something that we might like to try.  Not this year, probably not next year either.  We’re just reconnoitering.

If we were to try to follow any kind of annual ‘plan’ other than wandering-as-the-spirit-moves-us there are a regular patterns that some RV’ers follow. We talked about this for the first time just the other day:

  • Spend every Summer in one PLEACE and spend every Winter in ONE place
  • Spend every Summer in one general LOCALE and travel every winter.
  • Travel every summer and spend every Winter in one LOCALE
  • Travel every summer and spend every Winter in one PLACE

SE WIThere are a lot of parks where you can buy your own lot;  there are a lot of parks that are happy to have return renters in any season.  The opportunities are all out there.  But far the only ‘constant’ in our travels has been our annual return to WI physicals — in September.

We will scout out some other campgrounds in September, when we get to Milwaukee.  It will be something to do, informative, and maybe we’ll find something near our daughter that is appealing.  If not,  we aren’t in a position where we NEED to make any decision or commitment.

I am coming to think that I’m a bit different from a lot of RV’ers.  For one thing I find no great joy in setting up camp, or taking it down again when we move.  For us, it was an easy choice between a 5th Wheel, a Class A Coach, or a Class C Coach because in our opinion our Class A requires the least effort to set up, and to move.  I’m inherently lazy.

When I think about RV’ers who spend half year or more in a place I remind myself that RV’s seem to do best when they are being used, and not when they are sitting unused.  I think that applies as much to the mechanicals of the coach as to the appliances, etc..  The running gear needs to be run.  The brakes need to be used so rust doesn’t develop.  Things need lubrication, they need to be aired up and deflated, pumped up and released.  Our current lifestyle — the one with no definition — accomplishes just these things.  We work the slide mechanisms.  We work the dump valves and the air bags.  We work the engine, see to the routine maintenance and make sure all the moving parts move the way they should.  Sitting in one place for 5 or 6 months at a time doesn’t accomplish that end.

There is no resolution to this post.  I still find myself pondering plans; I don’t need them, but like our daughter there is a part of me that likes planning.  So, I do my research and sometimes we put plans down on paper and having no more than completed the task I tear them up and think up something better.

I don’t know if you need a Plan A, or Plan B,  I don’t even want to talk about plans because they never seem to go the way you plan them;  but for now I’m happy to be free to do just that.

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

 

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11 Comments

  1. You said there is no right way to RV which I think is wrong–there are lots of right ways to RV. You just need to find the ones that meet most of your needs. Yes that is “ones” plural. Nothing says you have to pick one then reject all the others. The only constant in life is change.

    To satisfy my planning needs I made spreadsheets of places to go and things to do for each state. When we were ready to travel we picked a route to explore then selected the things on my spreadsheets to do along that route. A plan that wasn’t a plan since we never knew how fast or slow we would choose to travel or which of the things on the list we would feel like doing when we reached them. We did come back to Minnesota for doctor appointments and to visit friends and family every summer but we varied the places and lengths of time of our stays. That sounds to me like a system that might work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda, “no RIGHT way” in the sense that the right way is not a universal absolute. Of course there are many “right” ways and like yourselves in only three years we have changed what feels right to us several times already. And I’m sure as life and health changes.
      But my point is that there are a lot of people who think they can simply ask someone “Which is the right RV for me” and get an answer that will fit them perfectly. Or, “What’s the best way to get from Chicago to Key West” — well, how long do you have and what do you want to see along the way — and, oh, yeah, did you bother to research the trip yourself? I hear questions like that a LOT.
      I can’t say I’ve taken to spread sheeting various trips yet. But it’s an interesting idea.
      I’m not so sure I’m unhappy with the process I use — I have been known to love hyperbole and I sometimes exaggerate for effect — but it’s the compulsion to plan when we don’t need to that I find the most curious aspect of being on the road NOW, at this minute.

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  2. Though I do like some structure on my trips I do not want to have them scheduled. There is something wonderful about spontaneity while traveling, that special excursion that is decided upon in an instant. One of the reasons my blog is called Destination Unknown.

    Though the past two years have found most of my trips scheduled around my father as he was clearly starting to decline and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. Now that he is gone, I have a similar goal with my aunt, though we did attempt unsuccessfully to throw in the New York trip and to visit with her on the way up and back. Hopefully Rick’s knee problems will have been addressed by next year and we can do some places in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs P
      Don’t you find that there are ‘schedules’ and then there are ‘SCHEDULES’?
      We are scheduled to leave here in another 5 days, then be someplace else for 14 days – 30 miles away , then another 14 days also 30 miles away then 2 days about 180 miles away, then a month another 150 miles away. That’s our ‘schedule’ between now and 10/3 with the exception of two days when we know we have doctor’s appointments stuck in there. Aside from those kind of dates we rarely schedule anything; not what we are going to do, or go, or eat or whom we might see.
      And even those sort of plans have often been changed. The reservations we made in February, but if need required we could and have changed the locations and times because something changed… as happened this past spring when we had been planning on heading north by way of NOLA, Pensacola, & Little Rock.
      Like yourself I love the ability to do what I want when I want it.
      Since hitting Wisconsin & Illinois we are back in familiar territory which means we aren’t out exploring as much — we are luxuriating in the feeling that we know where we are and we’re just enjoying life. But for gypsies like us, we don’t necessarily enjoy being in the same place too often. Novelty, is good.
      I have to say, however, that I AM starting to see some places-to-light as being less likely rather than more likely. For example: I want to do more exploring in LA — but I am sure that LA would never be a choice for the place to finally alight. There is too much of the Old South there for my soul. I think the same of MS, and probably of AL, even though we haven’t been there yet in the coach and even though I know we will spend more time there in the next few years.
      Hmmmm….
      Hearing your comments about your dad brought back a lot of memories.
      My mom passed about 5 years before my dad. We were all living in the same apartment complex — it was a family building, just with a bunch of extra apartments for income. But after mom passed my dad and I did things together most every day unless he was out of town traveling (he was, after all, retired like we are and he LOVED traveling — I have often said to Peggy that WE are living HIS retirement for him — RV’ing is what he wanted to do but mom would have no part of it). By the time she passed he no longer saw an RV as a smart move so he planned several long driving trips a year. took his first two cruises, took train trips, etc. But when he was home we were together a lot. AND — when he was home almost every Sunday we would take a day drive somewhere within … duh… a day’s drive. WI, IL, IA, MN, MI. The three of us in the car could be hilarious, but we also bonded in a wonderful way the three of us.
      Good luck on the knee problems. Health issues can be such a pain. (literally, grrrrr)

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      1. So wonderful that you picked up the traveling bug with your dad. It is my philosophy that good men/women who work hard to earn an honest living should be rewarded in retirement by doing the things that being them the greatest amount of joy. Life in it’s final act should be one of bliss…at least that’s my take on things! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Me neither, Jim!

      I think the blog came about because I find myself thinking I need to tie myself down when I don’t — is it the result of a lifetime of work habits?

      It’s curious the things our psychological makeup seem to crave, isn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if your blog is an indulgence into a psychological need for a script, keep feeding it…for our sake! 🙂

        It is crazy how ‘unplanned’ I have become in retirement. I was all about Excel in my career. While I still track finances, the ‘where we are going next’ isn’t a big deal anymore.

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      2. Jim I am so with you on that.

        You know, I talk about plans but there have been few to nil moments in the last three years when we couldn’t have just picked up sticks and moved on. On the Forest I found there were some things I wanted to FINISH before I left, but other than that the comings and goings just ‘are.’ And if they don’t fit tomorrow we don’t do them.

        It seems as if we have little internal cycles though. For 2 days we were getting in the mood to pick up sticks from Blackhawk and drive 140 miles North. We got here and we’ve been like Silly Putty ever since. Just tired, or just relaxing, or no ambition, call it what you will we’re just enjoying BEING and READING and being out of the SUN.

        There’s not a lot to ’track’ for us in financial terms — I have always hated money and I even hated billing customers — money just gets in my way. Most of what we have is sort of programmed and I am thankful that I don’t HAVE to pay attention to much of that. Most of the time we’re living below our income level so we don’t have to be too concerned about that.

        I’ve been wondering… You gonna be stuck in G.R. this winter too? > >

        Liked by 1 person

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