Here By Choice


If you’re in your RV and you’re unhappy about something — don’t tell me about it!  One thing I always try to remember is that the choice to go RV’ing is a choice I made by myself and if I’m unhappy about it I’m the only one who can do anything about it.

happy camper snoopyThis idea, that I’m here by choice, really does make every day special.  Even the bad days.  Even the days when things aren’t going right, or when something broke or needs to be repaired.  I could change everything about my life by simply deciding to sell the coach and get off the road. I don’t HAVE to be here.

A more positive side to that conversation is that wherever we go we have chosen to be there.

  • If a campgroundisn’t quite what it could be —
    I chose it — so what?
  • If a route is bumpier than I like —
    I chose it — so what?
  • Are my neighbors noisy —
    We won’t be here long — so what?

We — both of us — don’t spend much time thinking about what may be wrong about the place we are in at the moment.  And if it should ever happen that we have arrived at a place that we simply cannot stand — we can always turn right around and drive off.

Instead of thinking about something that’s wrong — there are always other things we can think about, or things we can do; some place we can go that we’ve never been, or a plan we can make to take  one’s mind off a perceived negative.

Imagine a road map

Just because we’re accustomed to seeing roadmaps with all the signs already completed doesn’t mean that your RV life has to be like that!  RV’ing is a map with no pre-determined destinations and no pre-determined schedule — or it is until we start mucking around with it and set dates and places that we simply ‘must’ abide by.
A roadmap yet to be designed

Probably the places we like the most are the places where we DO the most.  In our younger lives we did enough touring and visiting.  Returning to some of those places today means going back because we like the place, not necessarily because we like the attractions.  We don’t need amusement to be happy.

long winding road p92b_saint_gothard_pass_switzerland

Similarly, your RV adventure need not be a straight line affair.  There was a time that I thought (perhaps I should say expected) that our RV adventure would be a lot more organized than it is.  I really didn’t expect that after 3 1/2 years of RV’ing our route would look like this.

three and a half years of travel

I really expected that our exploration would be a ‘little’ more organized than it has been — and that we’d have put on fewer miles.  But whimsy is an unbridled thing and if you’re goal is to live an Unscripted Life then making decisions that don’t seem all that rational becomes ever easier.  I know we have amused and befuddled our daughter from time to time — she surely hasn’t expected this kind of travel pattern.

But the point is that we have loved every moment.  The long stay in Oregon was fun, but we aren’t ready to do another nearly year long stay.  We have returned to some places several times — partly because of their proximity to family — and the fact that our grand-one is at a formative time in life and it’s a time we don’t want to miss out on.  So we do what we need to get some face time with daughter, and grand-one. (and of course the son-in-law and boyfriend get lumped in for good measure!)

After 3 1/2 years we have stayed in exactly 12 RV parks for a total of only 6 months (four of which were last winter in S. Texas).  We have preferred Federal and State properties;  they suit us better.  We prefer 2 week stays it seems.  We’ve tried camping with full hookups, with electric only and with NO hookups — and most of the time we end up with electric only — that too seems to fit us best.  No water hookup means we pretty much HAVE to move on in two weeks (plus or minus) — that suits us.  We get to explore and look around but we don’t get too comfortable — or too uncomfortable (because we really don’t like the place).

We are learning by experience.  That really means we give ourselves the opportunity to make mistakes.  We learn what we like by experiencing both things that we like and dislike (in retrospect).  And all of them we have chosen.  Ourselves.  Without coercion or pressure.  This is our adventure, our retirement, and if we aren’t happy with it it’s our own fault.  Fortunately we love it.

Why not stop by again tomorrow and we can compare notes again.  See you then…

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2 Comments

  1. That was my favorite part of RVing–the freedom to chose each day what we would do that day. Bad weather? Pick an indoor item. Feeling restless? Pull up stakes and move on. Need repairs? Overnight in a parking lot to be ready first thing next morning. Anything and everything is doable when you live in an RV.

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    1. We have the freedom in sticks & Bricks to some defree, too. But I think we encumber ourselves enought that many of us think we don’t hAve that freedom. I remember my father-in-law was always hesitant to leave his house longer than 4 days.

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