One of the most interesting things about the RV lifestyles is that even the same places aren’t the same. Just because you’ve been somewhere before doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same the next time you return. More likely, it has changed than you ever imagined.
This was brought to mind on Tuesday while at the grocery, a store we’d been to many times before, but which on this visit was very much changed. You know how they say that if (in the Navy) you have a poorly performing ship, you don’t change all the soldiers — you only change the captain? Well, our visit to this grocery is most likely summed up the same way: there had been a management change. And the new management’s attitudes towards customers was apparent by the time we’d made 20 steps into the store.
A month or so ago I made similar comments about Milwaukee — that the Interstate highway reconstruction project had made a huge difference in how we accessed the RV park, and consequently our entire stay in Milwaukee. The important part being that no matter how well you know something you can’t count on it staying the same:
- Not roads
- Not stores
- Not people
- Not timing
- Not prices
That means that as RV’ers we really need to stay on top of our game while traveling. Make notes about routes, stores, campgrounds, etc. Keep records — but don’t lock your brain into your pre-conceptions as if they were blocks of concrete; as soon as you do, someone’s gonna change things up and there you are: left in the lurch. But it’s about leaving yourself an out if something changes; having options; a fall back plan.
Right now, we’re looking for a different grocery. The one that changed had been our go-to grocery while in Highland Ridge. We have others to choose from and we will make a substitution. Personally, I make notes from readers and RV friendly websites when I read about excellent repair facilities and exceptional places to buy fuel; also campgrounds and restaurants to name just a few.
Our camp hosts book has a lot of helpful ideas for places to get… you name it… But last weekend we had a camper looking for a place to get his propane tank refilled instead of exchanged. Peg & I will go hunting around to try finding a source. With a lot of campers using 30# & 40# tanks now the standard 20# exchange doesn’t help at all. We already know that the three nearest towns have nothing (well, one has a source for Monday through Friday — but most campers are here on Saturday & Sunday).
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that our original idea about RV’ing was right on. Part of our motivation for full-timing was to keep our minds active and young. Well, that is proving to be a more realistic challenge than we might have guessed at the beginning. You really do need an agile mind if you’re going to both go RV’ing and enjoy it! If you let your brain get old the challenge gets much more difficult!
Anyway… there you have it. Stay alert for the things you think you know to change right in front of your eyes. Leaving a place for a time is a good way to suffer shock when you return because the rate of change increases daily and those who don’t keep up are left behind — or maybe rear-ended by the guy behind you. Stay Alert!
See you tomorrow and thanks for stopping by!