Each year, the end of June rests heavily on my shoulders. Yet another year is 1/2 over. What have I accomplished this year? No one forces me to take stock, it just seems a good thing to do.
“Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives,
and the serious part of frivolous ones.”
– Anne Sophie Swetchine
There are many ways to travel. Travel can be frivolous — a time devoted to nothing more than pleasing one’s self. Travel can also be serious — a time of growth, of maturation, of accomplishment. And 1,000 flavors of travel lie in between those two extremes. Personally, I like it when my travel produces something other than amusement. Life is too short — it seems to me — to waste it in nothing more than amusement. But, the bottom line, is that whichever form of travel we engage is all up to us. No one’s looking over our shoulder to say, ‘you’re doing this wrong.’
We were chatting with campers over the holiday weekend so those conversations are upmost in our mind right now. We’ve recently met folks from North Texas who have every day planned out before they leave their sticks & bricks home, and others who plan nothing more than a general compass bearing in which to depart and everything thereafter they wing…. In fact there’s a couple here from upstate New York who are on their way up to Alaska. It’s the 4th of July as I write this and they are still in Wisconsin on their way to Alaska. If it were me I would have wanted to be IN Alaska by now, considering the short tourism season. I asked them about their plans, and their route. They didn’t know how what route they were taking to get there (they weren’t even sure where they were spending their next nigths on the road) and they had no idea how what they were going to do in Alaska once they got there.
It’s a wonderfully disparate life, this RV thing. Other than practicality and living a legal life, there are no rules about how to do this. Personally, I’ve spent my whole life looking for significance, so I’m not one inclined mindless wandering. We always have some kind of goal behind our travels — as loose as those goals may be. I’m pretty happy with the way this year has been going. We accomplished our purpose over the winter — we had never wintered in Florida, so we went and checked it out and concluded that even though we saw and learned a lot of things, that Florida isn’t really our state. We have enjoyed helping out here in Wisconsin and seeing the smiling faces of campers has been reason enough to have been here this summer — so it’s been a good year so far.
I don’t know about you, but I find life is never all about any one thing. Life isn’t always great; but it’s never been entirely crappy; there are times I’m frustrated, but not to the point of despair; I have been elated but not to the point of stupidity; life has always seemed to me to epitomize diversity. And on those rare times when I’ve been annoyed about the way my life has been going, I never needed to wait too long until circumstances changed — for surely they did.
I don’t watch the TV news as much as in my younger days. Since being out here on the road I have learned to find my relevant news in other ways. I do keep my fingers in on Facebook, but not nearly as much as a few years ago. Facebook tells me more about what’s going on around me than I care to know. I can’t get rid of those trending articles that I never wanted to see and I hear too much about celebrities I never wanted to know. Surely, there must be a lot of people an excess of $$$$$ resulting in lives filled with frivolity. After a lifetime of searching for significance I can’t escape the inane. For myself, I try to stay as far away from those things as I can.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been enjoying our gig so much, and spending so much time talking with others. I know I need human interaction and right now I like interacting with campers better than the other options easily available to me. Still and all, there’s no secret about the fact that my eyes are still open for something better. A longer term project, or a more ideal way to have ongoing impact.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year and beyond we are starting to draw tighter circles around our goals. This gig has made one thing apparent. We are conscious of tiring more quickly. Our discussions about future gigs — or even whether we are done with volunteering — are bearing that in mind. The level of activity here is about as much as we care to engage in. I think it’s important for us to know that. Neither of us wants to ‘go back to work’ again. We like volunteering when it’s still volunteering. But we don’t want a full time job. Plenty of other RV’ers and Full Timers DO. That’s great for them. I don’t.
We have been talking a lot about our ‘stay cycles’ — how long we remain in one place. Most of the past ten months have been spent in long-term stays (longer than 1 month) and we’re embarrassed to admit that we are kind of enjoying these longer stays. I can’t say that we have really engaged in the social life of any of the places we have been. We aren’t trying to fit in as if we were long-term residents. Here we do our hosting bit, but we still spend plenty of time alone. But we are enjoying the process of living in fewer places.
I haven’t been posting images from the local area. I’ve been greedy lately and have wanted to just ‘save’ the scenery for ourselves. This lush area really speaks to my soul.
Sunday we took the opportunity to check into something our grand daughter has been involved with. It’s sort of a communal project on a 12 acre plot of land not far from here. A kewl group of young adults are carving an interesting little community out of the sandstone terrain and while it’s still a work in progress we could see so much potential for their lifestyle that I wanted to share a few images.
With a newly planted orchard, monorail cars as ‘weekend cottages’, a teeter-totter, trampolines, and a maze of sandstone tunnels these folks who all met as Urban Explorers have found an interesting escape from the work-a-day world of the Twin Cities. It’s another reminder to me of the wonders and the glories of diversity. Everyone doesn’t have to do, or to like, the same things. This world is big enough for a a lot of different folk to do a lot of different things! And all the more power to them! Their creativity inspires me.
So, there you have another day in paradise. Regardless what day this posts, we’re off to clean up the campgrounds after the holiday weekend, so we have a full day ahead. Cheers, and have a great day. And, why not stop by tomorrow to chat?