Traveling Together


Have you done it?

Have you done it successfully?

I have always wondered about people / couples that travel together — on a vacation, at a rally, just for fun…

The topic comes up because we recently said goodbye to the last of two senior age women who had met up last winter, spent three days together and decided to meet up again this summer and spend a couple months together.  We met them about 2 weeks into their time together and all was not hunky-dorey.  In fact one of the women was quite distraught; not having realized how domineering and how indecisive her brand new traveling companion could be.  For a variety of reasons one of the two stayed on an additional night and the travel companion plan fell to pieces before it really got going.

We, Peg & I, have wondered about what it’s like to travel with others.  You know by now that we like people.  Genuinely.  But we each can only tolerate them for a certain time before we want to flee to the hills and hide out. We have never had a problem being together.  And we have never (since marrying) taken any trip with anyone outside our immediate family.  No bus trips (other than the ones for which I was driving the bus  commercially). No cruises.  We tend to avoid airplanes unless they are to take us off the North American continent.

couple-traveling-together_photoWe have occasionally met up with people for a short visit.  We travelled to be with our friend Delbert when he was crewing on the Nina & the Pinta.  We have stopped off to visit folks we know — like Peg’s former co-worker Debbie — who moved out of state, and cousins and distant relations.  Those visits were all fine — in part because we never lost our own independence.  We were staying in the coach, or in a motel, or even in the case that we lodged with our friend it was more like a home visit than ‘traveling together.’

Where we run into problems is over the question of pace.  How early, how long, how soon, how much.  We’re spontaneous people.  It’s not uncommon for us to awaken at 6:30 and be on the road with slides retracted and water unhooked in under an hour.  When we decide to take a roadtrip in the car it’s not unusual for us to decide on a trip over breakfast, clear the table, pour travel mugs and be out the door in 15 or 20 minutes.  My friends even say I’m the “Think it, do it guy.”

Understandably, not everyone moves at that pace.  Not everyone makes up their mind that quickly.  For us most decisions aren’t something that’s going to last a long time, so why should the decision take a long time.  It’s just a day trip. Or an afternoon’s adventure. Don’t beat it to death.

Yet, we know people who seem to travel happily with others… friends of ours from Peggy’s former place of employment take vacations together — and I can’t imagine doing that.  That would be agony — even with people we know.  Too many decisions to be made about things of little merit.

airstreams-caravan
An Airstream Caravan

When we still had our Winnebago we had looked at the Users Group rallies and caravans and the places they were going always seemed to be places we had visited before — so while we might have liked to visit the locale again we had no interest in all the side trips that were planned and for which you had to pay whether you attended or not.  Not only did they not strike us as a travel bargain,  they actually turned us off.

I’m glad there’s no right way to RV.  Perhaps the essence of RV living is the sense of spontaneity — even if you have to plan your trip months in advance.  Still, when you begin moving the rhythm of the road can grab hold of you and carry you along to travel Nirvana.  We have talked a couple times about joining up with friends who were already en route — just for a day or two — but somehow we never got over our inertia and it didn’t happen.  Some would say we’re missing out on something, but I guess there’s only so much a person can do in one lifetime. We’ve been happy living this RV life in the way we have been, and while it’s possible we may change for specific instances I suspect we’re pretty happy just with what we’re doing now.

I’m glad others find enjoyment in what they do.  And I’m glad that there are other RV’ers who sync naturally with one another.  Yesterday we were sitting in the  Hudson Bagel Cafe and there were a group of 11 young boys (teens) sitting together at a table eating breakfast.  I thought to myself that all my life I’ve been a loner and I can’t think of a single instance when I wanted to be at a table with a group of guys that way.  It’s just not who I am. Not who we are. So there’s no suprise that we aren’t caravaners.

I love to see people enjoying themselves.  I guess that’s why we like hosting — helping others enjoy their weekend camping is a lot of fun.  But we don’t punch a clock, there’s no one telling us when we have to work (other than when someone walks up to the door with a question — and questions are always admissible).  I don’t have to sync with the campers — their sites are ready for them at check-in time and we really don’t HAVE to talk with them upon arrival — though we often do.  They can just drive in and set up and we’ll stop by later to check on them and give them a Day Use pass.  I treasure my independence, and so do they.  If they want to chat — fine.  But we aren’t forcing them, and if the get a little too pushy all I have to do is drive my golf-cart on to the next site. 😇

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow,  why not stop by and say hi!

 

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7 Comments

  1. We enjoy traveling with others, and we enjoy going by ourselves. It’s nice to mix it up that way, at least for us. A recent camping trip to North Texas last fall by ourselves actually had us meeting a new couple that we enjoyed spending time with every evening we were there. They were so hospitable and even catered a beautiful outdoor dinner for us. We will always remember that trip more fondly because of them, as the trip was just ok otherwise. My advice when RV traveling with others is to keep expectations away from the experience and just go with the flow. We nearly always have a great time when we do that.

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    1. I love meeting people. And to some degree I love spending time with them. But when it comes to compatible pace… we fall apart. Sure there are a lot of folks who are good at entertaining — I guess I can see the appeal there.

      Then again, expectations can be a bummer. We have at this present moment a couple in one site staying a week. The first words out of their mouths the morning after their arrival were to complain about the restrooms. We went over to the restrooms after talking with them to see what they were complaining about and what we saw were floors that had some dirt tracked in — in large part due to heavy overnight rains and muddy surroundings outside. The wife of the couple was completely put together with not a hair out of place, precisely applied makeup and tasteful jewelry — they looked more out of place in the campground than the little bit of dirt on the floor. Mind you, I don’t like a messy bathroom any more than the next person, but 1 restroom 34 campsites with kids and dogs is gonna see some usage.

      I’m glad that those who want to travel together get the chance. Pretty much every weekend we see groups of 2, 3, or 4 campsites meeting up for the weekend. We have a circle with 11 sites and it’s rented as a group site at least every 3rd weekend by a group that occupies all 11 sites. So, it’s clearly a popular thing to do. I guess I’m just the against-the-current guy! 🙂

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  2. I’m going to pick a nit here so if you’re not in the mood for that skip my comment, please. You often say, “I’m glad there’s no right way to RV. ” That means all ways are wrong. Please change this to say, “I’m glad there’s no ONE right way to RV.” That means there are lots of right ways. I know it’s a nit but it makes me grit my teeth every time you say it.

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    1. Linda, It’s not a bad nit to pick. I can’t guarantee that I’ll remember every time I use the expression but it’s a reasonable point to make.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      Peter

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  3. Travel is no fun if you don’t have a compatible partner. Rick and I like to have general plans which can be altered at any given time. We dislike minute details and commitments as it seems too much like work to us. It’s a time to let the mind and body wander so to speak. So far we have not traveled with groups and have no interest in doing that. We have spent time with others, who are considered family by my aunt. We enjoy the company but they have a lot of dogs. We’re talking 5-6 dogs of large and small sizes in a 2 bedroom beach house…that’s not fun for Rick. I sort of roll with most anything because I know it;s temporary. Mostly, we like each other’s company best. 😀

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    1. You know the thing is that some of us are quite content NOT traveling with others. But there are those OTHERS who constantly bring up the idea! I sometimes wonder if the trick is to never travel with someone who wants to travel with you because they turn out to be the ones who don’t know how to travel — and they’re looking for an out to avoid the work. ????

      As for pets — we no longer have a dog because after the last one we realized that our lifestyle now no longer supports a dog and if I don’t want to alter my life to accommodate my OWN dog I sure as heck am not going to do it for someone else’s pack of animals. Just saying…..

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