No matter where you make your permanent residence (city, suburb, country) it seems that people still feel the need to ‘getaway from it all.’ I kind of wonder what it is about U.S. society that makes us so unhappy with our lives that we have to get away to relax. We know campers who live 10 miles from the campground who come camping every couple weeks just to ‘get away.’ They live on a farm! Their nearest neighbor is the better part of a mile away.
It’s an interesting concept, “getting away from it all.” I have looked at it differently depending on what aspect of my life I’m thinking about it.
As I have mentioned before, houses were never the “place” I wanted to be. Until we bought the old school in Cudahy I had never lived in a house that I really felt comfortable in — one where I was quite happy to simply BE. I always had wanderlust.
As for work — I never let convention keep me in a job I didn’t enjoy. When I bored with one job I found another entire industry to work in for a while just to keep life interesting and to keep challenging myself. I don’t recommend that for the faint of heart — but it was right for me.
And, not everyone can do something like that. Nor would they want to. This is a big world and there’s room for lots of options and we all take those that suit us.
Still… why do we create lives from which we need to escape? What is it about society that creates the need to live unhappily, or to continue to do so? I’m not a medical professional so I’m not even going to touch that topic. We all have our own ideas and that’s fine.
How this relates to the mobile lifestyle — whether or not you are talking about RV’ing, or Full-Time RV’ing — that’s something a lot of us have a little more background in and can speak comfortably. A lot of us are still ‘looking’ for something in life and RV’ing is the way that some of find it. Not all, but some. A friend of mine from High School graduated college, worked his way through one company his entire career and now that he’s retired he travels to all sorts of places around the world he always wanted to visit. And that’s great for him. Another goes nowhere but volunteers at three local gigs and finds satisfaction that way. You coulds say that we are looking for a place to settle down — but that’s not really true — more accurately we’re enjoying the diversity of living in different places. We have always been pretty sure that when we got off the road we’d settle back in Milwaukee. We have a small family and settling down into any other area just seems absurd — so we are enjoying our 5-year-and-counting sojourn until it’s time to stop.
This idea of getting away from it all; is it just something we’re taught to accept; that we work like dogs 50 weeks out of the year and then go be crazy (or whatever else you want to do) for two weeks. I can definitely remember the feeling of pent up ‘urges’ as vacation time drew near during my career. And during those last years when I had the studio in the same buildling where we lived that went away. I was up early, working, worked all day — but at a slower pace than when I worked for someone else, and then I often worked into the evening — and I just never got tired of creating images and the ‘business’ stuff that went with them. But it took me a lifetime of different jobs before I got to that point.
I can’t say that there was anything consistent during my career about the things we did on vacation. Or where we went. We’ve known couples who vacationed on S. Padre Island for 20 years. Not so the two of us. Every year we tried something different — including sta-cations — where we hung out in Milwaukee and did what ‘tourists’ are supposed to be doing during a brief visit. And perhaps those sta-cations are the reason that now, as RV’ers, we don’t go to touristy places. We learned somewhere along the line that we weren’t looking to be amused. Amusement parks and tours and museums are nice — just not for us. I’d be more interested in touring a factory where they manufacture things, or sometimes the historical places we visit to call us. Truth be told, when I was working I visit so many factories, and so many places of business — seeing the inside, and outside, and behind the scenes that I feel as if I’ve toured more tourist places than I ever want to see again. And I was getting paid to be there.
I don’t know… it’s a curious frame of mind, this need to get away from it all. Part of me used to think that it was more an urban phenomenon but as we have criss-crossed the country and I see more and more RV’s parked in rural drives I realize that city-dwellers have no monopoly on the urge.
There’s no conclusion to be drawn from a ponder…. but I’ll be here again tomorrow to wonder and wander along with you if you’re interested. Thanks for stopping.