getting away from it all


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!  get away from it allTheir 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.

do-what-you-love-and-never-work-a-day-in-your-lifeAs 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.

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11 Comments

  1. I’m laughing at your image of the guy with the phone. Last time we were at Canyon Village in Yellowstone, people were all walking around with their phones in the air, trying to grab a signal. They traveled great distances to get away from it all, only to be driven to panic by not having a signal.

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    1. I hear ya on that one. I bet the most common question we get is, “where do I get a good signal” — and of course that depends mostly on who your carrier is! And to some degree on which phone you have. Some are definitely better than others!

      As a full timer I’m probably more concerned than if I were a weekender, particularly in that we tend to spend weeks in a spot rather than nights.

      I find that the satellite TV people are nearly as bad. one guy pulled in last night and I see he’s now run a cable across the road and staked it with cable stakes to try to get a signal. Last I heard it was “well, I guess she’ll have to do without tv this week.”

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      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ya know, I haven’t heard anyone talk about baseball all summer long. Really. Not as part of conversations with me, and not even overhearing conversations as we pass by.
        There have been a lot of conversations about FISHING though…. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My theory is, even if you like your job and home, your to do list always nags at you. Vacation is how you get away from that. The fact that Dave took his work computer on vacation to Hawaii was one of the things that helped him realize it was time to retire.

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    1. You should have seen me chuckling when I read your comment.

      Yeah — the unwillingness to be away from work…. sigh….

      Back in the 80’s when I was working for a distributor for Detroit Diesel engines we had a network of 80 dealers for whom we were responsible. And I had a young lad working for me (I was young then too) and he wanted his dealers to call him for every little thing that happened. I kept trying to get my dealers to call the experts in our shop/part so that no matter where I was they always knew were to get an answer. To me, doing a good job was insuring that the people I dealt with didn’t need me: that they always had someone else to go to. I never wanted to feel indispensable.

      Of course today, if you’re people don’t need you the boss thinks HE doesn’t need you either…. but there’s something to be said for empowering people not making them dependent.

      Oh well…..

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  3. I’m learning to enjoy the moment…here and now. Occasionally I’ll get the wanderlust but it is more about taking photos than wanting to be in a certain place…soon I find myself rekindling how much I enjoy where I am at. Sure there are places that I’d rather live but they all come with a cost and that cost is too high for me…I’m enjoying my freedom too much.

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    1. “Here, Here!” to freedom!

      The wanting to be in any one place we left behind a long time ago. Aside from the fact that I use places as an opportunity to blog I’m usually happy wherever we are — unless the weather is unpleasant enough that we are stuck in the RV. We have been having a very rainy summer and I’ve not been talking a great deal about the weather because compared to the winter in FL or TX when we were wet and cold (cool) we are able to be out in it whenever we want. So it’s not an issue. When it’s wet AND cold the story is quite different. 🙂

      I’ve been wondering if some of my leaving the camera at home has been a function of already having chores to do and wanting to just relax? I’m curious to see whether I pick the camera up more this winter when we won’t have chores to do. I am realizing in a very real way that my brain gets tired at this age. I use up my glucose or whatever it is that my brain runs on and just want to chill. I’ve always been a 100% on, and 100% off kind of guy — I don’t know what all ahead 1/3 is like. It’s ON or OFF with me. Always has been. I think that has been the biggest challenge of being retired for me. Finding something in between….Or maybe it’s finding sustainability????

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      1. I.m more the energizer bunny type. I just go and go until I run out of energy and then I stop and do nothing. The law of inertia is fully visible in my daily life. But once I stop, doesn’t matter what my desires or intentions are…I’m done. Stopping could be as simple as driving home from work but more often it’s something like Rick’s ready to watch TV. We watch one hour of TV together…our wind down time.

        This year has been the year of extras…extra family responsibilities, the project house, trips out of town,etc. Now throw in the usual chores, work…and oh yeah, the things I WANT to do. Once in a while I just have to stop and chillax! 🙂

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      2. I can so sympathize! That’s what I meant about 100% on or 100% off. So, energized or not I’m off or on.

        I don’t really mind falling to pieces with exhaustion (which I don’t as often anymore…. trying to be more steady-on and stop sooner); I’m blessed with a good falling asleep mechanism and when I’m tired I just go lay down. Much to Peggy’s frustration as she has a hard time sleeping and spends way too many hours awake in the middle of the night. Me — if I wake up, I get up and go in the other room and do something until I’m ready to fall asleep.

        If all you watch is an hour of TV you’re a saint. TV comes on when we get home, goes off on a timer and it’s on — whether or not anyone’s watching most of the time after 1 pm when we start spending time in and out and in and out. Too many years alone in hotel rooms. I need to hear the sound of human noise — voices.

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      3. Rick is more like Peg in terms of sleep habits. I sleep like a bear, most of the time.

        When I first met Rick, I did not have a TV. He was shocked, everyone had them…so he thought. When he moved in with me a few months later, I did break down and buy one. Having grown up on TV and then spending many years of relaxing (vegging) after working all day with a classroom full of kids. I found it was a mild form of addiction and I began spectating more than participating in life. One hour of TV gives us cuddle time but non of the negative aspects I used to get.

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