It’s been a couple weeks after returning from our getaway to Blanco & San Antonio and I’m motivated to right about the one significant advantage of RV’ing. It’s something I’ve known all along and it’s something that those who are considering the option of RV’ing should think about.
It’s difficult to overemphasize the impact of sleep. Anyone can function OK for a while with limited sleep, but in the end, if you aren’t getting sufficient hours of rest you fall apart. Some of us hide it better than others. Some of us are so chronically sleep deprived that they have taken the state of sleep deprivation for “normal.” Still, we all function better when we allow the body to adequately recharge itself.
At different points in life sleep and sleep patterns morph. For me, the older I get the more subject to situations does my sleep become. And the biggest factor for me has become the bed upon which I lay. Traveling by car, overnighting in hotels, friends’ homes, with family, there’s not much you can do about the bed lottery. “You pays your fee and you takes your chances!” Not so with an RV!
Carrying your bed along with you is a huge benefit. It may not be cheaper than car travel — cost is a very subjective issue and cost needs be considered. But sleeping each night in your own bed is something not a lot of RV’ers or former RV’ers talk a lot about. As if it goes without saying. But it doesn’t.
I suppose that as I approach my 70th birthday sleep is just one of those natural “changes” that a person goes through. Still, we were for three days and I still had not gotten back on my routine. AND…. a week of poor sleep takes longer to counter than it used to. I’m sure that some of the fatigue is because we were more active than usual during our trip; more activity, more fatigue. Also, as we age the body doesn’t recover as quickly as it did when we were 20.
When you RV you can more easily slow the pace of travel; shorter day drives, staying longer in each place before moving on. We had gotten so accustomed to traveling at our own pace, that the shock of automatically falling back into that quicker roadtrip pace snuck up on us and slapped us upside the head!
There are things you can do to make a trip easier. I have to re-learn how to car-trip/roadtrip!
Then, there’s the fact, and I’ve been hinting at it for a while, that as one ages perhaps the urge to travel changes. If you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep then a roadtrip isn’t as much fun as it once might have been. There is a macro scale on which all of our activities as humans are weighed: what are our resources (what can we afford, physically, financially, emotionally); how strong is our desire (wanting to go someplace is one thing, but as in training for a marathon sometimes the cost in terms of ‘desire’ or lack of desire can be greater than we the resources we are willing to expend); is this for fun, or to fulfill some obligation/need (family can always say, “why not come and visit us” but if you are always the one being expected to “come” and they are always the one receiving then what should be a happy, joyous trip can turn into a chore. I know just this morning, on our morning walk around the park, we chatted with a couple who had just returned from a 6 week visit up North and they were commenting on having realized how difficult their journey was and maybe if the family wants to see them the family will be the ones doing the traveling — not the retirees.
Of course that puts an unfair burden on family. After all, it was the retiree who decided to up and move away. It was their choice, on some level it’s not unreasonable to think that therefore keeping in touch with family who are quite happy staying where they are ought to be the responsibility of those who moved — responsibility and expense too!
Right now I’m perfectly happy being here, at home. I know that won’t last forever. From time to time I’ll get the wanderlust — I always have, I doubt that will change. I wonder how easily I’ll give in to the desire to explore and travel as I age. I’ve even wondered to myself whether I want to consider buying a new car — am I likely to live long enough to wear out another one? Or should we just consider a used car and be done with it because we don’t anticipate as many lengthy trips? At some point we’ll figure it out. For the moment — I’m going to go take a nap and see if I can feel alert and active again! 🙂