Reflections – On The Road

With a bit more than half of our trip to our new home state completed, and a nice quiet Sunday, perhaps it’s a good time to take a moment to reflect on our thoughts so far.

Many, including us, have categorized our move as a “new adventure”. And, it is. But it’s really more than that. This is a brand new lifestyle. Perhaps an adventure because we’re doing something we’ve never done before, in a manner that we’ve not fully experienced before. Yet, this is our new life. We may not travel every few days to new locations once we’ve settled in at our home base, however, we are no longer living in a house – a “stick and brick” – a stationary residence. Our home is on wheels, capable of being stationary when necessary, and capable of being mobile when we desire it to be.

The RV parks and areas we’ve visited during the past few weeks have not necessarily been “tourist” visits. They are parks and areas selected for their location along the route necessary to get us from Point A to Point B. We’ve been fortunate to have two stops along the way which afforded us the opportunity to visit briefly with close friends in the area – friends that we would not necessarily see had it not been for this change of lifestyle.

We’ve also been blessed to meet people along the way who have also chosen this lifestyle of RVing, some full-time, some close to full-time (more than 7 months of the year on the road). We’ve heard basically the same things from each one we’ve met. It’s a great way to live! The observation has been that those of us who choose this lifestyle are no longer interested in the hustle and bustle, the hassle and stress that so often come with living in our homes. Some of us are retired, while others may still be working but we all seek the peace and tranquility that comes with this life. We enjoy being out and around the beauty of nature, sharing the experience with like-minded people. We can sit around the campfire, if we so desire, or enjoy a potluck dinner, if we so desire. We can take our dog to the pet run and allow him/her to have the pleasure of running free or playing with other pet friends for a while. We can appreciate the comfort and privacy of our home. We can change the scenery, if we so choose, simply by getting behind the wheel and heading off to some place that holds interest for us, if we so desire. No grass cutting. No leaf raking. No snow shoveling.

Has the transition been easy? There are days when it seems to be surreal. Many call it our very long vacation. Maybe that description might hold true as we make the trip south. But the reality is that this is now our life. We are enjoying it and we are learning more about it each day. We are learning how to take care of our home. We are learning about reading maps, a “must-do” for being totally GPS-dependent is not necessarily the way to go. We are learning how to shop more sensibly, getting the things we need rather than buying what looks good at the time (whim-shopping). We are overcoming being “germ-phobic”, using public Laundromats after 35 years of having our own laundry room. We are learning how to search for TV channels when the RV park does not have cable. (Our satellite is refusing to function so that will be addressed once we reach our final destination and can arrange for a service call.)

Overall, we’re having a blast. There are no regrets about our decision. We are truly living our dream—on the road.

…and we’re off!

Finally!! Getting “all our ducks in a row” really took some doing. Packing up all the things we thought we would need, then sorting through those things and eliminating some excess, and then sorting through those things and eliminating more excess, and packing up the truck and getting rid of the items that just weren’t critical…, and wouldn’t fit…, an exhausting process! Leaving behind a house that has been “home” for almost 35 years turned out to be a bit emotional. Saying goodbye to family and very special friends cannot be described in words. Saying so long to wonderfully supportive neighbors, hoping along with them, that the new homeowners will be a good fit to our little corner of the block. The tears flowed as we drove away for the last time, remembering all the wonderfulness of our home, but taking those very fond memories with us, both in our hearts and in tons of pictures we have.

Heading out of New York on the Cross Bronx Expressway was more than its usual horror. It took us more than two hours to get to New Jersey! The three-hour drive to the first leg of our trip became an almost six-hour ordeal, thanks to “rush hour” delays. By the time we reached our destination, it was dark, making it a little challenging to properly park our “new home”. But, we did it and, although exhausted, we were able to smile at the end of our first official day on the road. Waking up the next morning to see just how beautiful this location is made the trip well-worthwhile.  The view is simply gorgeous!

We will spend the next two or so weeks making our way to our final southern destination. We’ve already begun to make friends with very nice and helpful people–some who also full-time, others who are leisurely traveling. We’ve received good advice and great RVing tips that will be very helpful for us moving forward.

Our excitement level is rising each day as we consider our new life…, living our dream…, on the road.

Can You Say Change of Plans…., Again?

Our last post had us leaving before the crack of dawn to make a five-hour drive from upstate NY to Carlisle, PA.  We got everything packed up and secured, and proceeded to do our first departure routine.  We followed all the directions that had been verbally received the day before from the technicians at our pick up site and double-checked by following the directions posted on or trailer.  Everything seemed to be fine, or so we thought. Suddenly, it was a “Houston, we have a problem” moment. One of the six levelers absolutely refused to retract! Oh, no!!!

What to do, what to do?  Well, let’s get the others down and try again!  That seemed to be a logical move!  Nay, nay!! This one leveler was refusing to do anything and with it down, we weren’t going anywhere!

So, soaked to the bone, once again, we went back inside and determined that we would have to wait until the service department opened so we could call and get some help.  We opened up the slides for the living room, dining room/kitchen, unpacked the coffee maker, coffee and cups and got ready to wait. As we opened the cabinet and turned on the television, we made another discovery – the cabinet shelves were wet. Why??? The roof was leaking with water running down the wire from the satellite dish into the cabinet.  No bueno! Additional to the “leak scenario” – a leak behind the toilet, apparently at the connection from the water source to the toilet (much better than the other end, yes?). Double no bueno!!

Apparently, we were not supposed to “hit the road” on the way to PA in hurricane-type rain. At least one of the roads we were supposed to travel was closed due to extreme flooding. Our contact to sales secured us a nest-day appointment. A call to our driving instructor secured us a rescheduled appointment for next week and, therefore, better travel time with the opportunity to get a good night’s rest before the lesson. A call to the park in PA allowed us to reschedule our reservation without penalty (thank you Western Village RV Park). And, best of all, we get to stay at Arrowhead Marina and RV Park until the end of the week with a great location, view and absolutely awesome hosts who have been so very helpful as we experience the wonderful world of camping, living our dream, on the road.