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Celebrating two years on the road…

Posted by on June 17, 2015

JUNE 17, 2015

time flies_retouchedIS IT POSSIBLE? It hardly seems possible, but this week we’re celebrating two years of full-time travel on our Great American Adventure. Can you even believe it? When we decided to take an extensive trip in our motorhome to see the country, we didn’t really contemplate being gone more than about a year. That’s a long time, right? Well, even though it most certainly is a long time, two years have come and gone and we’ve not even come close to seeing all we want to see, or meeting all the folks we want to meet. When people ask, “How long will your Adventure last?” I always respond, “When we get up one morning and we’re no longer having fun, our Great American Adventure will be finished.” And that’s how I feel today, writing this post. We’re still having fun. We’re not even close to being bored. Almost every day is exciting. And we’re already starting to plan next year’s travel. So if you’ve enjoyed tagging along with us by reading our blog, stick around. We’re not going away any time soon!  


In our first two years on the road, we’ve visited all these states and enjoyed every mile of our Journey. If you’ve ever thought about exploring America in a motorhome, our advice to you is, “Just do it!”


We’ve visited some remarkable places. When I began writing this post, my plan was to review our travels with you. I’d show you where we’ve been and tell you what we did. But I decided that would be redundant. You can easily retrace our steps by searching my blog for older posts. Or you can search by topic. Or location or photo galleries. So I’ve changed my mind about this post. I’m going to tell you what we’ve learned and how we’ve changed during our first two years of living full time on the road. And I’ve condensed it all into just five points. 

1. STAY FLEXIBLE. Before I retired, we always planned our vacation time pretty carefully. We had an itinerary. Welessons knew what we wanted to see and do. We only had a finite amount of time, and planning how we’d spend that time made sense. So when we began our Great American Adventure, that’s precisely what we did, again. We made reservations at RV parks and predetermined attractions we wanted to visit. But we quickly learned that things are different now. This isn’t a vacation, really. It’s a way of life. We sure won’t do this forever…we’ll buy another house and settle down again at some point. But for now, we’re full-timers, living in our home-on-wheels. And, we’ve finally got it in our heads that “there’s no rush.” Here’s what’s important: Taking advantage of the ability to be spontaneous in making plans! Being flexible. NOT having reservations or plans set in stone. We like the freedom of being able to decide as we travel where we want to stay and how long we want to stay there. But all this spontaneity must be tempered from time to time, typically during holidays or at popular destinations during summer vacation time. We make reservations at those times religiously. Here’s how we plan our travels: We have a general plan, perhaps six months in advance, of where we want to go and what we want to see. We make reservations during that time frame where and when absolutely necessary. Beyond that, we just go where we choose and stay as long as we want to stay. Pretty neat, huh?

2. WE CAN’T SEE EVERYTHING. We’ve come to grips with the fact that no matter where we go, we can’t see and do everything. We don’t have any strict time constraints, but we do want to see all of the contiguous states and perhaps even Alaska. So to an extent, we’ve got to keep movin’ along. At the outset, I was frustrated when we self-imposed this “move on mandate” upon ourselves. How could we leave Sedona, for example, without seeing every single rock formation at the end of the day when the setting sun made it appear to be on fire?  But it dawned on me that trying to see everything  would take a lifetime. Literally. And we’re always pacified by knowing that if we ever really, really want to return to a place we’ve already explored, we can. And we probably will. 

flag13. NO DISAPPOINTMENTS. We began our Adventure with the preconceived notion that there were “desirable” parts of the country and other parts that were “undesirable” or at least uninteresting. Two years into it, we’ve pretty much discarded that view. Sure, some states, parks and attractions are superb and others “not so much.” But we have yet to visit an area in our country that didn’t hold a certain interest and sometimes even mystique for us. Here’s an example of how “dead wrong” some of my notions were. Before we left home in San Diego, I’d never been to the South. I didn’t “have anything against it” but I really didn’t think I’d want to do much more than take a passing look. After all, I’d seen the movie “Deliverance” and I for sure didn’t want to encounter any of those hillbillies in the back country! But when we arrived…Wow! I loved it. So much so that we’re going to spend next winter in Gulf Shores, Alabama where the beaches are absolutely first-class! And the folks who live there are among the most welcoming we’ve met all across the country.

4. EVERY DAY’S A GOOD DAY. The late Robert Castetter, Dean Emeritus of my law school, was a quick-witted guy who tried to thumbease some of the shock of the first year of law school with humor. He’d say, for example, “No matter how fast a fish swims, it never sweats.” Another of his words of wisdom was “Every day’s a good day, but some days are better than others.” That observation is very apropos to full-time RV life and travel. As I stated earlier, it’s not really a vacation. It’s a way of life. And in every life, well, “Some day’s are better than others.” Some days the weather doesn’t cooperate or the bus needs service or we get stuck spending the night in an undesirable spot. We’ve learned to roll with the punches. It’s a survival tool that full-timers must possess! We are so blessed to have this opportunity to see the country on our terms that encountering an occasional bump in the road is simply no big deal. 

5. ALL THAT “STUFF” ISN’T AS IMPORTANT AS WE THOUGHT! We sold, gave away and left behind an incredible amount of things…accumulations, “stuff.” It was painful to part with some of those treasures and to place others in storage. But as time passes we realize more and more how relatively unimportant all those things really are. No, what’s important is the experiences we’re having and the memories we’re making.  

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