Quite a few people have asked this question, and I’m sure even more have thought it and refrained from asking. The short, flip response is a slightly defiant, “Because I could”. But more to the point, it was because I feared the deep regret I would feel if I didn’t take this leap of faith simply out of fear of failure or fear of the unknown.
I’ve LONG wanted to travel the country by RV. I’ve always envied those who did, including my parents and both my sisters. Mom & Miles started out in a small Class B back in 1999 (I think?), then moved up to a travel trailer, then into a gorgeous 5th wheel trailer. My Dad & Bev had a beautiful Class A for many years, as did my sister, Kathi and her husband, Jack. My younger sister, Julie, and her family have a big truck camper, with which they pull their ski boat, creating memorable family adventures. Living in Alaska, I never had the opportunity to join them on vacations, but I followed them on Facebook and continued to dream …
My own first taste of camping as a child was mostly tent camping. Ahh, Bass Lake and the Salton Sea – great memories. Nightly campfires, hikes in the woods, swimming, water-skiing, cooking on a Coleman stove and eating around a picnic table. I had a great childhood!
As a young adult, my [then] husband and I had a small truck camper for a while. One outstanding memory from those days was a camping trip with our two small kids, Tom and Dan, from southern CA up through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada, seeing majestic Yosemite, vast and wildlife-filled Yellowstone and so much more. How we managed it, with two small, active boys and a large dog, amazes me now. The details of the trip have sadly faded with time, but the sense of deep enjoyment of that type of travel remained.
Jerry and I had planned to travel when he retired (if not sooner), with the mode of travel never quite settled on (I wanted to RV, he preferred travel by car and staying in motels), but life threw us a major curve ball before we ever started, when Jer suffered a severe TBI in September 2009. Yes, that will be an entirely different blog post … eventually. You know how they always say not to put things off, because you never know what will happen?
Traveling with Jerry after the TBI has been challenging at best. He still wanted/wants to travel, and we made several attempts at flying to visit friends and family over the past 10 years, but he is most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Travel makes him anxious and anxiety makes him cranky. They were, for the most part, not relaxing trips. We seem to do best at this point when joint RV trips are kept short and/or he has plenty to do outside of the RV. *Note; our current plan when/if I manage my hoped for trip “outside” is for him to join me, traveling by plane, when I get to an area he wants to visit or has friends, travel with me for a week or so, then fly back home. I think that might work. 🙂
So … back to my story. When I hit 65 a few years back, it hit me pretty forcefully that I wasn’t getting any younger. The old saying, “If not now … when?” started playing a tune in my head. But I was busy working a steady, if not fulltime, office job and teaching K9 Nose Work classes, my dogs were enrolled in weekly classes and practices and I had a home to see to. Plus the not small consideration that we are not exactly rolling in cash. Jerry has a decent retirement income, but my monthly contribution from my part-time job has been a welcome addition, allowing me to do the dog sports and classes my pups and I so enjoy.
Travel was on the back burner; something I wanted to do, but not something that looked likely anytime in the near future. But wait! Really … the NEAR future? I was already in my mid-60’s. I needed a mind-set adjustment. I REALLY wasn’t getting any younger. I could continue as I was, not unhappy with my job or my life, but wishing I could fulfill at least a few things on my life-long bucket list – or I could step out of my comfort zone, retire from my job, fly without a net for a while and just DO IT. GULP.
There’s more to it, of course … but now I think I need to figure out how to move this over to my “RV Adventures” page to continue, so I’m stopping here. No clue where within my blog this post is going to pop up – you can find out with me. Tune in for more. 🙂