Retire, buy a motor home and travel the country. It sounds so exciting right? And it is, most of the time. But there is a down side to a life on wheels. The things that are not in the “How To Do”books. It’s the things that are camouflaged in the aura of the adventure.
It’s been a year and a half since we sold it all and hit the road. At first we were in vacation mode, moving from place to place. It didn’t take long for the constant pace to ware us down and leave us exhausted and confused. Where did we see such and such? What town was that in? We had to change our thinking. This is not a vacation. It’s a lifestyle!
Constantly moving is expensive. RV parks charge more by the night than by the week, month, season or year. And with moving comes the cost of fuel, albeit for us the lessor of our expenses but expensive never the less. It gets pricey as you frequently add the miles.
Every move brings new surroundings. New places to see and do. It also means we have no idea where anything is located. We are at the mercy of good intentioned directions and GPS. So basically…..we’re lost! We stay longer and learn an area, move on and we’re lost again. It was fun at first, now not so much. Although it’s the larger cities that present the most challenge.
Healthcare is a big one. Sure we have Medicare, supplemental insurance and drug coverage. We are miles away from the Michigan doctors who knew us so well. That means that needed care is usually an urgent care facility. We may be treated by a physician or a nurse practitioner but rarely the same one twice. Health history is a do over with each and every visit.
Simple tasks like getting hair done, taking our cat to a vet, getting service on our coach or car, are tasks not easily done when moving from town to town. Yes, we figure it out. Now it just takes time and is no longer second nature.
We make all of our park reservations in advance so each destination is a given. Because the popularity of RV travel in recent years, the days of heading out and landing wherever are gone. Most parks, especially the ones in popular areas, are booked weeks, months, and even a year in advance. The reality is that there are more RV’s than there are parks to accommodate them. It’s not uncommon for us to spend several days working on our travel itinerary.
Misrepresentation of RV parks on the internet is all to common. The word “Resort” is used to describe a lot of parks that in reality are far from it. We’ve had the misfortune of booking a “Resort” when in reality it was unkept and filled with permanent residents that surrounded themselves with junk.
Lastly, there’s the disconnect from family and life long friends. Those who were always close are no longer there. We are miles away from our adult children and grandchildren. But hey! There’s technology Right? It helps but it’s no substitute.
We have had the pleasure of meeting some very wonderful people. People sharing this lifestyle are generally very friendly social people. But lasting relationships are rare. More often than not the best intentions of keeping in touch are lost in the many miles that separate them.
So does this mean that we want to quit? Not at all! We’ve visited some of the most beautiful parts of the country and have only scratched the surface. There’s so much more! As long as the pro’s out weigh the con’s, we’ll continue.
We go forward knowing this lifestyle won’t last forever. But as long as we have good health, are comfortable in this incredible machine, (thank you Newmar!), have the support of our family, and have the desire to explore, we’ll continue to call the road “Home.”