I had an amazing experience in my younger years: I was a nomad. I was floating where ever the winds took me with all of my worldly possessions in a bag on my back. I didn’t quite do it “right” in those days… I hitchhiked, I jumped freight trains, I hiked and hiked and hiked. Luckily, I survived intact and with a much brighter view of the world around me. I learned what was truly important in life and in this world and it’s not what a lot of us think! It’s family, it’s those friends you meet along the way that you suddenly realize you view as if they were an actual sibling, parent or child of yours… even though they aren’t. It’s the earth itself in all her all her splendor. It’s those spaces far out in the wilds still untouched by human hands, wild and free! I also learned a great deal about people in general: MOST people are essentially good, MOST people really don’t want to harm you, and that if you watch closely and listen intently, you can learn more about someone than they would ever dare to tell you with their own mouth. I learned to be free from fear and to instead be curious and cautious. Unfortunately, that lesson is one that I need to brush up on, as I do have anxiety now and am working very hard to overcome that.
You see, no one wants to live in fear. No one. We all want peace, deep in the core of our beings, we yearn for peace and joy. We yearn to be free!
Then, in 2017, something unexpected happened. My husband and I decided to take our son, my in-laws and our niece on vacation. But, we didn’t want to leave our big English Mastiff dog with a sitter and no boarding kennel around here takes dogs as huge as he is. And we kinda wanted to take him on vacation too…. dogs need vacays! LOL! So we looked at all sorts of options. We didn’t trust the transmission in our SUV to make it through the Appalachian mountains, so we knew we’d need to rent something. And it needed to make it through the mountains to the in-laws house and from there to the beach on the Outer Banks of NC for our Thanksgiving vacation. So we decided to look at renting an RV.
Our son HATES travelling and road trips. He hates being strapped in the car, he hates sleeping in hotels or staying in someone else’s house. He just wants to be home so we expected him to completely hate the entire vacation but something wonderful happened! He LOVED IT! He still had to be strapped in while we were moving, but he could look all the way around, he could see everything, he had a table right in front of him so he could eat on the road, he could color, he could read, he could play on a tablet, he had a bed that he always had throughout the trip (no sleeping in strange beds) and said he felt like he could enjoy travelling because he had his home, albeit temporary it still felt like his home, that went with him the whole way. He totally came out of his shell, it relaxed and experienced the joy of just being alive and on this gorgeous earth! This kid was guarded. He was slow to trust, slow to talk to people he didn’t know well and…. well, he was a bit anti-social. All of that changed when he spent 10 days travelling in an RV.
We rented a 30′ Class C RV for 10 days. It had a full size bed in the back, a full size bunk over the driver’s cab, a jackknife couch (it transforms into a bed ala futon-style) and the dinette also turned into a short bed. All in all, it was rated to sleep 7. We had 6 and a 175 pound dog. We spent a few nights “boondocking” outside the in-laws house… I call it boondocking because we had no hookups there but we weren’t out in the boonies, just rural NC parked in their yard. We spent our time in the Outer Banks at the KOA campground there (amazing campground, more like a resort… and priced like a resort! LOL), the campground hosted a Thanksgiving potluck for the campers so that was really nice! We got to meet and talk to a lot of other campers, some who travel full time and stop by for Thanksgiving potluck every year! Our son had a grand time, he totally came out of his shell! He would make sure he was always touching one of us (usually holding an adult’s hand), but he loved the sights. He loved listening to other people telling stories from the road, he just soaked it up! He would talk to people like he had known them for years, even though we just met while standing in line to get to dinner! He would just introduce himself and start talking, which is something he would never have done before! Sometimes he was so excited to make a new friend that he totally forgot to introduce himself and would just start talking or asking questions 🙂 That wall of his just melted away and he enjoyed being in that community.
When it was time to clean up and return the RV, he was very sad. He said he loved travelling in it and wanted to know if we could keep it so we could take more vacations like that! I told him that we had rented it and our rental was up, so we had to return it but that if he was sincere and patient, we could work on trying to afford to buy our own. That tickled him to bits and he has been actually learning as much as he can about RV living, looking forward to when we can get our own. He watches YouTube videos, he looks up different models and floorplans, he learns about propane safety and most recently has been learning about solar power for mobile living. He told me that he wants to travel to PowWows all over the country and see the country while we are out there. He wants to see the Grand Canyon, the Rockies, the Sierras, the Redwoods, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, autumn in Maine, winter in Arizona, summer in Oregon and Washington. He wants to go to the California Powwow, the Seminole Powwow in Florida, the Gay Pride march in San Fransisco one year and NY the next, he wants to attend the Women’s Rally in DC and he wants to go to Mississippi to see where the Equal Rights marches happened. He is SO EXCITED and FULL OF JOY every time he talks about it. He isn’t scared, he isn’t apprehensive, he isn’t dreading it in the slightest. He is seeking a nomad life with all of his being! The only thing, he said, was he would really love it if we could have a TV this time and maybe take a game console or two. LOL! He was totally without all of those things the last time and still had a great time. Anyone who knows my kid personally can attest that getting him to willingly unplug is a rare thing!
So, I have started an Amazon Ideas List on this topic. The list will be filled with items that we have found to either downsize for RV living (USB powered air purifier for his allergies, for example), to simplify life in an RV (like shoe holders that you can use for other stuff near your door) or make awesome additions to commemorate your adventures. It will also eventually have items for the solar ideas we are working on developing and things like rugs, chairs, boots, etc.
This is something that we are in the baby stages of planning for, but something that we really do want to do in the near future! I hope you enjoy our Ideas List! If you think of something that we should add to this list, please tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear your ideas!