Goodbye Austin, Hello Dallas – The Roller Coaster of Full-Time Travel – Full-Time RV Life

Artwork by Gabby–My Goddaughter

The title of this blog is Random Bits of Trial and Error and it’s morphed into the travel log for our full-time traveling memories.  Since random is the key word–random is pretty much the subject. There are so many informational blogs out there about buying the right RV, how to dump the tanks, horse power, the best toads, downsizing, organization–you name it–the blog-and-vlog-osphere is full of valuable knowledge.  This is different.  I may do RV park reviews one day and write about some weird out-of-the-way place we stumbled across the next.  I might lament about some mechanical problem and cover a really cool restaurant we ran into.   There are practical things like how we get our mail and a tirade about how emotional this life can be.  It’s not just a reflection of our travel, but of the feelings and ups and downs that go along with being on the road.  It’s not always about the adventure of seeing exciting and fun places–it’s also about paying attention and giving time to the people that are important to us.

That’s why pulling out of Austin was hard.  Saying goodbye to the quality family time we’ve gotten is difficult.  We stay long enough to get a routine going and then it’s time to pack it up and head to another destination.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our nomadic lifestyle and change of pace every few weeks.  It’s keeping us both active and we are seeing places we’ve never visited before.  It’s the sadness of saying goodbye to the people we love and the happiness in heading to the next family visit.  It’s like an emotional roller coaster ride. We so enjoyed Austin and visiting Mike’s parents, but we were headed to Dallas to visit my sister, Ruth, and my goddaughter and close family friends.  It was necessary to switch gears.

We only had a short visit planned, so I tried to prepare for the fast pace of making the most of the time together.  My rheumatoid disease friends will understand the significance of resting up in preparation–in Austin, I had a bout with flu followed by tonsillitis/strep, which necessitated halting the RA immunosuppression injections for a period of time and brought on a rheumatoid flare.  Being sick was not an ideal hand of cards when traveling, but, thankfully, it was manageable.  The hard part is leveraging the time needed for self-care when there is travel in the mix, people to see, and exciting things to do. Downtime is a necessary added obstacle and another portion of the perpetual roller coaster.

ruthie 2

Our trip to Dallas was concentrated on simply visiting loved ones, and that’s basically what we accomplished.  Ruth and I spent an entire day together sitting in comfy lawn chairs at the wooded campsite catching up with one another–talking, laughing, and sharing healing tears.  It was an all-day gab fest and I think we both enjoyed spending the quality time together.  We got caught up on our kids, jobs, life, our parents–the whole gambit.  We don’t get to do that often, and it was a memorable time for both of us.  Sad part is we were so involved in our quality time, I didn’t get a selfie with her.


The time spent with Gabby, my goddaughter, and her moms, (Sherrie and Becky) was a lively time, too.  I introduced them to geocaching and we spent stealth time finding caches in the dark, in the park, and all around the Irving, Texas area.  I got to see where Gabby goes to school, her room, and get lots of hugs.

Yes, we did see a couple tourist areas in Dallas, but the majority of the time was spent at the motorhome bonding with family.  The tourist areas were wonderful (future blog post), the geocaching was exciting (future blog post), trying a couple local restaurants was interesting, but the memorable time was simply visiting one another and catching up.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

–Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

It is a roller coaster leaving one place and heading to the next, and there are even twists and turns and loop-de-loops when we are settled between destinations, but the rewards are rich, renewing, and wonderful.  It’s a random life that makes each moment different and unique.  I love the anticipation of each steep hill, screaming with the downward spiral, and the thrill of every twisty turn–this is our life and I love every random bit.

Until the next time,

Love, Dawn



  1. Sorry to hear about the health-related issues, Dawn. Sometimes we visit places where I didn’t feel we did enough exploration of the area. But you know what we couldn’t be in a tourist mode all the time because it’s too exhausting. Plus, we can always come back if it’s that important.

    1. Thank you for your wise words–you always have the best advice! I think I had such a high expectation of all the places to see and people to visit that I forgot to pen in time for downtime to just rest and breathe. I’m learning, though–and still loving it. 🙂

  2. Great post, Dawn. Love that quote about time. I’m enjoying reading your random bits. I think I’d enjoy it less if it was strictly about the mechanics of RV life 🙂 Safe travels!

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