We get many different reactions when we tell people we live and work full time in our RV and travel around the United States. There’s the horrified reaction, “I could never get rid of my stuff!” The resistant response of, “Oh, no. Not for me. I’d miss the grandkids too much.” The popular, “I’m a homebody, I have to be where my roots are.” Most of them, though, say this: “Go for it! What a life!” My favorite is the latter, but I also understand the nay-sayers’ point of view. This lifestyle is not for everybody, but it’s working out perfectly for us.
Often people view the nomadic lifestyle as an escape from society or family ties with pictures in their heads of a lone camper in a desert. Of course, that would be wonderful, but it isn’t always the reality. For us, it’s a way to be close to our loved ones. We have family members scattered around the United States, and it’s such a blessing to spend a few weeks close to our parents, our kids, our cousins, aunts and uncles. Since we also have genealogy research in our repertoire, we even meet new relatives in our journeys. It actually enhances our ties to family.
Since my blog is an account of memories we make along the way, of course it involves family members. In Austin, it was Mike’s parents and siblings and meeting a cousin I’d never met in person. In Dallas, I got to visit with my goddaughter and my sister. In Oklahoma, we caught up with a childhood friend. In Branson, it was our oldest daughter. In Jacksonville, we got to see the lovely faces of Mike’s beautiful girls:
While we were in Asheville, I got to visit my brother, Sean. There’s nothing like a tight hug from a loved sibling. I may be the oldest, but he will always be the tallest.
I drove down to Columbia to visit my Great Aunt Margie and her daughter, Tracy. Aunt Margie is the only living sibling of my grandmother–she’s spry, quick-witted, and a tiny little spitfire. I love her growing-up stories and tidbits of information on my great grandparents. Meeting my cousin, Tracy (her first name is my great-grandfather’s family name), was a delight and pleasure. I loved our visit and can’t wait to get to the Columbia, South Carolina, area to visit these sweet ladies again.
Mike also got to meet a first cousin while in Asheville. Anne came to the campsite to meet and spend some time with us. She was family at the first instant. Good food, smooth wine, and excellent conversation. Don’t worry, Anne–what happens at the campsite stays at the campsite. What a great time!
We are on our way to Michigan, so this afforded us a very short stay through Ohio to visit my mom, sister, nieces and nephew. The trip was too short and during the work week, so I’m hoping to see my brother, Russ, and his family, my Jones siblings and their families, and other close friends on the next trip through. It’s hard to “go home” (the place where I grew up) and be able to see everyone in one fell swoop unless it’s a family gathering of some sort–especially when everyone is working. Here are some fun times we were able to squeeze in:
Family is important to us, even though we live a life that takes us from one exciting destination to another. It is so much easier for us to cherish the everyday moments in the lives of our family members when we ‘live’ nearby. Before, visits were during vacation and trying to fit in as much as we could in an abbreviated amount of time. This way is much sweeter. It’s very cliche’, but we are enjoying the journey. Every. Second. Maybe that’s simply because we don’t have a specific destination in mind.
Meanwhile, we are soaking in the time we have with our loved ones. It’s a moment in time that will never be repeated–only relived in precious memories.
Are you living every second to the fullest? Do you find this lifestyle to be helpful or harmful to family ties?
Safe travels, Dawn