Day 3 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
As a full-time wanderer having traveled many different ways, I cannot rave enough about the functionality of a camper. In the States, they call them RVs (Recreational Vehicles) and they come in different sizes, ages and styles. Of all possible ways to see the world, doing it by camper is my favorite. While people of all age categories are bound to enjoy a vacation or a lifestyle in an RV, I think that adventurous retirees especially benefit from exploring the country or the continent by camper for its ease of living and moving. As a matter of fact, many senior citizens of Canada and the US sell (or rent) their house and get rid of most of their belongings to move into an RV (sometimes part-time during the winter months) and head south. They travel with the seasons, visit their preferred campgrounds, cities, national parks, beaches and other places and include family gatherings along the way. I would (and hopefully will) do the same!
As a youngster in Europe, I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be to have my own Volkswagen campervan and roam the world as a hippie. Until I set foot in one of those vehicles in my twenties. They are pretty small, especially for a couple and their dog(s). Everything is mini-sized and none of them had a shower. On the Belgian highway, I noticed many caravans (travel trailers). They all looked funny to me and had Dutch license plates. Caravans were a thing from Holland, or so it seemed. My parents’ neighbors had a motorhome (class C) for vacations and that intrigued me as well. But, I had never possessed a car, so why (and how?) would I ever own a camper?
Then, in 2003, I left Belgium for what unexpectedly would become “forever”, to join my boyfriend in the US. He had a Ford Explorer SUV with a tow hitch and we planned to travel throughout the USA for a year or so. Our living quarters would be a 24 foot “light” travel trailer. We had some great adventures with it, but the camper was too big for us and our dog and it was awkward to drive. We exchanged our set-up for a F250 truck in Texas and added a camper to its bed in Colorado. Then, we were happily set to explore Canada, Alaska and the West. It was a wonderful way of seeing the countryside.
A year after that trip ended, I had a new boyfriend and two dogs instead of one. A failed cruising attempt on our sailboat in California turned into the purchase of a camper. We found a slightly bigger truck camper than I had before and we drove all through Mexico and Central America over the span of one year. I love the freedom to be able to go wherever you want (on the continent), to have your own house and belongings with you and to not have to worry about bad weather, like on a boat. Diesel is cheaper than gas in most countries and you can do your own cooking, which keeps the cost down. Wild camping (also called boondocking) is possible in many areas and is totally free.
The campers we like have a small bathroom and comfortable sitting area and are relatively easy to drive and park. With a truck camper, you can drive from underneath the camper and use the truck separately, but recently, Mark and I are getting more and more interested in campervans. Yes, they are also small and some downsizing and simplifying is necessary to make the lifestyle work, but the rewards are big. Imagine combining camper travel with house and pet sitting whenever you want a break from life on the road. Now that would be the best of both worlds! Rest assured… we are looking into it. 🙂
Have you ever rented or owned a camper? Could you change your whole life around and live in an RV full-time? How about part-time? What would you miss most? What would you love about the lifestyle?
(If you missed my previous blogs for the A-Z Challenge, they were “A is for Adventure” and “B is for Belongings“. Tomorrow, I will be back with “D is for Dogs” in the “Thoughts about being a nomad” series.)