Coming home? My emotions are all over the map.
Strangers In A Strange Land
It’s bittersweet returning to the home that my parents built 40 years ago and to not have them here to greet us. Despite the fact that they almost drove me crazy the last couple of years of their lives, I miss them. This is our first homecoming after losing them both in less than a year. I still expected to see Mom and Dad rushing (or in the last few years, tottering) out to greet us with hugs and kisses as we pulled into the driveway, ready for happy hour on the porch and watching the sunset together over the bay.
Returning to what is now our home, I feel somewhat disoriented. We never imagined that we would live in Florida. Never in a million years did we think that we would be living in my parents’ home. Never in a million years did we think we would sell our home in Southern Oregon. We’re still adjusting to our new reality.
And this was our first trip that officially puts us into the category of ‘part-time travelers,’ after seven-and-a-half years of full-time travel.
More Than One Way To Live A Life
Traveling again naturally brings up the question of how much we want to travel. We’re not in complete agreement about that. Scratching the travel itch for me is like scratching a mosquito bite. It just makes me itch to travel more.
Eric, though, is certain that he’s done with full-time traveling. He’s really liking being settled down, and much to my everlasting amazement, he’s liking being settled down in Florida. He loves the birding, the biking, the abundant wildlife, and living on the bay, with the beautiful sunsets that come along with our location.
I enjoy those things, too. But I’m not done traveling, and knowing that we’re closing the chapter on our full-time travels is hard for me to accept. We always knew that we weren’t going to travel full-time forever, but our traveling lifestyle definitely met an early demise because of the pandemic. I think I can be happy traveling part-time, but I still want to make long trips of at least several months every year. Eric is less certain of how long he wants to be away from home.
I think—WAIT a minute!! There’s still so much we haven’t seen! And this is the first time in eight years that we are completely free, with no commitments to parental care in Florida, camp hosting on Lopez Island, or checking in on our former home in Southern Oregon.
I’ve always felt that we were fortunate not only in having the freedom to travel, but fortunate in that we both embraced this lifestyle. Living in a box-on-wheels for years at a time, with the challenges inherent in a traveling life, is not for everyone. But all I have to do is scroll back through our blog, or glance at our photo gallery, and I’m reminded of all that we’ve seen and done. We wouldn’t have done near as much had we not embarked on this lifestyle. And I’m deeply grateful. At the same time, I’m feeling regretful about the things we’ve not yet experienced—Glacier, Teton National Park, the Canadian Rockies, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, for example. We always figured that we could easily pick up the places we missed on a future trip.
Some of those things are now thousands of miles away, and will be more challenging to do now that we’re not full-timing. It’s a simple life lesson: Don’t skip stuff thinking that you’re going to get back to it someday. Because you might not.
Actually, that’s good advice for life in general, isn’t it? Which brings me to my next random philosophical musing.
The Benefits Of Being At Home
Eric is happy about returning to his daily biking routine, visiting his favorite birding spots, and adding to his bird and bay photo collection.
Magnolia is thrilled to have her screened porch, her deluxe cat tree for observing the birds, and a spacious house for playing our daily game of Chase the Cat, which she taught us and she ADORES. Here are the rules, according to Magnolia: Kitty hides in the bedroom and meows. We come looking for the kitty, calling out “Where’s the kitty? Is there a kitty cat in here?” If we use a scary monster voice, all the better. Kitty pounces on us and takes off running through the house, with us in hot pursuit. Repeat, over and over and over…
Magnolia turned out to be a very good traveler. But playing Chase the Cat in the trailer was nowhere near as much fun for her as it is playing it in the house.
So I’m apparently outvoted on the desire to be at home, two to one. Honestly, I’m not sure if I still want to travel full-time, or if it’s just that I don’t want that option to to be in my rear view mirror. There are many benefits to being at home, and to being in one place for a while. When we’re traveling, I’m absorbed in exploring a new environment, and consumed with planning our travels.
Which brings me back to my thoughts about not putting stuff off. That applies to more than just travel.
Being at home, I have the opportunity to resume the activities that fall by the wayside when we’re traveling. I’m looking forward to sketching and painting, playing my guitar, and my yoga practice. We’re both looking forward to seeing friends, and to participating in some of the local activities that were put on hold during the worst of the pandemic. These are all things that we miss out on when we’re continually traveling.
BUT. I am not giving up on our travels. I can be very persuasive, LOL. Me: “So, are you telling me you want to be in Florida when the temps are 80-90 degrees with matching humidity?” Eric: “No!” Me: “So, that means we need to be away from June until sometime in October, right?” Eric, immersed in recording his bird sightings on eBird: “Uh-huh.”
That’s good enough for me to start planning our Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin trip for next summer. That’s at least a four-month trip, but don’t tell him. He’ll be happy to be away when the heat descends in June. And we already know that Miss Magnolia is a fine little traveler, even if she has to play an abbreviated version of Chase the Cat.
Welcome back! I know it’s hard to transition your mind-set (and self-image) away from full time travel. I wonder when my blog will actually mention RVing again. But while there is loss in any change, there is also opportunity. We are personally excited about new types of travel that we may experience now that we have a home base. Europe! Galapagos! Fly to Alaska and rent an RV there! The possibilities are broader now that we don’t have to put everything in the context of “Let’s drag our house behind us as we go.” Plus I know you will find plenty of local activities that will give you a sense of connection and place that’s hard to achieve with full time travel. I am sure that you will eventually find the perfect balance.
Thanks, Shannon. You’re right, having a home base opens up more travel opportunities now that we don’t have to think about dragging our house behind us. Although I must admit, one of the things I’ve loved about our full-time travels is having everything I want with me in my giant rolling suitcase, AKA our trailer, LOL.
Now that we’re settling back in, I’m looking forward to enjoying all that this area offers, including hanging out with you guys. By the way, we should go to the Seafood Festival together next week…that is “THE” local event in these parts!
So I’ll just cut and paste and use in my blog! I’m still hesitant to call our house “home”. As far as I’m concerned it’s still a winter base and not where we will be “living” most of our lives. For now Bill is of the same mind set. With those places still on your list I can’t imagine you not being back out there for at least a few more years! It’s not a bad thing to have the choices you now have, but I do understand your concern that long term travel might no longer be in your future. I think that often it is the driver who makes the decision to reduce or end traveling which makes sense. I know you two (three) will figure out a good balance! Magnolia is doing a great job of training you – how could you say no to that face :-))))
We’ll be in Michigan in August!
Jodee, I obviously need to start doing some of the driving. Unless I can talk Magnolia into it, LOL. I don’t like pulling the trailer, but I need to put on my big girl panties and just DO it. Eric has never minded doing all the driving in the past, but I think that’s changed. I just can’t stand the thought of giving up long trips—we have all those places still to see, and so many adventures waiting!
Speaking of which, I’m so glad to know you’ll be in Michigan in August. We need to plan to meet up! :-)
I totally understand exactly how you are feeling. I wrestled (and still do a little) with all these feelings when we moved to BC. But I must say that it is easier for me to return home after a trip now that it has been three years. I do truly enjoy having the house and the security it provides. But that being said, I do still love life on the road. I said to John when we were in Colorado that what I miss being in the house is having something new to do each day. That was why I loved life on the road…a new adventure every single day. It was easier for my to come off the road because my list of must see places was complete. We really covered the US and Canada well in our eight years. We were at the point of repeats and much smaller adventures. So right now I am happy with a few trip away every year. As John said, we can close up the house at any time and leave for as long as we want. You can take many months and return west to see the places you’ve missed and see what’s in between! Nothing has you pinned to FL. I am looking forward to dock/bay photos! So glad to hear Magnolia is a good traveler. Have a great fall in FL.
Pam, you understand exactly how I feel! There are definitely things I enjoy about having a house again—but at the same time, I miss the excitement and never ending adventure of life on the road.
Unlike you guys, we still have a long list of things we haven’t seen. We’ve experienced a lot in our travels, including things that many people never do (like our time on Vancouver Island, for example), but there are some things we missed because of other commitments we had, or because the weather didn’t cooperate. And I know people say, “You’ll never be able to see everything,” but there are still some big things that I want to do before we stop traveling. Which I hope is far in the future. You’re right, we can close up the house and go at any time, especially in summer, haha! Enjoy your time at home before you head out again. :-)
Such a well written, honest blog Laurel. As you know, we now have two houses and are semi content with that arrangement although I would like to have only one–in a more temperate climate than Montana. But, you can’t take the Cowboy out of Montana–isn’t going to happen. There were many places I wanted to go before we hung up the keys entirely but that didn’t happen. Michael is 75 years old and feels his days of struggling with an RV are mostly over–especially if it entails going anywhere near the east coast! We still get out for our ATV trips, with a much smaller rig, but both of us really enjoying coming “home.” I still go back to your blog about selling your Oregon home and leaving the west due to the drought and forest fires. Michael wants to do that–leave in the summer when it’s so hot, dry, and smoky–so that leaves us with this Montana place for only about three months or more?? But it’s all a compromise isn’t it!
Janna, it was so easy when Eric and I were in complete agreement about traveling full-time! We were lucky to think similarly for all those years, because I’ve talked with many people who wanted to travel, but their partner didn’t. I think we’ll be able to figure this out so that we’re both happy. As you said, compromise. :-)
You and Michael really do have a great situation with lovely homes in two beautiful places. Although I know it’s also a lot to take care of, and the wildfires and drought are really complicating enjoying summers out west. Sigh. Life is ever-changing, and we all just have to keep adapting…
I’m happy you made it back home. I didn’t realize with pandemic you had to remain in Florida. You are blessed to travel. It’s a dream of a lot of people, myself included. Beautiful photos. Thank you for always sharing.
Thank you, Christine, for following along with us. We’ve been in Florida since January 2020, and this was our first trip out since then. It was a long stretch of staying in one place and it was great to be back out exploring. I look forward to when you embark on your travels!
Having just come off a five and half week road trip, I’d have to say that the word “bittersweet” adequately describes the experience of returning home after a long absence. Our adventures on the road feed my soul, but I absolutely love our home and the area in which we live. Being at home allows me the pleasure of seeing our kids and, as you mentioned, enjoying the hobbies and activities that being on the road precludes. Alan and I are dedicated part-timers; I don’t ever see us going to full-time travel. That being said, I’m very aware that our future travels will be dictated not only by our preferences, but also by our health and abilities. So we continue to prioritize our destinations, and plan to see and do as much as possible while we still want to and are able to. The urge to travel flows through my brain and my veins like the waters of the rivers and streams that I love. I consider wanderlust more of an addiction than an affliction.
Shelly and I are one month into a seven month adventure in the Southwest. For me it was bittersweet to leave home for such a long time after spending so many months in Buffalo. I think a balance of being home for a time and traveling for a time can really set a good rhythm. Your spot in Florida has so much to offer~not to mention a straight shot north to Michigan and Wisconsin 🥾. Have fun this winter planning that next adventure north!
Hi Pat, I’m glad to hear from you and to know that you and Shelly are off on a big adventure! I hope you’ll be sharing about it in your blog. We’re very grateful to have such a sweet place in Florida, and we hope you two will come visit us. I’m going to do my best to find that place of balance between being at home and traveling. And I need to get busy with those reservations for next summer!
Mary, as you know, travel feeds my soul, too! I think you’re wise to prioritize your destinations, and I think that’s a good plan for us to adopt going forward. I just never realized how quickly the years would pass in our full-time travels. It always seemed as though there would be plenty of opportunities to do all of the things we wanted to do.
Although there are destinations that are still on my list, I’m grateful for all of the experiences we’ve had, and every journey that we’ve made has been filled with adventure and moments of magic. I’m looking forward to winter at home, and planning for the next adventure. And I’m looking forward to reading about your most recent trip!
“What you said…” Your post pretty much sums up our feelings. We don’t miss the Dip (RV) but we do miss the travel. We were on the verge of spending a LOT of money on the Dip when we came off the road, money we could spend on trips overseas. It was a great time to sell her (we got a lot more than we thought we would) and now someone else is doing the maintenance.
We are very happily settled into a house that has become our travel base. We are leaving for Hawaii in a few days, Antarctica in about eight weeks, and are planning an RV trip through the UK for next summer/fall.
We’re just traveling differently now.
All our best!
Hey Riley & Karen, we’re so glad to hear that you two are happily settled into your new life chapter. It sounds like you chose the perfect time to make your exit from full timing—much better to put that $$ toward fun adventures instead of motorhome maintenance!
Your upcoming travels sound wonderful. I hope you’re planning on a trip to visit us in Florida at some point. Not quite as exciting as the Amazon and Hawaii, but we’ll show you a good time!
A long dose of Florida heat will set Eric onto your plans :)
LOL LOL LOL!!!! My thoughts exactly, Terri! :-) Where are you now? I’m looking forward to an update from you.
We’ve never been full-timers – I could never convince Russ to bite the bullet. We’ve found a happy compromise by being half-timers, taking a trip in the late summer/fall, coming home for the holidays, then heading out again in the winter (recommended for us Pennsylvanians). Meanwhile, you live in a beautiful place!
Aww, thanks, Janie. It is beautiful here, and we’re so happy that we had a couple of days with you and Russ last winter. We’re hoping you’ll come visit us again this year!
We seem to have returned to ‘half-timer’ status, and that’s not at all a bad thing. I just want to make sure that we don’t become ‘full-timers’ at home. Which honestly, given the Florida summers, I don’t think will happen. It seems as though you’ve found the perfect balance of being at home and traveling.
Maybe it IS the age thing. I am 76 and Mo is 81 and neither of us is particularly keen to take off on extremely long trips. We still get “the itch”, but it can be assuaged easily with two or three weeks to a different environment like the desert or the coast or Southern Utah. Cross-country travels are a bit more daunting, but we will do one more next year to New York. Probably just 2 months on the road, the longest we want to be away from home in the summer. With a touchy well and fire season, it doesn’t feel safe to be gone during the worst of the heat. I know we have missed some places to visit, some of the smaller delights of full-time traveling, but we have seen so much and have so many great memories, that most travels now within 1500 miles or so from home are some sort of repeat. I don’t mind repeats, we go back to the coast often, the desert in winter, Utah in October, but other places we might like to visit have become so overcrowded that it isn’t worth the trouble. Like you, I have a piano, quilting, card making, and other home pursuits that I really enjoy, and am happy for the time at home to explore those hobbies. Much harder to do on the road. I have a hard time imagining that you have left your Ashland life behind you for good. But like us getting to Florida, traveling across the country to revisit Ashland and Recreation Creek may be a long way down the road. Funny, most full-time couples who have hung up the keys have been like you and Eric. Women are still ready to go, but the guys are ready to hang it up and be home. I find that interesting.
Perhaps it’s time for some international travel? We just filled out our health info for Ecuador in mid Nov.!!!! Cannot wait as we included the Amazon on this jaunt!!!!!!
How exciting, Julie! We’re so happy for you and Martin! Looking forward to your photos and your adventure.
Sue, you brought up so many interesting points. I’ve also wondered if it’s an ‘age thing.’ I’m 67, Eric is 74. So maybe age is a factor? I’m not sure…but what I do know is that I need to take more initiative to help with the driving. I don’t really want to, but I need to if I want to keep traveling. Who knows, maybe one of these days we’ll need to get a little Class C or a van and I’ll just be hauling him around, LOL!!! I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on traveling.
You and Mo are so adventurous, and make such interesting trips. I’m always inspired by how often you’re willing to get out and travel for short jaunts—it’s a lot of work to head out for a few days! (I need to change my perspective on that after so many years of full timing.)
I think you will love your East Coast trip. We did a stellar East Coast trip in fall of 2019, and it was far less traumatic than I thought it would be. I’m going to post about it as soon as I finish our posts from our recent North Carolina adventures. :-)
You hit a nerve with us all….I love having a house and then traveling to new and interesting places when it’s weather becomes uncomfortable (whatever that may be to you….heat/snow/rain, etc.) I think having two homes is absolutely perfect, especially if one of them has wheels! Best of all words. It does, however, take a bit of time to adjust and re-adjust each time we leave and return. Keeps the mind healthy!
We’ve taylored our “Lewis games” to expand or retract depending on the space available. With Lewis it always entails a ball of some kind (his choice, always his choice).
I agree….don’t wait to do (or say) whatever is important. Our time is finite.
Sue, I wasn’t really quite ready to give up our full-time travels, but there’s a lot to be said for having a home base and then taking off for adventures at less than pleasant times of year (looks like it’s summer for you guys and for us!). Like you, we’re happy that one of our homes has wheels and can whisk us away from heat and humidity. How lucky we are!
I’m glad it’s not just me that needs time to adjust to leaving and returning home. I feel like I have jet lag, and we didn’t cross any time zones!
Here’s to staying present and current in this life, in every way.
As one of your friends said, it’s always bittersweet to return to a home base after being on the road for several weeks/months. We love our road trips (and are busy planning for 2 months in Canada and Alaska!), but we are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful area and are 99% content when we come home. We’re always happy to be back with my mom and all of our friends, but there’s always a longing to hurry up and go somewhere after a couple of weeks. 2 months is about all we’ll do while my mom is still alive. After that, Rod may not be interested in longer trips, so we may explore the east coast via planes & hotels instead.
Thanks for your suggestions about camera equipment. I’ll respond to the email later in the week. We have visitors arriving today and just said goodbye to some yesterday. Everyone loves to visit us on the Oregon coast, even during a cyclone bomb! :)
Les, we know just how beautiful the Oregon Coast is—you and Rod really do have an idyllic place to call home. And it’s so wonderful that you can be with your mom. We love our Florida home on the bay, too, and are so grateful to be here. It’s always been an adjustment for me coming home after a long trip away. I didn’t have to deal with that when we were full timing! But I intend to use this time well.
We’ve talked about traveling in different ways, but for now, we both prefer RVing. And of course, we have Magnolia to consider. :-) I’m looking forward to your Alaska adventure! I think you’ll be happy to have a camera other than just your phone for that kind of trip.
I hope all is well after your crazy cyclone bomb!
A really lovely post Laurel as usual and many very thoughtful comments. I know for a fact I would be more content to spend long periods of time if I owned your home on the bay and had thise sunsets and foxes all in my backyard. Having a permanent winter place is the best. For reasons you and I have discussed I will not be able to leave Virginia, where I have spent far more time because of David’s death and then this pandemic, until into December and Winnona has never been in Virginia in December. I am very concerned and frankly frightened about having to winterize her which neither David nor I had ever done. It sounds overwhelming but then lots of things without him seem overwhelming. What a beautiful beautiful spot you have. I can understand your feelings about travel completely because I share them but I can also understand why Eric is so happy to be where he is right now. Such a wonderful place in such a wonderful area.
Sherry, I’m so sorry that you’re stuck in Virginia and are having to winterize your RV. I hope you can find someone to help you. And I hope that you get your problems resolved so that you can come to Florida as soon as possible to continue with your plans! You’ve certainly had a lot of challenges in the past several years, and you’ve met them all with courage and tenacity.
I think you’re right that it’s good to have a winter place, and it is beautiful and peaceful here. We’re looking forward to seeing you in early spring—the first place we met you and David was in Apalachicola! We’re thinking of you and sending hugs.
Nicely written. I suspect that if you hadn’t been hit – in short order – by your parent’s passing AND a pandemic, any transition from full-time travel to static house might have been a bit easier. I also suspect that Eric is just talking tough at this point since winter in Florida – particularly where you are – can be very nice. But once the heat index gets above 100, he’ll likely be chaffing to get on the road north. :)
You really have to get to Glacier while it still has glaciers. We found that the best time to visit there is last week in August through September – between when the crowds go home and the park starts packing it in for winter.
Thanks for your comment and your advice, Bruce. We planned twice in the last few years to go to Glacier in September, but wildfires foiled our plans. :-( Somehow we need to figure out how to get there when fires or smoke won’t interfere…which makes it a bit more challenging now that we’re so far away. I was there as a child and remember how gorgeous it was. I’m determined to see it again. :-)
I think you’re right that the events of the last couple of years—both personal and global—have made it more difficult to adjust to giving up our full-time travels. But honestly, living in Florida and traveling part-time is what makes the most sense right now. And I suspect you’re right that Eric will be raring to travel come June, LOL.
It’s funny because, more than ever, we feel ready to be done with fulltime travel. We just haven’t figured out the next step so we’re coasting along, but the idea of doing this for years longer is just not that appealing. Meanwhile, what you’re doing – having this beautiful home base with perfect weather for much of the year, while still being able to travel when the weather turns, looks incredible! I’m sure whenever we actually hang up the fulltime keys, it will be bittersweet, but from where I’m standing right now (with the need to book reservations 100 years in advance and get tickets to national parks and only get to hang out with the people we like for a couple days at a time before going months or years without seeing them), the idea of settling in somewhere is pretty appealing.
My guess is you guys will enjoy a nice relaxing Fall and Winter at home and then be raring to go by the time the heat returns. You’ve had so much going on these past couple years, it’s been nonstop and tacking on several months of fulltime travel was a lot. But, hopefully, this next year will be much easier and by the time Summer rolls around, you’ll both be ready to get out there. Plus, like someone else mentioned, just think of the international travel opportunities that are now going to be on the table!
Laura, it’s so good to hear your perspective as a full-time traveler who has been on the road during the pandemic. Although you’ve made the most of your time and have enjoyed some wonderful adventures, I know it hasn’t been easy for you guys. Things seem to have changed pretty dramatically since the pandemic—and it was already difficult to get reservations in prime places!
As you said, we’ve been through a lot this last couple of years, from the loss of my parents to the pandemic, and then selling our Oregon home just a few months ago. I think this next year will give us the opportunity to really feel ‘at home’ here in Florida. We feel very fortunate to have this beautiful, peaceful place. And even better, we’ve made good friends here, and as you said, we’re able to comfortably be outdoors for much of the year. I think you guys need to move here. :-)) Although it’s not exactly D.C., haha! You’ll have a good opportunity to check it out this winter—we can’t wait to see you!
We’ve never been full-time travelers but we find that four to six weeks away is about enough for us. By the end of a long stay away, we both start to miss our nest. Where we live, there isn’t really a bad time of year to be home (we don’t have excess heat or any snow) so the urge to get away isn’t dependent on the seasons. I have a feeling that, while your husband is enjoying being back home now, come the heat and he’ll be happy to get away to somewhere cooler. I love Magnolia’s game! It reminded my of the games my kitty loved playing.
Janis, we had no idea how much fun we would have with Magnolia! It sounds like you had a very interactive kitty, too. I’m not exaggerating, she really did teach us how to play ‘chase the kitty.’ And she’s very persuasive, LOL.
You do live in the most perfect place in terms of weather in this country. We have a lovely long late fall/winter/spring to look forward to here in Florida before hell descends again. I think as you said, Eric will change his mind about being here once summer arrives. So I’m going to plan ahead. :-)
There you are. Welcome back to Fl. 💕 You can always come to visit me while Eric birds, close to NSB. After 14yrs of mold, mildew and all the outside funguses I’ve been looking into eco villages or intentional communities in dry climates. Eco too primitive and intentional too pricey. Loved your always heartfelt and warm post. Happy FL Fall Laurel ! ❤
Thank you, Kathryn! It’s lovely being back in Florida—it’s beautiful now and I’m grateful that we have a long stretch of good weather ahead. It’s interesting that you’re looking into eco villages and intentional communities—that’s something we’ve always been interested in, too. We actually looked at a tiny house community in North Carolina. I’d love to know more about what you’re thinking of doing! And it would be wonderful to meet up with you somewhere. I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful Florida fall, too. 💕
Thank you for this lovely post. Aren’t we so lucky to be able to make these choices? Although, I have to admit that I don’t always stay aware of that. We have stayed full time throughout the pandemic and even having done that, things are not the same. It feels a lot more crowded and it’s harder for us to just ‘wing it’ with so many places full. Well, that’s life. We look forward to seeing you at year’s end.
Susan, I agree—we’re so fortunate to have these choices of how to live our lives. It’s interesting for me to hear your perspective about full timing during the pandemic. We generally make reservations far ahead but there are always a few times that we just ‘wing it.’ I really don’t like hearing that it’s so much more crowded. We actually had great luck in North Carolina and Virginia, but I’m not counting on that for next summer! We’re looking forward to seeing you two in a couple of months! Safe travels.
Thank you, Laurel, for your heartfelt musings. It somehow helps to read the pondering of others. And thank you, Eric, for the stunning photos.
Thank you, Nancy, for your always lovely comments. It helps me to read the musings of others, too. I like knowing that I’m not alone. :-) And I’m glad you’re enjoying the photos. There’s a lot of beauty to photograph here! I hope you’re enjoying the glorious Ashland fall colors and cool weather.
You laid out both sides of your choices very well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts, as well as all of the comments by your readers. It appears that most have chosen to RV, much like Helen and me. We’re nowhere near ready to turn in the keys and find that two trips of three to four months suit us perfectly. We plan them, and that gives us something to look forward to. You and Eric have a great situation in having a home on the Gulf Coast. I say perfect because that is where we have chosen for our winter trip for the last three years. If it weren’t such a tough ticket, we would be there this year, but we secured campsites in San Diego and Seal Beach, CA, so that’s where we will spend three months, beginning in January.
Love your butterfly picture. Glad you made it home safely. Have a great week! Joe
Joe, I think we’ve joined the group of part timers who travel as you and Helen do. You two are inspiring in the distances you travel! You plan such great trips, see (and photograph) so much beauty, and always seem to have such a wonderful time. It’s been a long time since we’ve done part-time travel, so we need inspiration from friends like you!
How exciting that you’ll be in San Diego for the winter! That’s a beautiful place to be, as you know. We’re hoping you and Helen will plan to visit us again—we’ll be here until next June.
Welcome home! I think another reader (and you, subsequently) hit on the fact that the one who drives the most, tires more quickly of the full-time life. That reminds me, I need to work in a few practice runs while we have the next couple months of short-distance moves. I’m sure you’ll settle into the balance of your time in your new home and some time traveling. I suspect that a bit of your sadness stems from having settled in an area that you’ve explored so well and feeling, perhaps, that there isn’t much new to see and do there. We have the same concerns about when we finally stop wandering, wondering how we will fill the days that used to be filled by working and then by exploring. You have the right idea, though, in adding to your in-place repertoire of activities as well as continuing those time-tested hobbies that bring you peace and joy. Besides, birds? foxes? an enthusiastic game-playing kitty? That’s golden!
Joodie, it is a huge adjustment to come off the road and to no longer have the ever changing landscape and unending adventures inherent in the full-time traveling lifestyle. And you’re right, we’ve seen and done most everything here, many times over. As you know, there’s a subtle joy to be found in the familiar—as you pointed out, the birds and foxes and other wildlife that visit us, and our in-house wild and hilarious kitty. :-)
I’m also determined to dig in and really do something with my desire to paint, and to not let this time at home slip by. Here’s to staying present and grateful, wherever we are!
Oh, what a thoughtful discourse you have in your mind or should I say a nice dilemma to have. I think you have the best of two worlds, I love where you are and what you have in your surroundings. For sure come summer, someone (Eric and Maggie) will say let’s get out of this humidity and cool off somewhere. In the meantime you have a few months to ponder more what the future will bring while you are painting, sketching or ticking off the stuff on your very long list.
Having been in our house for over a year now we frankly do not miss traveling with Betsy. It seems the moment we got off the road, our mindset of RV travel just turned off and never looked back. To break the monotony of staying in one place in the heat we did have a few road trips this year. If not for the pandemic we could have travel more internationally so we just settled domestically. And I am now gardening and not blogging!
In time, the anxiety of what ifs, the unsatisfied travel yearnings or being domesticated all year will somehow present a eureka moment. Then you will act on whatever that will be and you will be at peace with yourself. Enjoy being in a brick home for now.
ML, you’re right—this is a good dilemma to have. We’re so fortunate to have options in life. And we do love many things about being here in Florida, although I really wish we weren’t so far away from so many of our friends, including you two.
I’m so glad that you and Steve are so happy in your new Arizona home. You guys did it right in your many years of travel in that you were very deliberate in your planning, so that when you stopped RVing, you were truly ready. I think you saw and did just about everything possible!
As you said, I’m going to enjoy these next months of being at home. Enjoy your winter in Arizona, and keep us posted on your gardening, hiking, and birding adventures!
Our exit from full timing was more because Mui wanted to feel settled … I wasn’t quite ready. But here we are. A home in Colorado, a small motorhome that allows us to get away when we feel the itch, and plenty of international travel. Now, I actually like having a more settled environment in which to do my planning and don’t mind being in a house between our travels. Our time at home will likely be the reverse of yours … at home in the hot summer months. After all, that was a prime reason for selecting Colorado to settle down.
Erin, it seems as though you and Mui have the best of both worlds with your beautiful Colorado home, your motorhome, and your international travels. You always have something interesting that you’re doing.
As you said, there are benefits to having a settled environment in-between travel adventures. I’m still adjusting, but I do love many things about being in this beautiful place in Florida—at least until next summer arrives, LOL. I’m enjoying following your travels in Turkey!
Hahaha, I love your subtle approach w/ Raven to make sure you get the travelin’ you need! I fully expect to be reading blog posts from the Upper Midwest next summer. Meanwhile, oh my do you have plenty to sink your teeth into right where you are! Eric’s photos make the case as much as your writing does. Good luck w/ the staying-put thing, knowing that yes, it is only temporary, but then, as you acknowledge–what isn’t?
Gretchen, I think Eric will be VERY happy when next summer rolls around and we’re enjoying the lakes and wildlife in the Upper Midwest instead of sweltering here in Florida. I know when NOT to listen to him, and I am not being seduced by the gorgeous weather we’re having here right now!
But as you said, there is plenty to enjoy here at home now. I have big creative plans for this next few months and now that my travel jet lag has abated, I’m having a grand time! I hope you’re doing well and enjoying a beautiful Lopez Island fall.