Is There a Right Way or Wrong Way?

Due to the current circumstances surrounding 2020, travel of any kind can be challenging and that holds true even for those of us with RVs. Restrictions abound! But let’s take the pandemic out of the travel equation and pretend like life is normal.

Is there a right way or a wrong way to RV? How much travel is too little or too much? Is the RV lifestyle about constantly moving to new locations, about seeing all the National Parks, about visiting as many states as possible, or is it about living an alternative lifestyle, or is it a way to see extended family more frequently? Whether we travel part-time or full-time, it’s a personal journey … gosh, life is a personal journey!

Blog comments that make you think!

I originally started this blog to journal about our RV adventure and keep family and friends up to date. A surprising by-product of this little travelogue has been YOU, my reader. I never could’ve imagined the friendships I’ve developed via my simple writings and blog comment interaction. I’m humbled and grateful, but before I get all mushy, let’s jump into the meat of this post.

Several weeks ago, I received a comment that I can’t seem to get out of my head. Fortunately, it has led me down the path of memory lane …

Hi, new reader to your blog and future part-time RVer’s! I am a bit surprised that you have not done that much moving around the USA? Maybe I am missing these posts, but don’t you want to see the west (Washington) and east coast? I realize now is not a good time, but you have been at this for a few years.

The rules of RVing … spoiler alert, there are no rules!

There are so many variables to consider when it comes to traveling; a major factor being finances (yeah, travel costs money), followed by interests and goals, and working around obligations like work or family or both. And just like there are all kinds of different RVs, from inexpensive small pop-up trailers to large expensive motorhomes and everything in between, there are also all kinds of ways in which to RV travel.

camping, boondocking at Lake Powell

It’s not uncommon for RV newbies to get out and explore as much as possible that first year. FOMO is real (fear of missing out). They’ll log ridiculous amounts of mileage and exhaust themselves in the process. Some are smarter and will take it slow. And then there are those that prioritize connections with fellow RVers over destinations. Hence, meetups, convergences, and rallies. I know, we personally have rearranged travel plans so we could connect with blog readers and/or family and friends.

There are no rules for embarking on the RV lifestyle adventure. Whether one travels back and forth between the same two states repeatedly or decides to visit all 50 states, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps there are those that have some preconceived notions about RVing, but that’s merely an opinion. We all need to do what we feel is best for us, and what’s right for us may not be right for others.

Given a choice between visiting a stunning and exciting new location or spending time with loved ones, we’ll pick time with loved ones; whether that be family or friends.

Perhaps when we were younger, we would have chosen the exciting destination. Okay, I know we would’ve gone for the travel destination. 😏 Age has a way of changing one’s priorities; changing our interests and desires.

So yes, we have been at this RVing thing for a while, but we’ve been at life for a while as evidenced by the abundance of grey hair that Al and I are sporting. This means we had a life long before we bought the RV and long before I started writing this blog.

We’re no longer young. (I know, what a surprise 🤣) We’ve lived … we’ve lived an exciting life … we’ve traveled, traveled extensively … we’ve survived tragedies … we’ve persevered … we cooperate, compromise, and prioritize and that means, we don’t always get what we want, but the older we get, the more our interests shift.

No justification needed.

A few years ago, one of my regular commenters practically apologized on a regular basis for not traveling in the RV beyond the southeast corner of the United States. Instead of doing the extensive travel that they thought they would do once they moved into the RV fulltime, they found themselves returning to a town along the east coast routinely to visit with their grandsons. Why did she feel a need to justify their travels or lack of distance traveled?

Another blogger/commenter I met made a remark that resonated with me. She and her husband had just spent the previous three months traveling the west and west coast visiting some of America’s most stunning places. When we got together, they’d already been in Colorado for a week and had reservations to spend another two weeks near a different mountain range that they hadn’t yet explored, but they seemed to have lost interest and all they really wanted to do was return ‘home’ to the Gulf Coast.

She said, “I know this may sound bad, but once you’ve visited several beautiful National Parks with jaw-dropping scenery, seeing another mountain range becomes just that, another set of mountains. Of course, still beautiful but less impactful and less interesting“.

They ended up canceling the rest of their Colorado trip and returned to the Gulf Coast. It appears that the law of diminishing return applies to a lot of things including travel … I get it.

Thank you, blog readers and commenters.

I appreciate every single comment left here on my blog and do my best to respond to each and every one. Although I may find some comments perplexing, that doesn’t mean I don’t value them.

As a matter of fact, they can be thought-provoking like the one noted earlier in the post… “haven’t done that much moving around.” Hmm … haven’t done much moving around? I thank that commenter for her thought-provoking words as it has led to some amazing happy hour conversations recently … reminiscing … lots of travel tales and laughs shared. I know the commenter was referring to travel in our RV, but Al and I didn’t purchase the RV with any specific destination goals in mind. After all, we already had a lot of travel experiences behind us.

Did you know Al and I, separately, each lived abroad? Me in Germany and Al in Turkey, Japan, and the Philippines. He and I together and separately have visited Hawaii a dozen times. Al has resided in Alaska, California, Texas, and Florida. Together, we’ve lived in Illinois, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona.

There was a time when Florida and St. Thomas were the two warm-weather winter destinations that we visited frequently. We loved snorkeling in the Caribbean so much so that we even traveled with our own snorkeling gear in tow.

campfire
Tales around a campfire!

Here are just a few travel memories discussed recently around the campfire …

  • Regular visits to Clearwater Beach, Florida, and staying on a 40-foot single-hull sailboat owned by friends.
  • Disney World lots of times. Disneyland once.
  • A Jeep excursion on Aruba. Almost got stuck in the sand.
  • Watching the kids ski in the Colorado mountains. We one time lost our 13-year-old daughter for almost 2 hours at Crested Butte when she got off the chairlift and went down the wrong slope. Another time, our kids, beginner skiers, accidentally found themselves on a mogul run at Copper Mountain. We have lots of mountain stories that always bring on tears of laughter when we reminisce.
  • My mom and I took a train from Brussels, Belgium to Munich, Germany. The sights along the Rhine River were spectacular. Another special moment was visiting the Kölner Dom. I realize now, the time spent with my mom is more precious to me than the actual sights I saw during any of our trips together.
  • After a business trip to Calgary, Canada, Al and I reentered the United States near Waterton Lakes and visited Glacier National Park. Driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road over Logan Pass was stunning. We spent the night in the back of our SUV in a resort parking lot because there were no vacancies anywhere … hotel or campsite. Guess we’ve been sleeping in parking lots long before we heard the term “boondocking or stealth camping”. Al and I still laugh about our little adventure and our success at avoiding security.
  • We honeymooned in Ontario, Canada. We could’ve flown anywhere in the world for mere pennies, but chose to rent a remote cabin in the woods along the shore of a lake. We love nature and wildlife and all things outdoors and it was the perfect honeymoon for us!
a woman photographing a pink roseate spoonbill
I’m a lucky gal – I’ve enjoyed some amazing experiences!

inspiration, happiness, quote, Dalai Lama quote, Pinterest PinHmm, haven’t done that much moving around?

I have so many amazing travel adventures that this list could get very very long. I’m so fortunate to have traveled extensively throughout my life, not only in the RV but also during my airline days; travel tales that I’ve never shared on this blog.

Snippets of life … I used to hop on a plane first thing in the morning in Chicago and fly to Boston for the day to pick up fresh lobster or fly to New York City for a day of shopping.

I’ve been to Philidelphia and embraced history by visiting the Liberty Bell and other historical sites. I’ve seen the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom in Washington D.C.

I’ve gotten drunk while strolling the French Quarter in New Orleans and I’ve visited Minneapolis in the dead of winter with a minus 50 degree below F wind chill factor.

Who would’ve thought I would taste some of the yummiest pizza in Lincoln, Nebraska? Or finally find that matching cookware tea kettle in a shop in Topeka, Kansas, after scouring stores throughout Chicagoland and NYC to no avail?

Aside from Al going on a fishing excursion on the Columbia River, the Pacific Northwest remains an area of the United States that we have yet to explore. Is it still on my list of places I’d like to visit? Of course, it is, but I’m left with weighing out travel priorities. Do I spend time with family having our own little adventures or do I travel to new territory?

For now, my priorities lie with spending time with loved ones and revisiting familiar places that feel like home. These past two summers have been spent with family on private property located near a place I used to vacation as a child. It has felt like coming home. I feel a sense of calm and contentment that I haven’t felt in years.

The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” —George Santayana

So although I haven’t lost my interest in traveling to new destinations, for now, the shuttle between summers in Wisconsin and winters in Arizona is exactly what we need, what we want. Which goes to show, there’s no right or wrong way to RV travel. It’s whatever makes you happy!

What about you? Are you a homebody or is travel an integral part of your life? Is it about the number of places visited or about the kind of memories created?

97 thoughts on “Is There a Right Way or Wrong Way?

  1. Ingrid, this is such an excellent post – and thoroughly thought provoking. James and I have been having similar conversations to yours – lots of travel and life experience memories. Although we’re not full time RVers ( we just have a tiny half-popup for fun camping), we still find ourselves pondering questions like, ” Should we visit some place in the world we’ve never been, or take a sentimental trip to somewhere we love, or stay in town for the Spring and enjoy our family?” Of course, the Pandemic answered some of those questions for the time being. 🙂 As you point out, There are no rules. Live life your way. Thanks for the great conversation starter. ~Terri

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Terri and commenting. 2020 has definitely brought about some challenges but it has also made us reflect and prioritize. Al and I are at a stage in our lives where we relish time with each other, time with loved ones, and time just being. 😊

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  2. Our family recently bought a toy hauler and decided we wanted to give the RV life a try. However, our circumstances are a bit different. We would love to go from East to West and see every National Park possible but it will probably have to wait or happen over a long period of time. We go where my husbands job goes and therefore we never really know where it will be but sometimes it is for 1 to 8 years. I do love that we can just pack up our home and take it anywhere even if it is just down the road to a new park! The freedom is amazing!

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    1. Congrats on the toy hauler. RVing can definitely provide that sense of freedom we all long for. Even if it’s just weekends or the occasional getaway, you’ll find what works for you and your circumstances. Enjoy!

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  3. Wonderful post on a subject we toss around a lot. I do not know if we will become RV Nomads, but we will definitely refer to this post if we do. Thanks for sharing this info with all of us.

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  4. Loved your post, Ingrid, thanks for the smiles and laughs. One of these days maybe I’ll know what kind of RVing we’re doing, soon as we get started once again. We left Michigan this morning, back in Indiana now, they said the motorhome will be finished end of day Friday. We had most of our stuff in storage so have to repack, review all the repairs, grocery shop, etc., so not sure when we’ll actually pull out of Indiana, but I know…I…cannot…wait. Listen in the next few days, I’m sure you’ll hear a Hallejuhah across the land when we literally are out of Indiana! 😅 Hopefully a repair doesn’t need another attempt on Tuesday. Not sure where we’re going to land first but hoping we do make it to Colorado Springs for our reservation in three weeks. Some of northern Michigan’s trees are just starting to color at the tips, you’ll soon have beautiful fall foilage in Wisconsin, if it’s not already started!

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    1. Yes, I’m already starting to see leaves here and there change color and the cold weather is blowing in. Brrr! It’ll be interesting to see how long Al and I can handle the weather this far north. I really want to capture fall foliage. Thus, staying here into the first week of October.
      Fingers crossed you hit the road west soon. Just be aware, we lived in Colorado Springs for a number of years, and it’s not uncommon to get snow in mid to late October. In the high country, that’s a given. Safe travels 😊

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  5. Great post Ingrid, even for those of us that don’t have an RV. I think that there are born travelers and home bodies and many in between. Each of us has to do what makes us happy and that changes as we get older. You two are enjoying life the way you want to live and as you say, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Wherever the two of you are, I’ll be enjoying your posts and all the lovely photos.

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    1. Thank you Karen. I figured these thoughts pertain to most travelers and not just RVers. We all find a method and means of travel that works for our style and interests. Always appreciate you stopping by and commenting 😊

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  6. I’ve always told new RV’ers, there’s no right or wrong way to be a full-time RV’er. I encourage them to not burn out in the first year by trying to cram too much into a short timespan. We’ve traveled the US extensively, maybe one day we’ll do more summer travel but as you know family needs call for us to continue to come to IL. As long as we’re, and everyone else is happy then it’s a win in my books. Miss you guys, stop by in IL on your way south, we’d love to see you.

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    1. You are absolutely right. I think we’ve all see the RV newbie that is exhausted after that first year. The best advice we ever got was to take it slow. Unlike you guys, after seven years I can feel the need to explore dwindle. We’ll see how the next two years unfold for us. Enjoy the rest of the season in IL and ‘maybe’ we’ll stop by 😎

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  7. This is so timely…every so often (including recently) I reflect on our travels and think—wow, after seven years of fulltime travels, we should have been everywhere and seen everything in this country! But the reality is that there is so much to do, and so much to see, and we haven’t wanted to rush. Plus, like you, we’ve placed a high priority on spending time with family (hence back and forth from the west coast to Florida almost every year).

    There are still places we want to see—Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula are high on our list—and had the pandemic not sidelined us, we would be there now. I’ve enjoyed your posts and beautiful photos from there! Hopefully, we’ll make it next year. The most important thing is for all of us to just enjoy the journey, right? 🙂

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    1. Yes Laurel, it’s all about enjoying the journey. With everything going on, I’m so gratefully to have this lovely property to park the RV and spend time with family. And as much as I’d still love to visit a bunch of places, I’m content if it doesn’t happen.
      In another week or so, we’re hoping to go apple picking up in Bayfield. Hints of fall are everywhere!

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  8. You are certainly an adventurous spirit, Ingrid! I personally appreciated your informative posts and insider information of the southwest as we planned our two winter road trips! When it comes to travel, I’m the planner and Hans is the fun-maker. His spontaneity and social prowess guarantee a great time no matter the circumstances! With our trailer, we have and will plan for more trips and I want to see it all! But not all at once. Soon we will appreciate our new home base from which to explore the surrounding areas. Right now, our trailer sits happily at our delta campground, as we prepare to say goodbye to summer next week. We are pulling the trailer up to Spokane in two weeks to park it at our nephew’s house until we arrive there in December. This way we avoid the potential winter travel issues and save a few hundred dollars by not storing it somewhere! Love your photos and wish you safe travels when you get on the road soon!

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    1. How exciting to get the trailer up to Spokane. Once you get the house done and move there, you’ll have an endless supply of camping destinations in all directions. I’m so excited for you and look forward to following your journey. Happy trails 😀

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  9. So true Ingrid, there are no rules. Often our travel is dictated by circumstance, hence the odd places we are finding ourselves during this pandemic. Your post reminded me of a caravanner who bowled up to our travel mates and boasted of having visited 80 or so countries. We had a good laugh at happy hour that night, I’ve no doubt that most of the people travelling around their own country have never been limited to their home turf! Now, I wonder what’s over that hill over there?

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    1. Great story! Yes, circumstances do dictate most things in life and we find ourselves compromising and prioritizing. This pandemic has certainly challenged many of us in various ways. Hope you are enjoying your travels.

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  10. Definitely everyone should do what THEY want to do. Each year things change a tiny bit. Kids getting married, starting families, parents needing care. We adjust our plans all the time. Some think we move too often. Well, we’re high energy people that love to hike, kayak, fish, bike, etc. once we’ve done and seen an area we move. When we feel like it. It’s usually a week or two in one place. Sometimes it’s just the other side of the mountain so we can hike different trails. We spend 2 months “back home” during Nov/Dec with family. We spend 4 weeks back Feb and Oct in AZ taking care of another family member. Sometimes I sit in my pj’s all day. We have no doubts things will continue to change each year. We will continue to travel, meet up with friends and spend time with family, until we can’t. Who knows what will be next? Gotta love life and enjoy it YOUR way 😎

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    1. Well said Debbie, “enjoy it Your way”. We don’t and never have had the stamina to move around as much as you guys do and that’s ok. There was a time when I’d be envious of those that move around weekly, but we soon realized that we’re happier with longer stays. Let’s try and meet up during one of your visits to Phoenix.

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  11. Ingrid — You’ve got me singing that old Johnny Cash lyric, “I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere!” You’ve sure been a lot of places and have had some amazing adventures! Yep, RVing is whatever you make it. We set out nearly a dozen years ago to “follow 70 degree temperatures” and have mostly been able to do that. And along the way we’ve found places we enjoy so much we return year after year. Everybody has different reasons for hitting the highways and byways. We’ve especially appreciated the small towns, the local controversies (every town has them!), and the amazing landscapes that pass our windows, regardless of where we are. Stay safe out there, and here’s hoping you get the fall colors you’re hoping for!

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    1. Haha! There are still so many places I’d like to visit along with lots of places I’d like to REvisit, but alas, my husband doesn’t always share my wanderlust. So we’ve managed to find a compromise that works. We’ll see how the next couple of years play out 😏

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  12. So true! And, coincidentally, I just posted 3 blog entries covering almost the same topic, and looking old through photos brought back such awesome memories. We haven’t been to the Pacific Northwest either—on our life list. God bless and safe travels: https:/dunngone.wordpress.com

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    1. It is fun recalling fond memories of trips from the past. I see you used to visit the Quetico Wilderness. When we were much younger, we used to embark on an annual camping and canoeing trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area just north of Grand Marais, MN on the Ontario border. Beautiful country and we loved our time on the water which is why we’re enjoying our summer in northern Wisconsin. We’ll leave the tent camping in the past as we enjoy the comforts of the RV 😀

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  13. To each their own! We have relatives who have lived their whole life in rural Alberta. A little trip is to town for groceries and a big trip is to the nearby city to visit friends. We, on the other hand, have travelled a lot and lived in four countries. Maybe all that travel is why, for us, a little trip now is to town for groceries and a big trip is to the city to visit friends. We could be in the Rocky Mountains in just over an hour – but we can see them on the horizon from our back yard, and that, for now is all we want or need.

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    1. Yep, to each their own! I’ve always had that need to travel or at least be out and about. I’m usually an unhappy homebody, but seem to be feeling a little more settled staying home. But I’m getting ready for a change of scenery soon😊

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  14. Ingrid,
    Great thoughts well-stated. Different strokes for different folks when it comes to RV travel. I couldn’t do it full-time, but I CAN do it for six months out of the year. After five years of travel, we have visited 48 states and have loved every minute. Now, I want to go back to some of the places and stay longer. I have met RVers who return to the same place every year for two weeks and that’s it. Then, I’ve met full-timers who wouldn’t do life any other way. You and Al have a plan that works for you but, I can’t resist a suggestion that you visit the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Rainier and Coos Bay, Oregon are stunning! Joe

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    1. It was never our goal to full-time and certainly never for this length of time. We just haven’t found that home base that we’d be happy with. We’re probably getting closer to just picking something. I’d love to downsize the RV into something I could handle alone so all Al would have to do is sit in the right seat and go along for the ride. I think that’s the only way we’ll make it to the PNW. Time will tell 😏

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  15. Great post and I enjoy reading the comments as well. Agree there are no rules. And if one starts out with a particular goal in mind, well then something significant could come up and change that plan. And if you force yourself to stick to the original plan anyway then things could get miserable.

    I appreciated your point that we are older and have had experiences in our lives. Because that does make a difference in how we might live this part of life. Another thing would be that we are not doing this alone and that perhaps one of the difficult parts of fulltime RVing or whatever, is that it requires compromise between those involved. Got some advice years ago from a blogger we met in Kansas City before we hit the road. The couple agreed with each other that if one or the other wanted to leave the road then they would give the other six months notice.

    Karen and I view this as just another journey and it will not be the last. We just completed our first year of fulltiming. Still have obligations from the past life that come up every now and then which might require we be in a certain place at a certain time. Can’t wait for that to end. I’m being stingy and started a new rule which is I’m not up for anymore annual got to be there places. While we are on the road we are going to go where we want or sit in one spot as long as we want.

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    1. We adopted that same rule of not allowing ourselves to be pulled back especially returning to places with cold weather winters.
      I think you and Karen are doing exactly what works for you and taking things at a nice pace. Hope you enjoy the journey for many years.

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  16. As I always said… “do it the way you Want!”

    This was an amazing read… you my friend have blossomed into a fabulous writer, story teller and can I say… you were always an amazing photographer!

    Yuuppp… there isn’t a right way and there isn’t a wrong way. It’s YOUR way and want makes you feel content.

    Let’s make sure we get out and do some hikes again when we all reconvene in our beloved AZ! My ankle is ready and my hips are calling for it! 😂🤣

    Love visiting your beautiful blog posts.

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    1. Awe, thank you Nancy … you are too sweet. Glad to hear your ankle is improving. If only my Plantar Fasciitis would improve. My hiking is limited these days.
      Let’s plan a get together at the Anthem Park when we’re back in the valley. We can social distance while socializing … air hugs all around 😎

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      1. I hear Anthem park is quite crowded… we may need to do the neighborhood pocket parks… or head to the park quite early.

        Sorry to hear about your planters fasciitis. It’s hard to overcome.
        We will chat soon!
        Happy week to you!

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  17. Well done… this post sums up a lot! Yes, we too still travel with our own snorkeling gear in tow even though we rarely use it.. If we can avoid the hurricanes this fall we hope to use it in Key Largo soon!

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  18. Your list reminded me of some of my and our many adventures (snorkeling in Barbados with sea turtles is way high on my fond memories and then there was outrageously drunk during Mardi Gras and doing karoke!) and one day we will all go out there again… just maybe not as wild and crazy as before.

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  19. Even if you guys or us just parked our RV’s today and stayed put the remainder of our lives just look at the places we have seen and the people we have met that we would have NEVER seen or met if we had not lived this life style. No regrets and no right or wrong ways.
    Dave & Diane

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  20. I’ve often commented that one of the things I love about the camping lifestyle is the fact that there are so many different ways to enjoy it. From our cross-county tent camping days to our current “luxurious” digs in a 32′ travel trailer, Alan and I have enjoyed every adventure – whether we’re tucked away in a quiet State Park close to home for some R&R, using the rig as a base camp to explore a National Park or as a hotel room in a parking lot “campground” so that we could explore a city – we savor every experience and blessing that traveling affords. It seems like there are as many different types of RVs out there (and ways to travel, too!) as there are ways to enjoy them. Your gorgeous photos, Ingrid, are always a day-brightener for me. I really like the one of you and Al on the sand dunes!

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    1. Thank you Mary. That photo of Al and me was taken at the White Sand Dunes in NM. That was a destination high on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. Fascinating!
      You and Alan have found exactly what works for you and your travels with the trailer. Such a fun way to see family and sights!

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  21. Hi, Ingrid – A friend recently bluntly stated that she and her husband eat dinner at the “correct time” (which, btw, is 6 pm…seriously, who knew?).

    Although we all tend to think that our way in the right way, you’ve hit the nail on the head in this post, “life IS a personal journey.” The “right way” for one person is entirely the”wrong way” for another.

    Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking post.

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    1. Hmm, ‘correct time’ to eat dinner? That’s a new one. I think I’ll stick to the wrong time 😆 which tends to be rather flexible, but then again, our lifestyle is all about flexibility. To each his own, huh!

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  22. The short answer to “Is there a right way?” Is NO!

    There are people who live stationary for years, people that spend two weeks or less in one spot before moving, and people that stay more than a month before moving on. All of these are the “right way.”

    We’re in our 10th year, have been to all 50 states. We didn’t plan to do that, but we did. We tend to stay longer, but continue to travel. Just because that works for us, doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

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    1. Yep, what works for you may not for someone else. 10th year? Congrats! We’ve entered our 8th as full-time RVer’s. I thought we would’ve visited more states by now, but other things seem to always pop up and we reroute. Oh well, seems to work 😀

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  23. Wonderful post. Great perspective. If you do make it to the PNW, and out to the coastal areas, be sure to give your selves a couple months. Lots of great places to see, and wonderful summer temperatures.

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    1. Thanks and slow is usually our pace unless we have a specific destination we’re trying to get to. The temps in the PNW look refreshing and perfect to escape the AZ heat. Although, summer temps are pretty enjoyable in northern WI and MN. 😊

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  24. Great post Ingrid – in addition to your excellent as photograph, you write very well. When we started out, it was all about seeing the places and after a short while I realized that, for me, I got much more pleasure from the people we experienced, such as you guys, than the sites we saw.

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    1. Awe, thank you Larry. I think many of us start out with the goal of visiting destinations and soon discover it’s more about the people we meet. I’m glad we were able to connect.

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  25. This is interesting to think about because our priorities seem to consistently change, even across a one year period. Some portion of our travels is always dedicated to catching up with friends and family and being in the right laces for holidays and special events, while another portion is focused on seeing bucket list places, and yet another is just about being where the weather is decent enough to comfortably live in our poorly insulated house on wheels. We’ve changed our plans just about every year depending on what was going on and we’ve been known to cancel multiple reservations in a row when we just didn’t feel like taking on the next leg of a trip. You’re absolutely right: There is no right or wrong way to RV – different people have different priorities and any given person’s priorities may change over a period of time. As long as you’re happy, you’re good.

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  26. This is interesting to think about because our priorities seem to consistently change, even across a one year period. Some portion of our travels is always dedicated to catching up with friends and family and being in the right laces for holidays and special events, while another portion is focused on seeing bucket list places, and yet another is just about being where the weather is decent enough to comfortably live in our poorly insulated house on wheels. We’ve changed our plans just about every year depending on what was going on and we’ve been known to cancel multiple reservations in a row when we just didn’t feel like taking on the next leg of a trip. You’re absolutely right: There is no right or wrong way to RV – different people have different priorities and any given person’s priorities may change over a period of time. As long as you’re happy, you’re good.

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    1. Glad to see your comment pop up. You’re so right about “as long as you’re happy, you’re good”. Everyone’s style of travel and priorities is different. And like you said, those priorities will most likely change over time. These days, we find ourselves putting more priority on family time as opposed to new explorations. I still have that travel bucket list, but I’m also okay if it remains a ‘list’. I’ll shoot you an email with a couple of ideas for your potential visit to the Northwoods.😀

      Liked by 1 person

  27. So true, Ingrid! The memories from a lifetime of travel are fun to revisit and rving is just one phase. Our 3 years of rving, first FT for a year, now PT, have been wonderful and varied. Before rving, we traveled and roadtripped a lot and have been to all 50 states, a LOT of national parks, Canada, and overseas, so rving is a way for us to visit family and friends at a slower pace and spend more time in places we loved during previous visits over the years. We love being self contained! Since Colorado is our home we have an abundance of places to go during the warm months. We really miss traveling now, but we did go to a state park for 3 nights this month with our daughter’s family, which was really nice! I haven’t forgotten how to back in! LOL We have made so many new friends on the road. You just never know when you’ll click and decide to stay in touch. We look forward to getting out there again when it is safer for us old folks and we can again visit the museums and art galleries we love, enjoy local cuisine, make new friends, and freely visit with old ones. We do have places we want to return to and explore. Enjoy the rest of your time on the lake before hitch itch sets in once again and AZ calls you back.

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    1. So glad to hear that you haven’t forgotten how to back up the RV. 😀After sitting for several months, Al always gets a little rusty, but picks it back up quickly.
      Living in Colorado provides so many beautiful places to visit within a short drive. We loved calling CO home! Glad you managed a getaway with your daughter and family. Take care and hopefully you’ll be able to escape the CO winter even if for merely a short spell in the south.

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      1. We finally got a break from a week of 90° temps and smoke that made Pikes Peak invisible when we got rain on Thursday. We hope to get out camping once more before the snow flies. We have no idea if we’ll be able to head south at all next year. Too hard to plan at this point. The last 2 weeks in Tucson in March we went on hikes but not much else. We have more to do here at home in our studio than we’d be able to do sitting in the rv, so we’ll wait until it makes sense to travel out of CO. But I’m not used to being here for the snowy months anymore. That will be a change!

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        1. Yes, we’ve heard about the wildfires … always scary. It is difficult to plan any kind of travel right now. We’ll return to Phoenix sometime in early October and will probably just focus on driving and not meandering. I can relate to not being used to the weather. It’s already cold here in northern WI with overnight temps in the 40’s and daytime struggling to hit 70. As soon as I get my fill of autumn color, we’re outta here 😆

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          1. Ah yes, the frozen north starts cooling down in Sept. We were near Alexandria, MN 3 yrs ago and 40° at night was chilly! It feels like Feb in Tucson here this week, 70° highs, 45° lows. But it feels really cool compared to the 45 90°+ days we’ve had this summer. Whatever will I do when it’s 20°?!! Be jealous of you all in AZ! Ha! Enjoy those beautiful vivid autumn days!

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  28. You and I have been around in your lifetime, so not moving around for the summer if you call that being in Wisconsin, is simply a summer break.
    As for us, being goal-oriented, we celebrated each conclusion of a chapter, memories, and friendships included. And now we began a new chapter, that being a homebody again and forging new friendships with our neighbor.

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    1. Yes, you are onto a new chapter and settling down after completing your travel goals. Recognize that photo of me and the spoonbill? Taken by my fellow birding friend on one of our excursions along the Gulf Coast. We’ll have to come up with some new adventures closer to ‘home’ 😎.

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  29. Yes it is always an individual decision! Our needs and wants change with time, and spending those moments with family mean the most. I enjoyed the list of your travels – what an interesting time you’ve had over the years! Some of my favorite memories are time spent somewhere amazing with loved ones – you just can’t beat that! Nature is where my happy place is. I love the picture of you and the spoonbill!

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    1. I agree, nature is my happy place as well. And whenever we get to share nature with family or friends, it doesn’t get any better. It’s funny, Al and I don’t normally think of all the places or things we’ve experienced over the years unless prompted and then we surprise ourselves with the long list 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Ingrid, thanks for this post! I agree, there are no rules. When we were still taking RV trips I came to the conclusion that every RV’er has their own way to travel. When I think about our first trip I have to laugh. It took us two months to figure out we didn’t need to get full hookups every night or put out the awning every place we stopped. After a couple of years we learned the 3 – 3 – 3 rule – Drive no more than 300 miles a day, stop before 3:00 and stay 3 nights whenever possible. Almost all of our trips revolved around visiting family, going to a wedding, or going to an RV rally. We would turn a trip to see our grand kids in Minnesota into a two month trip visiting places we had never been before.

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    1. The 3-3-3 rule is an excellent guide in which to travel. That is so funny about the hookups and awning. We all have those newbie stories, some of which we may not want to share. 😁 I love that idea of the two month trip centered around visiting family. We’re hoping to take it slow on our return to AZ but it all depends on the status of things and how comfortable we feel exploring.

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  31. With age comes wisdom – of the world and of ourselves. I have felt my priorities shift over the years and there is such a thing as “travel exhaustion”. This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in traveling extensively anymore, it just means that right now, it makes more sense to take a short break and/or return to slower travel. It’s all about our own preferences and what makes us happy. I couldn’t agree more.

    Yet, if I’d have received a comment like that on my blog, I’d feel the need to justify it as well. 🙂 Unlike other nomads who feel the need to publicize the amount of countries they have visited, I haven’t kept track and find the memories more important than the amount “checked off” the list. Quality over quantity. 🙂

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    1. Hopefully, we get wiser 😃 Yeah, I have felt my priorities shift lately. So, I’m not sure how much exploring we’ll do on our return to AZ this fall. Travel can be fun but also exhausting as you well know. And I too do not feel a need to ‘check off’ any list and opt for quality.

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  32. You’re totally right! It’s what you want to do. We loved being fulltime, do I miss it absolutely. But there’s NOTHING I’d do differently. We set out fulltime to see every state in the lower 48. We accomplished it. We missed a few places but we feel we hit the major destinations. I’m so glad you’re doing what you want and not our pace, you tire out after six years. I never miss your blogs. Continue On.
    Tumbleweed
    Jim and Dee

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to hear from you Dee. We’ve entered into year 8 of full-time living and I can feel the burn-out. There are places I would still love to visit, but I’m enjoying the comfort of familiarity right now. The best way to live is ‘with no regrets’. 😊

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  33. By force of Corona Mary and I are homebodies just now, except for some day trip to state parks in the vicinity. But we’ll sure g Coast [our favoutite Port Aransas] as soon as we feel halfway safe. And we’ll do that in a rented RV. A short trip tp the coast will be a good experiment, we believe, to let us get the feel for RVing and help us to decide if we can/want to do longer tours, too.
    For us, travelling is as much about creating wonderful memories as it is about seeing great sights and learning about (foreign) places. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

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    1. Well, you live in a lovely place to be stuck until life returns to something more normal. Taking an RV to Port A for a trial run sounds perfect to me. We have friends that own a lot at Gulf Waters Resort. My parents used to stay at Pioneer and we had reservations at the Port A Resort before Hurricane Harvey canceled those. Those are 3 of the nicest RV Parks to consider. Hope you enjoy!

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  34. A wonderful post, Ingrid! I’m amazed at how much you two have traveled around, wow!! I’m your basic homebody, travel usually includes two trips to michigan per summer to see my family, but not this summer. Happy travels, stay safe!

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    1. Thank you John. Yeah, I’m not a homebody and the military took Al all over the world (before meeting me). Sorry you didn’t make it back to MI this summer. The weather was great, but now fall is in the air. I definitely have reptile thin blood and am questioning my wisdom to stay north until October 🥶 I just want a bunch of photos of ‘real’ autumn foliage. The west just doesn’t do up fall colors like the Midwest.

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      1. The fall colors here are a complete zero, compared to a Michigan autumn!At least the family and I can chat on the phone, text or use that video chat service. After 7 years in Vegas, I feel cold when the fall comes and the 100+ temps go away! 70 degrees feels so chilly!

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        1. I hear ya with the temps. We spend so much time in Phoenix that 70 is chilly. We lived in CO twenty years and although the mountains are beautiful in fall, there just aren’t the abundance of colors … mostly yellow. Fingers crossed I have a successful autumn photo session in the Midwest and it’ll be worth braving the cold.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m afraid you’re right … the cold weather is coming. Nights are in the 40’s and days struggling to hit 70. Monday it won’t even hit 60 🥶 As soon as I get my autumn photos, we’re outta here 🤣

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  35. You said it. There are no rules, and to each their own! Whatever works for you is great, and if you want to change your travel style, or anything about it, it is up to you as well. The experiences and people that are picked up along the way keep us travelling; the beautiful destinations are a bonus.

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    1. You too have some amazing travel adventures under your belt and I always enjoy reading about them. Experiences and people are definitely what travel is all about. It’s almost time for Al and me to change things up, but he doesn’t embrace change as much as I do 😏 We’ll see what kind of trouble I can get us into in the next year or two!

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