“I feel like we’re on the edge of a whole new life,” I tell my husband as we cruise through the Santa Rosa Conservation area, nothing but white sand dunes and water on either side of us.
“I feel it too. I just want to keep on going.”
It’s our fifth week in the RV, and we are currently visiting Florida’s panhandle, or the Emerald Coast, as we’ve seen it advertised. This stretch of untouched nature is located on the long narrow island of Santa Rosa.
I know I had promised a segment on dining highlights, but feel compelled to write about the culture of RVing, of which we are only just scratching the surface.
The thing is, we started this adventure simply with the hopes of finding a way to fulfill our lust for travel. Years of setbacks health-wise have curbed our ability to hop on planes as we did frequently in the past. Putting wheels on the bedroom was my husband’s creative solution. We had not foreseen what would follow.
Like turtles, we carry our home with us, and while we may move a little slower than everyone else, we are not catering to anyone’s schedule but our own, so it doesn’t matter. Only two days into our trip we found a lovely spot at a small RV park in Asheville, North Carolina along the French Broad River and ended up staying three nights. When things got too hot in Sarasota, where we were packed in like sardines on steaming concrete, we pulled out a day early and headed elsewhere. The flexibility of this lifestyle is freeing.
At every stop along the way we have encountered full-time RVers, mostly couples like us, looking for a simpler way of life. People are friendly, respectful, and helpful. What seemed like a crazy idea to our friends and family is accepted here. It works for many, and has been for a long time.
As much as we like to travel, in the past we found that being away from home for more than two weeks was always a bit much. Now that our home is with us, we have not experienced that discomfort. Of course, I miss the children, and wonder what my friends are up to, but we have a good phone plan and working wi-fi, so keeping in touch is easy. What we don’t have at home is the thrill of changing scenery; the adventure of discovering a new part of this vast continent, or the sense of excitement about what lies ahead.
“Do you know what Alfa stands for?” another See Ya owner asked us. “A loving family affair!”
It’s so true, I think, looking around at all the couples walking hand-in-hand, or puttering outside their vehicles. Life on the road has had an added advantage of bringing us closer together: we’re in it together and the journey is shared. Without the stress of day-to-day toil the sweetness is doubled.
Of course, our trek is about to come to an end, as we have obligations that still call to us. I have medical appointments, and Ric has work.
“I just want to keep on driving west,” he reiterates.
I just nod. I know what he means, but it’s not quite our time yet.
Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.