For those who don’t know, we have been traveling in our travel trailer the past six-plus months to live the “retirement dream” a little bit early because….we realized we CAN. We figured out a way to finance it (though there are even cheaper ways to do it, too), and realized we have the rest of our lives to work, to settle down, to have kids, and goshdarnit, there was a lot we wanted to see and we didn’t want to bet on having the opportunity to do it in older age or in the meager week long spurts our work might allow. As much as a lot of us like to think we are invincible, nothing is guaranteed. But in the present moment, we knew we didn’t have true ties holding us down – no kids, a house we liked a lot, but didn’t want to stay in for a long time, and careers that were not necessarily on the fast track up, and that we could potentially get back if we wanted to anyway.
So we got married May 7th, sold the house May 19th, and hit the road May 22nd in our travel trailer with the intention of seeing as much as we could in about a year’s time. It has been the most eventful year of our lives by far, and after six-plus months of adventuring and seeing more than we even counted on, we have decided to head home a little bit earlier than planned for the Christmas holiday. Feeling a little bit road weary already, getting our truck broken into and having our generator and John’s regular glasses stolen (luckily he had a backup) in San Antonio was the last straw and we decided to head the 1700 miles back to Philadelphia from there. Since we had so much stuff we wanted to take home either to have with us or just to lighten our load, as well as all of the warranty work we needed to have done on the camper, we decided that driving our whole rig up north was the best and least stressful option for us versus flying or leaving the camper with family or a dealer in Texas. It took us four days, stopping at Walmarts along the way. And a big THANK YOU to San Antonio’s Camping World for fitting us in to get a short in our camper’s rear headlights fixed so we could drive home safely!
Six months may not sound like a long time, but it is the longest either of us has ever been away from home, and after seeing so much in a short amount of time, it feels like much longer and we feel like we have grown so much in that time. After months of putting the most random destinations in the GPS, it felt strange and exhilarating to put “home” in (or, at least John’s parents’ house).
The weirdest part about this visit home is that it really makes it apparent that we don’t have a house in the area anymore – or at least for now. Our camper really has become our home, even if some of our regular “big house” stuff is stowed away in John’s parents’ basement. If it weren’t so cold up north (requiring winterization) and we didn’t have to get a bunch of warranty work done, we would be inclined to park it in relatives’ driveways and sleep in it. But alas, it looks like we’re going to have to go without our new “home” for a few weeks and crash in different spare bedrooms (mostly my in-laws – thanks, guys!) as it gets winterized and hopefully worked on. This doesn’t come without its perks though – I mean, houses have hot water heaters larger than six gallons AND shore power, after all!
We have a lot of visiting, holiday celebrating, local food-eating, appointments and RV-related chores planned for while we are home, so I am guessing the time will fly in the month we will likely be there. We are anxious to see if it will feel any different after seeing so much more of the country. After spending so much time out West, we keep joking, “where are all of the mountains?!” as what we had always known as mountains on the East Coast look more like pretty hills to us now. On the other hand, I was also very excited to have my first Yuengling and spot my first Wawa. So far, in the first couple of days, it doesn’t feel all that different; it just feels like we are seeing everything with a fresh set of eyes and eager to tell our loved ones about our journey.
During our time home, we also want to plan out an itinerary for the rest of our travels and be sure we are definitely up for it. Though stationary life comes with plenty of stress and drudgery, life on the road doesn’t come without its stressors, either. Plus the fact that the novelty of traveling can wear off from time to time and make you feel like you’d appreciate certain things more if contrasted against “regular” life. But we figure we are invested now and know we are set up to do it, so we definitely don’t want to squander opportunity. We also have a strong feeling that this visit home will rejuvenate us and give us that “itch” again to see all of the places we have yet to visit – including possibly Alaska for the summer….stay tuned…
Anyone who can relate to visiting/coming home after extended traveling or full-time RV’ing, please feel free to comment with your experiences! 🙂 Otherwise, we will continue to post retroactively about our travels up until this point and keep you all posted on our future!