Sunday, August 7, 2016

"I Went to the Woods ... "

Originally posted: November 17, 2013

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

At Blackwater Falls, West Virginia with camera.
I’ve been talking to a number of folks of near my age generation and all of whom all seem to be in agreement that the Full-Time RV Living Lifestyle would be a wonderful thing for me in my post-retirement years. They agree that it would be the ideal thing for me to do and would join me, IF … they could do this first, or IF they could do another thing later, BUT just not right now. We discuss how much fun it might be to travel to places within our favorite country in the world and see the things that photographers swarm to shoot, writers lust after to write about and about which poets romantically rhyme their verse.

If life is not about going, seeing and doing these things, then why live at all? Besides, where would the tourism business be? After all, I’ve served my time in the so-called “rat race” of schooling, family raising, working hard all day and sometimes into the night, coming home, watching the idiot box programming and going to bed only to wake up tomorrow and do it all again. At first blush, I am completely enamored with just thinking about the lifestyle.

However, this is a drastic life change from living in a box on a concrete foundation called a house where you cut the grass regularly, apply weed & feed so that it needs cut more frequently especially after a good rain. In the RV or travel trailer lifestyle, when the grass gets too high, you move on and let the grounds-keepers keep their employment to support their lifestyles.

Of course, I’m making light of a situation that clearly, as yet, I know nothing, but I am learning.

Talking to those friends who support you from a good place in their hearts is one thing to consider, but then, there are the real hard facts of the lifestyle to consider. To gain this insight, one must read, learn and decide from information put forth from the ones who came before; the experienced; the ones who talk the talk and walk the walk.

To that end, I’ve purchased some e-books on the subject. I chose e-books initially due to cost and, of course, speedy delivery in under 30 seconds. Investment in the travel lifestyle does take investment and like all such ventures, one should proceed with caution, I believe. Spend a little cash to gain much information until more information is required. I realize this isn’t news to anyone, but sometimes, we (myself included) get all wound up and excited at something new and different that we jump in with both feet before we’ve discovered how cold the water is.

Some resources I’ve discovered are:

I bought this one in paperback.
This one is an e-book on my Kindle Fire 8.9 DX.

Another e-book.

Another e-book.


I’m sure I’ll find more book resources, but there are magazines and lots of other websites offered by generous people who wish to share their travel dreams, photo visions and experiences with those of us who are also interested in exploring the Universe of America’s highways, sleeping under the canopy of the Milky Way and thereby connecting to the infinite. To do that by taking as little of the material world with me thereby allowing me to reduce life to it’s lowest terms.

I hope I discover valuable information inside these resources. I would hate to think they were 200 pages of fluff, sold to unwary folks in order to finance someone else's road trip. (Sounds like a good idea. I wonder if I have a "How To" book in the back of my mind?


Addendum:

It has already been a couple of years since I originally wrote this. I still have these books. Maybe this would be a good time for reflection and review - just how much of these experiences, stories, advice and sales pitches have been true in my own personal experience?

Obviously, these folks paint glorious pictures of a lifestyle of freedoms and experiences that normal people otherwise wouldn't have. These are adventure books, but of their adventure.

I liken my SUV and travel trailer rig to a Conestoga wagon and horse team. As I  plan to take a trip out West, I'm sure this analogy will return to mind for me. I have everything I own and I try to travel light - less strain on the horses. It's amazing that after two years, all the things I formerly needed to exist weren't really necessary. I fight materialism every time I visit a souvenir counter. I have more hats, coffee mugs and t-shirts than I could wear. I've started collecting hat pins. I have a large plastic case full collected over the years - each one a memory, each one another story.

That's my dream.


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