I guess because I’ve been in Tennessee for over a year now, I’m getting more email and messages from readers asking if I’m still fulltime RVing or if I’ve settled down here. For sure when I got here in June, 2013 I didn’t anticipate that I’d be here so long. But to me, that’s one of the cool things about fulltime RVing. I get to make those kind of decisions and don’t have to stick with a set plan even once made.
But as I’m getting ready to leave Tennessee next week, these questions have prompted some soul searching for me and made me think about why I am still fulltime RVing, no matter how long or short I am in one place or another.
For sure my RVing style has changed over the past 13 years. See Inspiration’s Journey for the beginning of that story. When I first took off in June, 2001, I just couldn’t get enough of the road and I wanted to be on the move much more than I feel that need now.
Here’s what I wrote not long after taking off:
“Driving down the highways and country roads – no matter what the scenery, there is something inherently satisfying about being somewhere I’ve never been before. Pulling into the parks, visiting with the attendants, getting the RV all hooked again, greeting and swapping stories with the other campers, spending a couple of relaxing days and then taking off down the road to do it all again someplace else.
I even love waking up in the morning having to think about where it is I am that day. I’ve been traveling about every 2-3 days and although when I start working I’ll have to be in an area longer, I find that I am ready to hit the road after then. I actually start getting wanderlust and am anxious to see what lies ahead.”
After that, I would pretty much have to be in one place for extended periods because I was taking temp jobs in law offices to support my travel habit. Since I only had weekends for exploration, I would pick a spot that I wanted to see and would be there at least during the summer.
Even though I have a virtual assistance business and work from my own rolling home now, I have discovered there are benefits to being in one place for longer periods. There were many times I left a place and then later when comparing notes with others, I realized how much I missed because I was anxious to move on to the next place.
And of course, I’m 13 years older now, too, so I move slower now in many ways. I’m not in as much of a hurry to see more, but to see better – to explore as much as I can of an area before moving on. I also like to seek out the less known touristy attractions and find the local flavor. I’ve been able to make a lot of friends, not only of other RVers met in the campgrounds, but with locals who can give the best tips on what to see and do that I might have never learned of any other way.
And as some readers have pointed out, I’m not posting a lot anymore about the joys and new discoveries of fulltime RVing. Maybe that’s because it’s just my life now and no longer anything new to me. Maybe I do take it for granted more now.
I don’t write on Inspiration’s Journey anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still inspired. In 2005, I started Malia’s Miles to share detailed info with other RVers that I had a hard time finding when I was researching where to stay and what to do while there. I discovered I enjoyed this and had a talent for it, so that’s been my focus.
But I do think that the things and activities I do write about are the benefits of my lifestyle. The hikes, the sightseeing, state and national parks, etc. would not have been possible if I tried to fit everything into a two week vacation staying in hotels.
Of course I still remember how excited I was when I started fulltime RVing and I’m still not ready to give up the lifestyle. It has afforded my opportunities I never could have imagined when I wondered how in the world I would ever pull off anything so “crazy” sounding.
And I still love the big view of the world from the huge windshield of my motorhome. There is just something about standing before tall mountain ranges feeling small and invincible at the same time – and sticking my toes into sandy beaches or wading into lakes and rivers, listening to the sounds the birds and wildlife make that gives me such joy in life not found any other way.
I wish I could have the same feelings of being connected with nature and all life without it – and the deep peace in my soul from sitting beside a babbling brook listening to the birds’ songs, but I guess I’m just not that evolved. I need the direct, in-your-face experience and I still find it due to my lifestyle.
So as I get ready to leave one of my favorite stops, I have mixed emotions – on the one hand, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable here (maybe too much so), and I’ve enjoyed every sight seen here. But on the other hand, I’m ready to move on and see something different.
Here are my current plans: I leave here on Sept. 8th and will be at Table Rock State Park in SC until the 23rd, then will be at Sesquicentennial State Park until October 7th. Then will head to the start of the Natchez Trace Parkway near Nashville. First, I’ll stop for a week near Atlanta, GA to tour the Gone With the Wind museum and other attractions in the area. Then will be at Falls Creek Falls State Park for a couple of weeks.
Then I’ll head south via the Natchez Trace Parkway. I intend to see every one of the 444 miles of that historic drive. I’m very excited about this journey and getting to see the parkway trees showing off their colors.
Check out my beginning planning on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Sure would appreciate tips in Comments on that page. I’d love to hear from you!