Maybe because I’ve been a solo woman fulltime RVer since 2001, I sometimes need to be reminded of how great this lifestyle is. In the midst of all the doubts and discouraging thoughts I’ve had enough of lately, I came across this YouTube video about a PBS pilot, “Growing Young” – a program about aging successfully, featuring the group RVing Women as they caravan through the Pacific Northwest.
I swear, I’ve watched this video at least 50 times in the last week. It’s all I ever need to lift me out of the slump and get me to planning my next road trip:
The first woman featured is 73 year old Shirley Walker, a retired psychotherapist. I was impressed enough by the fact that she got her PhD at age 60. But after her husband died and children were grown, she says:
“I’m free to travel, explore life, and to live in a different kind of way. I think little old people like me ought to be out and doing things and challenging knowledge and moving ahead, and enjoying themselves.
I think we need to be independent as long as we possibly can – it gives you stature, self reliance, strength, self confidence – all kind of positive things. On each trip, I learn more about myself and it builds an awful lot of self esteem – it’s been wonderful for me.
In some ways the older I’ve gotten the more obnoxious I’ve gotten because I’ve insisted on my rights. Old people are not seen. But I’ll speak up and demand to be heard and appreciated for who I am… I won’t take this invisibleness!
Truly my body isn’t what it was when I was young, but it’s a very good body and takes me where I want to go. Personally I feel that if you don’t bring excitement, adventure and newness into your life, you tend to stagnate and get old.”
She literally bubbled with enthusiasm exclaiming,
“The thing about an RV that’s wonderful is you can change your mind at any crossroad! You can decide, “I want to go that way, or that looks interesting…and you’re off on a new adventure!”
I LOVE this woman and she truly is my inspiration!
And listen to the insights from Carol Langley, a retired stockbroker, who talks about the RVing Women get-togethers:
“You don’t sit down and talk about family – you talk about strange things about how you dragged your tire that fell off your rig and … how the sewer hose chased me around RV park the first time I connected it.”
[Here are] women with different viewpoints … they’re really out there – no matter how quiet they might seem, they’re really quite bold.
It’s a real passion … just throwing yourself entirely into the oncoming road.”
She said it reminded her of horseback riding as a little girl:
“When the horse is running and you put your hands up in the air and you just scream and let the wind…
That’s the feeling you get when you start down the road – on a wonderful, beautiful day. You just want to crank up that music up loud and say, ‘Hello trees, hello road … everything’s just so beautiful and so wonderful.”
“I just envisioned being able to pick up roots and just go wherever my heart wanted to lead me and whatever I wanted to see – and just continue to be able to travel until I got tired of seeing whatever it was.
And I must say I don’t think you ever do get tired of traveling. You just continue to have wonderful adventures and experiences along the road.”
The quote at the end of the video sums it up very well:
A forward looking, active engagement with life is critical to growing old well.”
Dr. John W. Rowe, “Successful Aging”
So I’ve been trying to get more information on this “pilot” TV show that never seemed to have materialized. The video was uploaded on November 8, 2011, but I see nothing about it on PBS or on First Post, the other site that linked the video.
I’ve Googled their names and just wrote to RVing Women to see if they can put me in touch with any of them.
These are ladies I’d go out of my way for to share a campfire and swap travel tales!
If anybody knows their whereabouts or contact info, drop me an email at Malia@MaliasMiles.com.