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Yesterday we attended the RV show at the Greensboro Coliseum. It was the second day of climbing in and out of trailers trying to find the perfect recreational vehicle. As with most things, I have a hard time making a decision, the upside of which is that I’m not generally impulsive, the downside of which is over-thinking decisions that most people can make without regret using “eeny meeny miny mo.”

Motor homes and pop ups are out, so that part is easy. The choice for us is between a traver trailer and a fifth wheel (the kind of RV which sits in the bed of a pick-up truck and is about the equivalent, to quote Bill Bryson, of taking a building on vacation with you).

Here’s the list of pros and cons we’re struggling with.

Fifth Wheel
– Is more stable on the road
– Has more room

Travel Trailer
– Isn’t as safe (con)
– Is lighter, generally, and therefore, less expensive gas-wise to tow
– Could possibly be towed by an SUV – allowing us to have a useful vehicle when not towing the RV

Once we make that decision, then we have to decide whether to get an RV with extra bunk beds or one bedroom. As usual, I find that there is a huge gap in the marketplace. The RV market consists of two primary demographics: families with children, and retired couples. However, from what we could see, RVs tend to be designed to accomodate the needs of families. What’s really lacking is an RV that has a storage compartment for stowing our mountain and road bikes, or a kayak. We don’t need an extra room of bunk beds, but we could use a small extra room so that the cat has a place to hang out and we have a place to store extra outdoor stuff.

We’ve only just started looking at the possibilities and we have plenty of time to decide, so we’ll figure it out eventually. It’s a fun “problem” to have and I found myself daydreaming a couple of times today what it will be like to be on the road. I learn most lessons the hard way and am a slow learner, but one thing I have figured out is that there is joy not only in a celebration or occassion itself, but also in the hopeful anticipation of it. Having something to look forward to brings joy to the every day, making even long Mondays more pleasant. Life is all about hope which makes even loving “now” easier and more fun.

Happy Sunday morning to you! It’s a glorious Sunday here. This is exactly how I should have felt yesterday morning except that the Orioles like to punish their fans for their loyalty. I’ve considered writing an actual letter to the Orioles organization about this one, not like the fake letter I made for Andy MacPhail. (My husband read the letter and I had to explain it was a joke. He asked, “What if someone sends it?” I said, “That would be funny!” I hate it when I have to explain humor to British people.) There’s no crying in baseball, but I was so disappointed, I actually cried. No one makes me cry and gets away with it.

I wasn’t actually buying Red Sox gear yesterday. I’m mad but I’m not selling my soul. We were out hunting for an RV. Choosing an RV is almost as overwhelming as remodeling a bathroom–a plan we completely gave up on six months ago. I suppose if you’re not an environmentalist, it wouldn’t be difficult to choose an RV, but trying to find something that we can live in for a month at a time, yet won’t drain oil supplies or cost a fortune in gas to tow (not to mention the associated guilt) is a challenge. Oh, and then there’s price too.

So we’re off today to an RV show to see if an RV that has it “all” (I’ve grown to hate that word) for our needs exists in the market.

Have a lovely Sunday!

There’s a way. It’s true. More success at removing address from mailing lists. All companies these days are limited by their software. Not everyone is savy enough or has sophisticated enough systems to have an “opt-out” of mailing feature. So…one company I called, small, private organization said “unfortunately we don’t have that capability.” I suggested that they erase my street address from the record so that when the label prints, there won’t be anywhere for the catalog to be mailed. They agreed. Woohoo. Eventually, I’m sure everyone will have an electronic delivery only feature, but until then, we have to be innovative.

 All this success is inspiring me to tackle more things on the to-do list. 🙂

One step in preparation for our cross-country trip, however far off it might be, is to reduce the mail that is delivered to the house. Email is okay of course, since hopefully we’ll have Internet access and it isn’t a red flag to any passerby that our house is unoccupied. Reducing mail is also a goal in the hopes that it is actually possible to reduce the clutter and the amount of time we spend shuffling, organizing, reading, recycling, shredding, and filing it. It is an endless cycle!

 Today I made considerable progress towards this end, or so I tell myself. I won’t actually know until I start seeing an empty mailbox most days. For months now, I have been calling catalog companies asking to be removed from mailing lists. Today I had a huge stack of mail that I went through one by one, sometimes calling five numbers until someone agreed to remove me from the mailing list. I’ve found that mentioning I am moving soon and travel a lot helps to get the CSR’s cooperation.

 My goal is to keep at this until I receive everything electronically, except for the three magazines I subscribe to. By the time we actually get to travel, I’ll be so backlogged that I’ll have an entire year worth of reading. Hopefullly not, but at this rate…

Post-woman just drove by. Let’s see how today’s stack looks…

 Dag! Five more pieces, though three of them are for my husband. He’ll probably be happy, he hates not getting any mail. Okay, more phone calls to make!

 

My husband and I have a dream, to quit the corporate world and spend a year (or more) traveling and sight-seeing. Logistically we need to have saved enough money to cover our expenses for a year. That’s a difficult thing and would mean much less shopping for me. I’ll probably have to stay very busy to distract myself from the beautiful apparrel I cannot own. We’ll need to buy a camper, probably a fifth wheel, something big enough to provide a real refrigerator and stove for cooking real meals. We’ll need meds, and emergency meds for the cat.

 Otherwise, we can’t wait. Our next steps now are to make a list of anticipated expenses, needs for being away a year, and a long list of where we want to go. I get dreamy thinking of us being in a camper with a view of a national park outside of our window. Hopping out of bed to make breakfast in beautiful scenic places that we can stay in until we have done every hike and taken every picture we wanted. If we realize this dream, how on earth will we go back to corporate world afterward? Time to be together and laugh. Imagine, time for stories and books on tape during travel, hiking, canoeing, biking, every day, doing whatever we want.

Anyone who wishes to contribute is welcome to provide donations. 🙂

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