Mapping my way across the country, I follow a pattern. First, there’s this obsessive enthusiast inside me that sits for hours pouring over different routes, looking for the shortest route, picking a northern route, finding a southern route. Diabolically, I let her have her way; I have a plan. I’ll tire that part of me out then scrap it all and begin again. What a maroon!
When sanity once again reigns I settle down to letting the journey be the key element. I look first at the general direction of my trip then find interesting places to stay for the night. Next I plot the distance from point A to point B; between 200 and 300 miles is reasonable.
Before selling my house and buying the RV, the only time I’d ventured far from home was the summer of 2006. I had a new pop-up camper and was anxious to visit the Great Lakes. So during the month of June, I took off to explore Erie, Michigan, Huron, and Superior. I’d already visited Lake Ontario a few times in earlier years.
Meandering along the lake shores in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, I fell in love with three things: this country, its people, and the traveling lifestyle.
Coming back from the Great Lakes trip, I had questions that needed a lot of research before there’d be any answers. I did love that little pop-up camper but I knew it would never suffice for a permanent home. My first question was: what type of RV would suit me as a home on the road? After some wrong decisions, I made the right one for me and settled on my Winnebago motorhome.
Probably the most important question was: how can I support myself in this lifestyle? Research led me to workamper.com, an online magazine with employment ads from almost every one of the fifty states. Through workamper, I found several of the jobs I have worked at over the years.
Another far-reaching question was: if I had anywhere in the country to choose to live, where would that be? The only way to find out was to get in that RV and go out exploring. I’ve been doing just that; sailing into my 4th year. I’ve discovered that I like living in several different places. Most favorable are the Pacific coast and the desert.
I think my desire to travel came about when I was very young. As a child, I lived in the small town of Nesquehoning situated in a long, narrow valley between two mountains. My childhood home was on the north mountain. I could stand in my front yard and look across at the part of town on the south mountain. Only I didn’t know it was part of my town.
I’d look over there and see the sun shining and, my goodness, everyone knew that the sun always shines in California. So as a little kid I thought I was seeing California. And I wanted to go there in the worst way. So I said to my dad, “Take me to California, Daddy!” He, of course, said it was too far for us to travel. But I said, “No it’s not; it’s right over there!” My parents and neighbors laughed and laughed for a long time over that one.
When I’m starting up the engine tomorrow morning and wheeling my tin can home down the highway, I’ll be thinking of that little kid and laugh and laugh and laugh!
(aka Tin Can Traveler)