My email subscribers got an unintended preview of this post a few weeks ago – I hit the “publish” button instead of “save” – and you all got the not done yet post – here’s the full version! Here is a link to last years summary, in case you missed it: Year ONE – Thoughts and Reflections, and another to this years Part 1 summary: Year 2 Summary Part 1 Facts and Figures
It is an amazing thing – that we have been full-time RVers for 2 years! It’s been 2 years since we have owned a house and had all the things that go along with that – taxes, yard maintenance, cleaning nearly 3000 sq ft of rooms. That is the stuff I DO NOT miss!
To be completely honest though, there are things I do miss. I miss entertaining my family and friends, be it for holidays or just a summer-time BBQ. Bill and I always had someone at the house, sometimes for a night or two or three and sometimes longer, up to 2 years! Our door was always open! Sometimes Cindy would come for a week, sometimes we would host up to 20 people for the weekend!
I miss my kids and their SO’s coming for the weekend, I remember the excitement I would feel when getting their rooms ready, going shopping for and making them dinner, having movie and popcorn night in the basement.
I miss my breakfast or lunch and shopping dates with my GF’s Lisa, Cherie, Kathy, Karen, just to name a few.
Now that weather is turning colder – I remembered that I miss taking a nice hot soaking bath! I didn’t get in very often, but when I did – it was nice!
I also miss – DON’T LAUGH! – my regular hair appointments. Jamie is the BEST and always kept my hair looking awesome! It has been hit or miss – mostly misses – trying to keep my hair looking good! I haven’t blogged about it before, but I did attempt to grow out the grey and UGH! – after 6 months I gave in and Bill helped me put an end to that experiment!
In spite of all that – overall – we are very happy with our choice of lifestyle. Admitting all the things I miss, would I go back and make the same decision – to sell our house and travel full- time in our 5th wheel home? You betcha! Some people are very supportive and understanding, others not so much. Some people admit a bit of jealousy and wish they were either brave enough or financially in a place that they could do it themselves; others think we are off our rockers! We accept all perspectives, and try to listen when someone has a genuine concern, but we mostly ignore negativity and naysayers.
Our lifestyle has allowed us to spend more time with extended family and friends than ever before in year 2. Although, interestingly, we have not seen any immediate family in quite a while, due to our current summer location in AK, and the travel time to get here. I am very much loving being here, living like a local in Seward, but it must be acknowledged that it is FAR from everywhere else! Can’t drive a few hours and see my parents or kids or siblings.
Not physically seeing immediate family in this long a time has proven difficult for me. This could possibly be due to all that is going on that I am not there for. My son has been experiencing some difficulties, as has my sister. It is hard being away from them, hard not to be able to offer a shoulder to cry on and/or a hug when needed.
On happier fronts, my daughter has gotten engaged! She and her fiance have also moved into their first home together! Its a very exciting time in her life and I miss not being there in person to share in it with her! (She did take us on a FaceTime tour of the house – awesome! Thank goodness for technology!). We keep in touch and I don’t feel out of the loop at all, but it would have been nice to go along to see a venue or two with her, and/or preview a house or two before one was chosen! You know what I mean!
I watched a video blog from a guy who does a blog called “Outside Our Bubble” the other day, and he talks about feeling “disconnected” – I thought it was interesting so I thought I would share it here – its a side of full-timing that really isn’t talked about much – but is very valid and reinforces some of what I’ve said here. Outside Our Bubble – The Flip-Side of Full-Timing Feeling the Disconnect
I wrote a lot about my nephew in last years summary. I still grieve for him – I miss his goofy smile and his always enthusiastic hugs! I miss his phone calls that always started with “Hey Aunt Kelly!” and always ended with “Loveyoubye!” – just like that – one big word! The waves don’t come as frequently, nor do they knock me over every time, but I am acutely aware when they hit. What also pains me is the fact my sister still struggles so badly. I wish there was something I could do to help her. Sadly, this, the grieving process, is something no one can do for her.
Bill read this and commented that I should add a list of things we like and/or have gained since full-timing, to contrast the list of what I miss, so here goes. We LOVE seeing new places and doing new things – some of fav’s have been:
We started the year in Key West and went parasailing for the first time – New Years and Hubby’s Birthday in the Keys
Spending time with friends in New Orleans – Time in NOLA
Boondocking in Q – AZ dessert – Quartzsite
Family time in Joshua Tree, CA – Joshua Tree
First time seeing Yosemite – Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequioa’s
Family time in Cotati – Cotati and Klamath
Crater Lake – Crater Lake
First time in Seattle – Seattle
And – of course our entire time in AK! You can look back on all the posts from this past summer – BUCKET LIST BOX CHECKED!
So – some have asked – what’s next?
When our time is up here in AK – we will head back down to the lower 48. We want to stop in Haines again for a couple days, then head back down the Alcan, to Dawson Creek. We had originally talked heading toward Jasper and hopefully down the Icefield Parkway to Lake Louise and Banff, but ultimately have decided to save Canadian Rockies for another time. So instead, we will move toward Edmonton, then down to Calgary, then south into Montana, avoiding the high elevation of the mountains.
Our first destination will the the Louisville/Boulder CO area to see Goddaughter, Quynn and meet her fiancé, Megan. We will then drive east on US 70, stopping in Manhattan, KS to see niece Angela and her kids. Next up will be PA, the Somerset/Berlin area to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with our daughter and her new in-laws-to-be. Our son will be there also, he is actually in the process of moving closer to his sister – it will be nice to be able to visit them together! Continuing east, we will want to see cousin Cindy, brother Jay and his crew, including niece Jaime. Not sure if my sister will still be in DE, but if she is, we will see her also. Another stop will be brother, John and his GF, Susan. Seeing BFF, Linda and the whole Yaeger family will be near the top of the list! Hoping to drop in at the Infosinos as well! There are many other friends we will hope to see also.
We are still looking for employment in FL for the winter months – Jan through March or even April, near my parents in Clearwater. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck, apparently I waited too long to look and most places are already filled up, but I haven’t given up yet. We have reservations for the month of January and if we don’t find positions we will stay the month and then move on. To where you may ask – and I have no idea – we are talking about options.
Regardless of where we spend the spring, we are already looking for workamping jobs for next summer on the Jersey Shore. Can’t start too soon!
After our daughters wedding on Oct 8, we will more than likely do another peak at Amazon, especially if we do not find anything for FL. Gotta keep the checking acct happy!
We have also been asked more than once – how long will we do this? And also – where might we “land” when we are done? I posed the first question to Bill in preparation for this post and his answer is spot on for me as well – “no idea – for at least the foreseeable future”. The second question doesn’t have a definitive answer either, although I can say with certainty that it will be near water, probably an ocean, at the very least a big bay! As much as we’ve been loving the mountain views here in AK, our hearts are at the beach. There is something about the sand and waves that fills our souls and refreshes us.
I am getting ready to finish this post, but I want to add this thought real quick. I was chatting earlier with a friend, a full-timing friend, and she asked me if we were ready to move on from AK – we’ve been here almost 4 months! My answer was that yes – our time to leave is drawing near and I am getting ready to leave. I know when we leave – seeing family will be happening and that makes me happy! Part of my reply to her though – which happened very spontaneously, with no forethought at all – was “I know we will be here 4 months – I cannot imagine how we once lived in one place for 12 years!” Wow! – that statement is really sticking with me. The longest we lived in one place since we’ve gotten married has been 12 years. Other places we’ve lived were 6 years (KY), 8 years (Toms River NJ) and 2 years (Keansburg NJ). Before that, we lived in the same town our whole lives, Bill lived in the same house his whole life growing up! We knew all the same people, went to the same school district, had never lived anywhere else. I guess we were able to do that then b/c we didn’t know any different. It just seems so unimaginable now. Staying in one place 4 months seems like forever, even though it’s an awesome place and I already get choked up when I think of leaving. I guess when spending 4 months in one place doesn’t feel like nearly enough – we will know it’s a place to consider “landing”, right?
So – I do believe I’m ready to post now. Today is 9/18! We’ve had some internet issues that have gotten in the way of posting – sorry it’s taken so long! I’ve been also waiting for WordPress to resolve some issues with accessing my older pics in the media library, but their helpers are all on vacation until 9/23 – so I will do a photo post when that gets fixed!
Now that Internet is working better – I am hoping to get the “running gear and shackle report posted by Tuesday – be on the lookout!