As many of you know, we bought a used motorhome in 2017 and made our first big trip to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in San Antonio that spring. It was a great adventure, learning experience, and checked off one of Bob’s big bucket list items. We were gone for three weeks, hitting locations in South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana on our journey. By the time we arrived home, we knew we’d been bitten by the RV bug.
The following October, Louise’s mom passed away after several difficult months of deteriorating health. We had been discussing how we would winterize, cover and store the motorhome for the winter, but a couple of weeks after the funeral, we realized that we knew what we needed to do … get out of the Northeast for the winter! After that first trip to San Antonio, we knew that someday we would go out for a long adventure and every small, local camping trip we took reinforced that. What were we waiting for? Another snowy winter of sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow to shovel?
On November 28, 2018, we pulled out of our driveway and drove south as fast as safely possible in an 17-year-old 36’ motorhome with a car attached to the back. It was pretty darn cold at night already, and we raced through a series of Walmart parking lot sleepovers until we hit South Carolina. We thought that once we hit South Carolina it would surely be warmer than Connecticut, but our first morning in the campground we woke up to a frozen water line as it had dipped to 22 degrees overnight!
It was quite a trip with sunshine in Florida, weeks of rain in Louisiana, wind in New Mexico. We acquired stories of juke joints, flooded campgrounds, drive-up daiquiris, tornado warnings; we camped on breathtaking beaches, in blooming desserts and beneath magnificent mountains. We met so many awesome people and enjoyed visiting friends and relatives.
Six months later, we backed her into our Connecticut driveway and said, “We wish we were still on the road.”
Last winter, with a newer, smaller, better motorhome under us, we headed to Florida for the winter. We never considered ourselves “Florida people” but didn’t want to count it out without really trying it. So, we stayed about four months in a few very different areas of the state. By March, we were heading back north and had confirmed that we just don’t feel like “Florida people.” We really missed the southwest.
By the time we pulled back into our driveway, we had decided to go full time. Connecticut is a beautiful state, but it’s not exactly central to traveling the country. It takes a LONG TIME to drive a 20,000+ pound vehicle from Connecticut to the West Coast if you want to see things along the way. Probably, if Connecticut and Kansas had switched places, we would have kept a home base residence. But, Connecticut’s not in the middle of the country. It’s also expensive to keep two homes, which is basically what we’re doing, and who wants to pay Connecticut taxes anymore? Not us!
We love our local family and friends, will miss you all like crazy, and we will fly home from time to time to visit. It’s a little scary to think about not having a “home” after decades of working hard to keep our homes. Scary, but liberating, too. It’s complicated! Most of all, we cannot wait to see the country, explore, learn and see what hidden gems we can find along the way!
Stay tuned … we’ll be leaving Connecticut September 19th!