How long will you keep traveling?
A final question from our FMCA Full Time Wannabe seminar.
1) One more week! Then one more week. Then one more week . . .
2) Until we stop!
3) Until we can't.
4) Only the Lord knows.
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps." Proverbs 16:9
It did not always look like this. For 9 years we had the house with a dirt road, no patios and no landscaping. In 1986 we put in patios and walkways surrounding the entire house. In 2000 we added the paved road, parking areas and landscaped the acre around the house. We could never understand why anyone would live in a condominium rather than enjoy living in a place like this "park". For the next 5 years we spent every weekend maintaining this beautiful place. With five children out of the house, only Melissa remained and she would leave in the fall of 2006. Doing all this maintenance for just the two of us started to seem like a burden.
Our camping history has been extensive. We honeymooned in Ellen's father's pickup camper for 30 days in seven western states. We motorcycle/tent camped for a two week trip with our dog Smokey. We spent a weekend in Sam and Debbie's pop-up tent trailer. We twice rented gas motorhomes, one a 30 footer and the other 35 feet. Each trip was for a week through national parks and we loved it.
In 2005 we began to research RV travel. We spent a year reviewing every type of RV, from trailers to fifth wheels to small motorhomes. Our friend Bill had recently purchased a 30 foot Itasca Sunova. That was his "fort" and he called Pete everyday to tell us how much he loved his fort. As Pete traveled California on business he stopped in at every RV business he came across. As we became more serious about an RV, we traveled together to RV sales lots and trade shows. Pete showed Ellen the Sunova and she said "that's nice but what about that one?" Pete said "This is us, that is them! This is us, that is them!"
In November 2005 we became "them" and ordered the MotherShip, a 2006 Monaco Diplomat 400 hp diesel pusher with four slides. We picked it up from DeMartini RV in Grass Valley California on 4-5-6. After a week of "shake down" we brought it home and parked next to our house. We have not slept a day in our house since. We couldn't as while we were gone Melissa moved into the master bedroom!
On August 15, 2006 we left Atascadero spending two days to drive with Melissa to Point Loma Nazarene University where she would join her sister Emily. We stayed four days and then headed out to "see a little bit of America". And it turned out we were Full Time Motorhome Travelers, who knew?
13 years later, we have seen a bit of America and some of Canada. Life in a "moving condo" is great. We take care of the inside and someone else takes of the outdoors. We have met thousands of people, enjoyed them all and if we did meet someone we didn't like, we could just move.
But, we digress. How long will we continue to travel and where will we live when we're done? At the FMCA Indio Rally in 2018 we camped next to another California Coasters RV club member. He asked "how long will we continue to travel?" Pete said "until we can't". When he found that Pete would be 70 in 2018, he told us "you've got 10 years and then you can't drive any longer". Awesome, 10 years! That gives us plenty of time for the "Lord to direct our steps". [Editor's Note: Today, in Yuma we just met a lady whose mom drove her gas motorhome until she was 95! Yipee, we might have 25 more years.]
Okay, we fooled you; we can't answer how long. Or what we will do then. But we know a couple of things. We might live with family. If not, it will be a "condo" in an adult community. We have stayed at 320 RV parks and a large number of them are adult-only parks with tons of activities. We like that. We are "home bodies" that like a lot of time to ourselves. But when we want to mingle these communities are ideal. And most definitely, we don't want to have to "take care of the outside", so a condo, moving or not, is for us.
For now, we have to go. We have one more week to travel and then one more week and then one more week . . .
With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
Photos from 2006 to 2019