Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Year of Reflection

Christmas day 2009 is what I consider my first year on the road as a full-timer.  Yes, I retired in September but I consider the day I pulled out of Etowah TN as the beginning of my "new" life.  I have put 8897 miles on Somewhere and stayed in 22 different parks and 2 non-parks.  I stayed in Camping World parking lot and Suncoast Designers parking lot for a grand total of 3 nights.  You can see that I'm not much for Walmart or Flying J's lots type traveler.  That may change when I head West or North or in some other direction but I just didn't feel comfortable doing that during this first stage.  My confidence has increased so now that I know the intricacies of Somewhere I may do more of that some day.

As I reflect on 2010, I learned a lot.  I learned:
  • to be sure to turn my auto headlights off of my tow vehicle when I travel.
  • to check my battery fluids more consistently to preserve battery life (that was an expensive one to neglect.)
  • to stick with my original plans of not traveling too many miles in one day.  Enjoy the lifestyle.
  • to enjoy people for who they are and not have too high expectations in others.
  • to relax and realize I'm not on vacation and I don't have to be busy every day I'm on the road.  The road is my life now.
  • to realize how important it is to stay in touch with old/new friends.
  • to not get in a hurry when tearing down and setting up.  Thank people nicely who want to help by saying "thanks but I've got it."  Otherwise I will invariably forget to do something.
  • that 400 sq ft is just right for one person.
  • that things on the road are a lot more expensive than I originally planned.
I'm sure there are other things I've learned but my memory isn't what it used to be.

I didn't do everything I had planned my first year but I figure that the NE will be there and it can go back on the bucket list.  Family is more important than my schedule.  My second year is not as planned out as my first.  Since this is my lifestyle, it's not important to do everything so quickly, I don't have to be back in 2-3 weeks to go back to work.  I've learned to stop and smell the roses.

I cherish the people I've met along my journey whether they are next door neighbors or neighbors I've not met yet, but know them through this blog and the women rv forum.

I've done a lot more reading and less watching TV.  I've done more walking and biking and kayaking than ever.  I don't miss work one bit.

Would I do it again, you bet.  I have never asked "what have I done?"  This is a great lifestyle for the right person.  I am so thankful that I worked to live and not lived to work.  My plans and sacrifices I made along the way to my retirement life was well worth it.  I would do it all over again.

Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way.  Just going to name a few of my supporters and if you don't read your name it's not because I don't recognize you for what you have done to help me along the way but it would be like one of those speeches at the Oscars, I'm sure I'll leave someone out and the music will start playing.  So here goes, Jonathan, Taylor, Theda, Randy & Debbie, Margie & Roger,  Becky, Cindy, Roy, Chad (my financial advisor), and all my other peeps.  I love you all!! 




Donna aka Froggi said...

So many good things learned...I remember learning several of those myself during my first 6 months on the road solo.

It took me a while to figure out why I was so tired on moving days...finally realized that I was doing the work that two normally split. I deserved to be tired! LOL!!


what a great recap of the year 2010!..thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Beckles said...

I'm proud of you working toward your dream and now living it! Everyone doesn't know the research and pondering that you did for so long as you were working toward this dream. It didn't just happen overnight. I feel as though I were backstage for a big production and got to see all of the practices, and then the actual performance.

Thanks for sharing your reflections with all of us. Although my lifestyle is quite different, I've done some of my own reflecting.....since it's not my blog, no more from me on that!!

Happy Trails until we meet again!!