Escaped Doodles

One Year on the Road

Oh the places you'll go, the things you'll see! It's been one year since we started this full time traveling adventure. We've been a few places and seen some things. We've at least touched Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Some 25,000 miles and a lot of campgrounds. Close to half of that 25,000 miles has been towing. But most of our time has been spent in South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

It has been a most excellent but challenging adventure. Not a vacation, which we knew from previous long trips. More another and different life. It definitely has advantages and disadvantages.

On the positive side, we really like not having a house to worry about. No repairs, yard work, property tax, etc. The freedom is amazing, being able to move anytime the mood strides. The ability to follow the weather is wonderful. I suppose it's just the retirement part, but its nice to have only the deadlines you set for yourself. And of course seeing new places, many new places. Finally, the challenge of full time travel is enjoyable and keeps one on ones toes.

On the not as positive side is living in our 19' trailer. The two of us with two large dogs is "cozy". Two people can't move about at the same time, the kitchen is tiny, and storage is limited. But the small trailer lets us get into National Forest, and other out of the way public, campgrounds. Receiving packages, and mail, takes some planning. Shopping is a challenge, particularly for groceries, always new stores in unknown locations. In the small towns we like, obtaining organics and gluten free food is difficult. Having only one vehicle, and that one a REALLY BIG truck, is a pain around town. Great for towing but less so otherwise. But these are the difficulties that give us the challenge mentioned above. Camping in public campgrounds during weekends can be another challenge, more and different people on the weekends. Finally, the lack of a workshop and tools can be frustrating.

The hardest part for us was Arizona during a very cold and wet, for Arizona, winter. We now have a side by side off road vehicle waiting there for us. We also will have a 10'x14' shed for shop and hobby work. If it's another cold winter we'll be better set-up. This is a trade-off as it gives us a place. We're not as foot loose and fancy free as without these but the trade-off tilted us towards this. We could sell out in a week or so if desired.

When not wintering in Brenda, AZ we tend to move about once a week. The move could be a few miles up to a few hundred. The longer jumps mostly to obtain better weather. We tend to move early in the week, Monday or Tuesday and arrive around mid-day. This gives us the best chance of finding a non-reservable campsite where we can stay, if desired, up to two weeks. We'll either go to an RV Park or stay in place over the weekends. We've been caught a few times without a place to stay but not often. It always seems to work out.

We're spending a little less overall than we did when stationary in a house, or traveling a few months a year. The elimination of property taxes and Oregon income tax are big, but beyond that we're still spending a little less. Staying in public campgrounds keeps our rent down. Going to RV "Resorts" regularly would be more costly.

The disadvantages above seem numerous, but the advantages are huge. We're enjoying the adventure so far and are very glad we did this. We've met many who have also taken up full time travel, some still traveling and some who used to. But we've met many more who wish they could. We know most could, it would just take the will and some effort. We're happy we decided to take it up before we're too old, and/or sick, to do it. So the adventure goes on, at least for a few more years.

Life is great! Come join us.