2 years and counting…

2 years and counting…

OK, we have hit the two year milestone, and I wanted Cathy to contribute the summary and I’ll finish up with photo’s over the two years….

Wow! It has been quite an amazing two years of travel around the beautiful USA and Canada. So many people want to know how we like it? We actually love it and look forward to every adventure we have.  Our first adventure was transitioning from our town house to a 400 square foot RV.  We started a year before Jon retired, two years ago today…November 15th 2016.

Down sizing the house:

In 2010 we lost the entire contents of our home in a fire and all the “stuff” I had been saving or didn’t throw away was gone.  The first phase was to get rid of anything we absolutely would not need, that was the easy part. Deciding what to do with more expensive items took some thought…pricing the items you really like was hard.. things you like don’t always excite others. When the second phase was over and we had donated and sold most of the house hold items I was happy to give family the rest.

Clothes:

Clothes purging was another story…we no longer needed to dress for work so how many work clothes do you keep? Along with the clothes come the accessories…Jon did great and kept two suits at the beginning and I had a bag of dresses and nice work wear I wasn’t ready to give away. They were in a bin in the bottom of the RV for a time before those items were purged as well. If you think of what you need in the RV it is basic casual wear for each season. Think of a suit case packed with your favorite items to wear that is what we are down to, our “favorite things” which are very comfortable clothes and shoes.

Luxury: We are not roughing it.

We are “Glamping” Camping Glamorously. We have every luxury a home could need including a small dishwasher, convection microwave oven combo, double sinks, washer & dryer, king size bed, heated floors, flushing toilet (not the pump one), shower and two sinks in the bathroom, recliner and couch, small office area, solar power, aqua hot water heating (heats with diesel), fire place, four TV’s located in each area and outside. Of course we like to be connected and don’t always have great cell service in campgrounds but for TV we are always connected as long as we are not parked under a tree. Dish Satellite is our preference

Dish Satellite Hopper DVR and that includes the Joey and the Wally…receivers for different reasons, driving we put on the Wally on and it tracks the satellite while we are on the move and shut off the Hopper.  When we park we put up the large household type dish and use the Hopper to record TV shows,  the Joey allows you to watch different channels on two different TVs.

Exploring: We are always excited to see new areas in the country even when we have been to an area more than once we find new things.  We love the National Parks and do most of the hiking and biking when we visit the parks. So far our list of parks we have visited is still small compared to the huge amount of sites to see. If I was to guess, I think we have seen 20 of the National Parks I need to count to be sure.

Visiting family and friends: OK so here we go with how Jon and I are thinking now. We love seeing family and friends and can’t wait to spend time with them where they live. We would hate to stop seeing everyone if we were to settle down in one spot, so we think we will continue to travel even though we originally were thinking about a three year time line.  Can you imagine not going somewhere cool and exciting after we stop traveling? We are developing a real taste for this continual gypsy life style, searching for restaurants and new things to explore just never gets old.

Keep sakes:

If you know how much room you don’t have for extra things (not including my wine) then it goes with out saying that we don’t collect souvenirs unless it sticks to the fridge like a magnet. We are trying to keep the magnets to the special places we visit and the memories.  Photos which are easily stored in the phone are the way we can remember our beautiful experiences in nature and with People we meet along the way.

Phones: We love our smart phones and are now enjoying using them for everything. You can usually find an app for just about anything, there is even an app that helps you find the wine you like. LOL  Seriously, we use hiking trail apps and Jeep trail apps, where to find Pilot or Loves Diesel truck stop, there is even and app to tell you what stars you are looking at in the sky! If we didn’t have these phones we would be buried in state maps, hiking maps, RV park maps etc.

Paper less life is so freeing…we even pay our bills on line. Our mail is collected at Jon’s Brothers house in Florida and they throw most of it away…JUNK!

Favorite Things:

This is not an easy subject since every place we go has something different to offer and we have fond memories. We love exploring and meeting new people but to be honest we don’t have a huge amount of time where that is what we are doing. We may meet a couple here and there that we spend an evening around the camp fire and exchange contact information but realistically we are spending time with each other the most.  I do love to come to an area where I can enjoy family and friends and that makes me home sick for a neighborhood again, but then I realize that those we meet on the road and with similar interest are becoming a new “tribe” that we have a lot in common with.  Jon’s love for Jeep and off road trips has connected us with some great people who like to do the same things.  We enjoyed Moab, Utah for this reason and will plan to spend 6 weeks there in 2020.

Reunion: September 19th was Shirley Kling’s 90th Birthday Cruise where all the Kling’s that could spent four days together and got to enjoy Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. This was the high light of the year for Shirley and 25 of us who attended. We believe this may have to happen again.  All of Shirleys children were together for the first time for her birthday in many years.

Stick and Brick House:

When traveling around and staying with family and friends I can do some baking and decorating which a miss doing around the Holidays, occasionally I do move furniture around and organize if it is allowed. My need to organize can help or get me in trouble depending on where I am visiting. I will leave it at that…they know who they are.  Over all Jon and I do not miss a house with a permanent address yet. We will let you know when the novelty wears off.  We still have been trying to sell our Maryland Townhouse, it has been for sale for about 5 months and no firm offers.  With the recent Amazon announcement for the area right across the rive we ae hoping we get some folks thinking ahead and jump at our place which is priced very low for what recent ones sold for.  We need all the prayers we can get.

Our RV:

We love the RV, Jon’s as made some necessary changes such that it really fits our needs, we toyed with maybe getting a bigger one with more storage but came around to the fact how much stuff do you really need to cart around with you?  Things in this RV is working great, it is running well and we decided to stick with this unit.

Cathy

Jon’s contribution is the the two years in pictures that follow….

Leaving our home in National Harbor…
Jeep in tow
Layla & Phoebe with long haircuts

Solar Install
Side trips with the dogs
Sunsets
RV Modifications

Reconnecting with navy Shipmates
Hiking

Meeting other full time RV’ers who also Blog

Back trails in the Jeep

Meeting new folks who become friends

Wildlife in Nature
Family Visits
Iconic Spots
RV Repairs
Many National Parks
Running into Navy workmates on Vacation

Going into Canada

Serious off roads
Family celebrations
Seeing our Kid’s and Nana
Time with family in California
Seeing Family
Dealing with Problems
Meeting You Tuber’s that I follow and admire
Mexican food across the US

Relaxing

As you can see overall, we are enjoying this lifestyle and currently don’t have plans to stop anytime soon.  I plan to continue to blog, post on Facebook and Instagram to document our journey…I hope you have enjoyed following us and maybe more of you will be inspired to get out and enjoy the country, it is so big and beautiful…

 

7 thoughts on “2 years and counting…

  1. Cathy and Jon, thank you for sharing your thoughts and adventures with us through your blog. I look forward to reading each one and seeing the beautiful photos. What a lifestyle!!! You are great examples of minimalists

    1. Carolyn you would love doing this and will be surprised how easy it is to change your habits we have that keep us in a house.
      I will tell Jon to do a post on finances..you don’t have to be rich to do this. Retirement should be about doing the things we enjoy.
      Join our tribe!

  2. We’re sorry we missed seeing you, Cathy, but had a wonderful time with Jon! I hope we can see you, too, next time around. The blog is so much fun! I don’t know if I (we) could actually take the plunge and do what you are doing – but you certainly make it attractive… Drive safe and stay in touch.

  3. This is awesome! You guys definitely do it right! You’ve really seen some fantastic stuff and made the most of it. Plus, you’ve found a nice balance of sightseeing and spending time with family. Also, I kindof have to agree with sticking with the bus. We keep seeing people buy new RVs only to have to keep bringing them in for service. I think if you’ve got one that works, that you know well, that generally does what you need it to do, it makes a lot of sense not to jump from the frying pan into the fire. Anyway, happy 2 years and let’s hope for many more great ones in the future!

    1. Thanks, the only real hiccup is getting the house sold, after that smooth sailing. Hope to meet up if you get into florida in Feb/March

      1. We are staying in the Southwest this winter. We plan to be in FL next winter…. that’s the plan anyway… we’ll see what actually happens!

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