Posts tagged ‘Roaming’

Compared to last year, my life is very different. I’ve gone from a corporate lifestyle to living on the road. Once the tidy, well presented fellow, the new look of freedom has people reacting differently to me; either the way they look at me or talk to me. It’s humbling to be truly human again. It’s like Undercover Boss, except this is not a disguise. This is me.

Compared to 1

Here are some of the comparison’s between last year and now…

Slept in a level bed.

Each night we sleep on a different angle. Head rushes, danger of rolling out of bed, it really depends on how level the motorhome is. However, I’m sure there’s some benefit to this; a better centre of gravity, improved core strength… hey there might be a new fitness craze out of this.

Woke up to an alarm at 5am to get ready for work.

I don’t use an alarm, the clock on the dashboard is wrong, I don’t have a watch, my computer still shows Australian time, so to be honest I never know what time it is. Does anyone know the time, seriously, I have no idea?

Opened the living room blinds and looked out at the same lovely and peaceful street every day.

After 14 weeks on the road and 8000 miles under our belt, we usually wake up in a new spot everyday. One day at a rest stop, we woke up next to a cattle truck. At truck stops, we listen to the sound of generators at night, and wake up surrounded by 50ft+ vehicles. At Walmart, it almost feels like home now since we’ve stayed at so many. We usually wake up next to fellow RV’ers who have stopped overnight, and others who are, well, lets just say semi-permanent. And finally, at RV parks we often find peace and quiet. Unless we’re near train tracks, and then we hear the freight trains rattle by in the early hours of the morning, and if we’re lucky they blow their horn as well.

Showered every morning.

Don’t even ask! While we’re dry camping (i.e. not hooked up to electricity, water, etc), the combined issue of amount of fresh water, the size of the grey water tank, and the small hot water tank does not permit regular, lengthy showers. When we hit an RV park, we used to fight for the first shower. Now we just try to remember to shower before we leave.

Shaved as required.

When we first moved to Canada, it was Man vs Winter so limited shaving was required. When the hockey season ended I considered neatening the edges, but I’ve since decided that I will just be more prepared for when the next winter roles around. Sadly that’s only a few months away!

Got dressed in a suit and tie.

First I put on my shorts, then I decide if I want to wear a shirt.

I drove fast(ish). The ‘ish’ is for my mother.

Take 3 ½ minutes to get from 0 – 60.

I caught the train to work everyday.

Have considerably lowered my risk of catching diseases, and significantly increased my happiness levels, by not catching a train.

Purchased 2 coffees a day at $3.50 per coffee.

Have gone through two jars of instant coffee (that I brought on a 2 for 1 sale). Have purchased a handful of very dodgy truck stop coffees. Total cost over 14 weeks is around $10.

Once a month I would go and have my hair cut.

Haven’t had a hair cut in 8 months (since leaving Australia). There becomes a point where you stop taking yourself seriously. The extra weight would be a disadvantage if I was required to outrun a bear, but it definitely increases my chances of getting a role in the next season of Game of Thrones.

Didn’t think too much about what I was spending.

Buy food and gas/petrol, everything else is a luxury, including paying for overnight accommodation. Walmart stays have definitely been aplenty.

Drove a maximum of 2000 kilometres all year; home to train station, train station to home.

Drove 1000 kilometres in one day across Kansas. It’s not that Kansas isn’t beautiful, I’m just terrified of tornadoes. I wouldn’t have rushed if I knew our destination of Colorado was just as prone to severe weather!

Drove a car that I filled up with gas/petrol once every 3 weeks.

Drive a beast that is thirstier than an Aussie at a BBQ, and it ain’t drinking VB.

Thought I was water conscious.

I’m water conscious.

Was not handy. Not even a little bit.

Have learnt how to use RV glue. Excessively.

Would buy designer t-shirts for $50+.

Spent $8 on a t-shirt from Walmart, and eyeing off a $5 one as well!

My phone was an extension of my arm.

Didn’t have a phone for the 10 weeks we travelled through the USA. Remarkably, the world still goes around.

I was connected 24/7.

We choose not to get an internet plan while on the road. We rely on internet at RV parks, Information Centres, and stores that we can park near enough to, to tap into their internet. More often than not, it’s so slow I expect to hear the sound of the internet dialling up… remember that! If you don’t you can hear it here.

So, instead of being online all day, I provide undivided attention to my kids… all…. day… long… and then I have a beer, or a wine, I’m not fussy 😉

Had a microwave.

Had a microwave, blew it up, and it’s surprising how much you really don’t need one! Note for prospective buyers, there was only a small flame, it was contained, and the microwave will be replaced before you buy the most amazing home on wheels 🙂

Used toilet paper abundantly.

A few squares are enough. Highly biodegradable RV tissue paper at $1 a roll helps with this! Possibly too much information, just be thankful I’m not telling you about my experiences in Nepal. There’s a reason they shake with their right hand.

Toilet paper was thick and plushy.

Toilet paper as mentioned above is highly biodegradable, which means it disintegrates on contact with wet things. Enough said.

Used a 2 metre counter top to prepare dinner.

Work with two 30 cm areas for food preparation, which also house our kettle, toaster and fruit bowl. And you haven’t seen the size of our fruit bowl!!

Would light up the room I was in. I’m talking about electricity and light switches… not me.

The RV contains a number of 12 volt lights throughout each room, so I only use the light for the part of the room I’m in. When dry camping, we’re living off a single 12 volt battery, so every minute of energy is precious.

I watched television occasionally.

The television in the living area bounces and shakes as we drive along, the cords hang to the ground, not connected to power or cable. At an RV park, the picture is generally the same except it doesn’t bounce around as much unless the kids are having a dance party.

The fridge was on constantly.

The fridge runs off propane when we are not plugged in at an RV park. So throughout the day, whenever we stop for longer than an hour, its propane on, then propane off again when we leave. The crutch is making sure we turn it on when we are settling in for the night at a Walmart or another ‘non-electrical’ providing location. Three months in, and we haven’t forgotten to do this. Now watch me forget in the next few days!

Had a enough cutlery and dishware for a large dinner party.

We have 4 cups, 4 mugs, 4 big plates, 4 side plates, 4 kids plates, 4 forks, 4 knives… you get it. Its simple, use, wash, reuse. No more dishes lying around. You don’t clean, you don’t eat.

The kids had a larger share of my house than I did; bedroom, full toy room, toy area’s in living room’s, outside play area, swing set, cubby house…

The kids each have a small toy box and a combined craft box. The toy box hardly comes out of the cupboard. Instead, they have a couple of favourite toys which stay out, and otherwise they’re busy doing crafts and playing outside.

I would get on the roof once a year to clean the gutters and put the Christmas lights up

I’m on the roof of the RV every two weeks for general maintenance/checks, and just to hang out really. Usually it’s a good view from up there.

We had lovely neighbours

We meet lovely people on the road, even the guy that was playing his makeshift drums to Ace of Base in the Walmart parking lot until 2am. We all have a story.

Attended meetings all day long, and saw my kids for about an hour each day

Play with the kids all day long, and see them 24/7… there’s pros and cons ☺ Mostly pros. Teaching my daughter to ride her bike, starting to play chess with her, and just watching her develop in so many aspects of her life. And my little guy is the light of the family, bringing laughter and cheekiness to our lives.

Thought about touring North America in a motorhome.

Am touring North America in a motorhome… live you dreams 🙂 Happy living!

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Sightseeing comes in many forms and, after a run of downtowns, it was time to get back to nature.

We’d just spent a night in a hotel after a tornado warning for the Georgian State, so we were bustling out of Atlanta with Nashville in sight. But we couldn’t resist stopping at a little place called Rock City, and we were ever so glad that we did.

Rock City is in Chattanooga, a couple of hours north of Atlanta. At first I questioned the admission fee (approx. $27 US) to ‘see some rocks’, but the issue of cost quickly faded as we stepped into an enchanted world. We weaved through some beautiful rock formations, and were mesmerised by the natural beauty of our surroundings.

Having a 4 and an almost 2-year-old, I was worried about how suitable the trails would be, but both kids walked almost the entire way. The first trail ended at a landing where we could see 7 states. We then started the second trail, and the kids were excited by the hope of seeing fairies in Fairyland Caverns. Who knew that they would see a whole lot more!

We stepped into the world of nursery rhymes in ‘Mother Goose Village,’ and the effort spent on the displays was remarkable.

There are some places that just deliver so much more than what you’re expecting and Rock City was one of them. The kids absolutely loved it, and so did we. What else can I say, if you’re in the area… don’t miss it!

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Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (Charleston, SC) is the home of the USS Yorktown. This massive aircraft carrier has been converted into a museum, and don’t expect to get in and out in a hurry. The length of the ship is about 4 football fields, and you can roam through a handful of different tours on multiple levels, including the flight deck.

We learnt that the USS Yorktown was used for service in Vietnam (1965-1968), and also picked up the astronauts and the landing capsule from Apollo 8 in December 1968. If you’re a history buff, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/y1/yorktown-iv.htm to find an in-depth breakdown of the Yorktown’s history.

The museum is reasonably priced given the many hours you can spend on the ship, and kids 5 and under are free. However, if you are taking a stroller/pram, you will be limited on some of the tours due to stairs and narrow corridors. We highly suggest a baby carrier, especially if you will be visiting over your little one’s nap time.

Overall, we highly recommend Patriots Point for all ages and it’s a great family day out.

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