Follow by Email

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fun Factor - Has It Waned?

One of the blog followers asked the question aboutfun factor over time, as follows;

“I'd also be interested in learning whether, regardless of the mode of transportation, the "fun" factor of your travels is as high as it was at the beginning or whether the fun has waned now that you've been doing it for four years.”

Like most newbies to Vandwelling I had my apprehension, insecurities, and emotions about the lifestyle.

I’m an engineer so I planned and when I throughly I was done planning, I found more to plan.

My hidden plan when I finally decided to retire at 62 was to get a cap for my Tacoma.  I designed the inside bed and storage and made a list of what to bring with me, while keeping my eye on Craigslist for a campervan.  When a campervan turned up just VWR the state Line into New Hampshire, I went to see it hopeful of it being right for my travels.  

By the way, I knew nothing of CheapRVLiving at this time.

My plan was to take my mom to Florida to stay with her sister, and stop at oldest son’s house in Maryland on the way.  Then I would tour the state and look up some old friends and relatives that live there.  Then I would move west to California to see youngest son before heading to up the Pacific Coast Highway and back to Yosemite.  Finally I would head back to Arizona to tour there.

When I started, everything was a learning experience. Everything!  I hated the Class B campervan. Hated!  In Florida I had a hard time finding places to boondock.  I wondered if I wouldn’t just head home.

There was one thing I haven’t planned and that was being happy spending time by myself.  If I can offer one thing to happiness as a vandweller is to learn how to be happy with self.  Then look for your internal compass that will guide you when you loose your way possibly getting down about things.  Your alone, get used to the feeling. For me writing my blog was an outlet.  Many of the family and close friends wanted to know what I was doing then and the blog surfaced to not have to write each one.

I began to have fun dispute hating the Class B and the first year costing over $10K for 2014 Travels

(Me at Havasu Falls in the Havasupai Nation Grand Canyon 2017)

After my first year I had my Prius and I was inspired with some knowledge and a compass to point me in the direction I decide to head in.

The fun didn’t wain, it multiplied.  It was like starting all over again in 2015.

I planned the Prius but not my route.  I met people online that I later met in person at the RTR.  I met many others too.  I went to odd places.  I did what I wanted and when I wanted.  I stopped worrying about “what if”.  I got to a good place in my mind.  

(Me at The Wave, AZ / UT border, Grand Staircase Escalante 2017)

My 2nd year of Prius Travels was better than the first and I started helping others that wanted to travel in an economical Prius.  My blog took off with thousands of views a month.  

I had been told by many that I was living the dream, but it took awhile to know that.  I met so many people that were interested in living in a Prius and how I did it.  I also met many others that were put back by my story.  Comments like “You don’t look homeless.” By a woman on a Meetup Group Hike in Tucson didn’t bother me.  I explained that I wasn’t homeless but chose to live in a car.

I met people that I never would have met otherwise.  I listened to people’s stories and hardships that sent them living in a car, when I did it by choice.  I learned a lot about people that were one paycheck away from disaster.  I talked to homeless people in the streets, and I appreciated their honesty and candor.

I was transforming from someone who would have walk past a homeless person not wanting to make eye contact to someone who was interested in “their story”.

I learned how to truly be a minimalist as a Prius offers much for anything that isn’t a must.

I learned to be a better listener too.

I became an avid podcast listener.  I get great satisfaction from becoming more worldly from listening to them.  

Yes, I changed as a person but it was my core as companionate person that was becoming more refined.

(Me at The Wave, AZ / UT border, Grand Staircase Escalante 2017)

My travels with vandweller Joanne last year (2017) to Havasu Falls and to “The Wave” was just so memorable and rewarding to have experienced.  Yes, I’ve experienced many things on the road, this year too.  So, 2018 is no exception than past years..

Mountains climbed, washes hiked, disc golf courses played, history uncovered, 4x4 roads explored, time with friends and relatives enjoyed, natural wonders experienced, and wildlife seen, are all part of my adventures.  

My eyes have seen so many wonders in the last 5 years.  My feet have taken me hundreds of miles each yea. I’m guessing well over 200 miles each year for 5 years.  (I go through one pair of hiking boots a year.).  

I am so very lucky to be able to experience what I do.

Back to the question about my “fun factor”.

When September rolls around I begin to think about my next year travels.  I start engineering my next designs and I get more obsessed about getting on the road again.  I like Spring, Summer, and Fall in New England, but come January my heart turns to the love of the road as a vandweller.  I have no regrets.  Nearly all my time on the road is filled with happiness.

Therefore,  my “fun factor” has only increased over my 5 years of travels.  Thanks so much for asking the question.

I only hope that I can physically travel for years to come.  

The above is only a fraction of my thoughts.  I follow a personal belief; to be true to ones self.  In other words figure out who your are and what you stand for, and be that person.  Don’t try to change anyone, just be the best you can be.  Self honesty is a trait I seek out in  the company I keep.  Get rid of self generated negativity in your life, and fill it with positive things.  You will find the world and your Vandwelling experience a lot easier to deal with.


1 comment:

  1. I'm honored that you took the time to respond to my question with a such a complete answer. I had asked because, being a long-time reader, it seemed like things weren't as exciting for you this year, starting with RTR. Not to be an arm-chair psychiatrist, but your post talks mostly about years before this one!!

    I'm sure that part of the fun is learning, with everything being new -- seeing a problem or something that could be made better, and figuring out (engineering) a solution that makes life better or more comfortable. As time goes on, those opportunities become less and less.

    I had a selfish reason for asking -- I'm definitely into Prius camping having spent 95 nights last year and am hopefully on track to a similar amount this year. Unlike you, my camping is "stealth urban" as I follow a college softball time I like, as well as flee to warmer weather for weeks of triathlon training (swim, bike, run). It also urban because I need a strong Internet connection to work.

    The camping has been fun as well as the "game" of staying under the radar. My innovations go not only to making the camping more comfortable, but also to being more stealthy. It's still a thrill of living a "secret life" right under people's noses, but I asked the question since my "engineering" is becoming less needed and I was wondering how I might feel in another few years.

    Thanks for the insight!