Whenever I run into full-time RVing kids, I probably sound like a crotchety old lady to them. That’s because whenever I meet these fortunate tots at campgrounds and RV parks, I’ll usually pull the age-old line used by adults on kids: “You don’t know how lucky you are!”
And although I wince every time those words spill out of my mouth, I believe every bit of what I tell them. Some people might think that their parents are being selfish by enabling an “unstable environment,” but not me. Heck, these kids are getting to experience the best of our country and beyond, from the food to the people to standing on hallowed ground of events that altered our civilization’s future. They’re constantly learning about their changing environments, meeting new playmates and growing up with more self-confidence than any kid growing up in a sticks-and-bricks home.
My own parents took me RVing when I was a kid, but not to the extent that families like like the Traveling Awesomes are doing (they recently made the leap from full-time RVing to global travel). I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, which is why I love this lifestyle so much.
History never meant much to me because I never got to experience it. Since we hit the road, Jim and I have gained an appreciation of our past by visiting historic sites of our nation’s past.
But it wasn’t until we traveled to Memphis recently that the past truly came alive for us. While trekking around the city we happened to stumble upon the site of the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated.
None of the school textbooks in the world could prepare me for the experience of standing there in the parking lot, staring up at the balcony where one of our country’s bravest men in history was struck down by gunfire.
With the motel looking exactly as it did on that day, April 4, 1968, I was instantly transported to the recent past. A lump in my throat formed as I considered the steep price he paid for igniting the civil rights movement, and what could have been if he had only been allowed to continue his life’s work. I’ve never felt so close to history as I did that day in Memphis.
The cliché is true; travel broadens your world and puts you more in touch with humanity. Staying in one place is comfortable and safer, but you sacrifice so much by not reaching beyond your four walls. And while vacation travel is one way to expand your horizons, there’s nothing like being untethered to timelines and 9-to-5 demands that force you back into the daily grind.
Our full-timing life isn’t a constant party – after all, Jim and I do work every day. But we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to create a life that allows us the flexibility to visit places like the Lorraine Motel on a whim. We wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.