Flexibility is Key… So I am learning.
I have never been one to shy away from change, but I am older now and change is a little more challenging than it used to be. Selling everything we own and planning a life on the road has been a BIG change, bringing an end to a long chapter with so much history. Now, we are starting the beginning of a new chapter, not yet written, yet with so many possibilities and unknowns.
As we get older, flexibility isn’t what it used to be – mentally or physically. Things are tighter, slower, more stubborn.
As an RV newbie, one of my first exposures to flexibility was the constant need to change our schedule, what sometimes felt like daily. For the past several years, our life had been complacent – get up, go to work, eat dinner, watch some television, go to bed – REPEAT! It was comfortable, consistent, and cautious.
Now our world changes constantly and requires long range planning, not what-should-we-do-for-the-weekend type planning.
We chose an RV park close to home while we finalized jobs and the rental we lived in for eleven years. I made the assumption that we would just stay at that RV Park for about ten days, change location, stay a week, change location, and so on. The goal was to get some experience in locally before hitting the full-time road, but life dictated otherwise and here it is almost two months later and we’re still here.
I found myself having to keep asking (and apologizing) “can we please stay a little longer?” The RV park is managed by the Swinomish Casino and Lodge in Anacortes, WA, and their understanding and ability to work with us as been nothing short of generous and amazing. In return we had to be flexible and move into different spaces to accommodate people who, unlike me, made reservations ahead of time. The Lodge staff was great and did what they could to minimize our moves.
In about two weeks, come hell or high water, we hit the road. Life isn’t quite done with us though, we head south to the Oregon Coast, then back to Bellingham, WA, then back to Oregon, then back to Bellingham, then finally back to Oregon. This was not part of the original plan when we planned to do the coast, but then life isn’t always as planned, so it’s best to stay – Flexible.
After all, you don’t always know where life… or the road is going to take you.
It was the first of February, 2021, and after years of planning it was hard to believe our dream was coming true as we drove to Snohomish, WA to pick up our 2018 Flying Cloud 27FBQ Airstream.
As complete newbies with no towing experience, the thought of the driving the hour home, towing Betty Jo behind us, gave us pause and set our nerves on edge. But as we hit the road and she obediently followed behind, we slowly relaxed into the drive home, checking our mirrors constantly to make sure she was still there. :-)
It all happened so fast once we made the decision to set forth on this journey. With not much time or experience to plan, we pulled her up in front of our home. Parked out on the street, she looked forlorn and lost. And my anxiety level spiked. I felt like an overprotective parent, watching her intently, making sure no harm came to her
The plan was to sell off everything we owned and to be out of the house we had rented for eleven years by the end of February. But what to do with Betty Jo in the meantime? I called around and found a close-to-home RV park with pull-through spots (we were not ready to back end yet) and full hook up. Friends accompanied us on our maiden voyage, to provide moral support and advice if we needed it. Luckily we had watched many YouTube videos on what to do upon arrival, we made a check list like many suggested (only we left the list at home), still we arrived and pulled in and hooked up almost as if we had done this many times before.
I will admit, it took some time for me to adjust and feel comfortable in the RV. I had never camped as a child, or as an adult, this was all so new. I had read advice from seasoned RVers to start out slow and simple, to adjust to RV living, not just jump in. Once she was parked and hooked up, we started to slowly move in. We spent the nights in our new home, but we still cooked and showered at our old home for almost two weeks, mostly because we were spending the days getting ready for the BIG estate sale and it was also a sort of mental transition
We weathered much in our new home, including many weather conditions. Anacortes, WA does not see snow often, but this year it snowed for two days, we received well over a foot and Betty Jo was a trooper. As the storm approached, it was tempting to stay at the house and stay warm, but we decided this is our life now, it was time to get used to it, so we stayed with Betty Jo. There was a lot of advice online so we filled up the fresh water tank, unhooked the hose from city water, made sure the propane tanks were full and settled in as the storm approached. In the morning, we got up and immediately checked on Betty Jo to see how she fared, other than a lot of snow and a few icicles hanging from the roof, she did just fine. We brushed off the icicles and attempted to brush off as much snow off the roof as we could. It was a good lesson for us and taught us much about using the various systems and how they work in the Airstream. In the Pacific Northwest, this time of year we get a lot of rain and Betty Jo has passed many leak checks as Mother Nature poured outside. She also weathered high winds, bouncing and then shaking it off as if it was a strong breeze. On the sunny days, she shines in all her glory, reminding us of her strength and her beauty.
We had much to complete in our home town so it has delayed us hitting the road, but to be honest I am so glad we did it this way. We needed the time to adjust, to learn to live in the Airstream, but now we are anxious to hit the road and really explore what this life style is really about.
Time to journey onward. To explore. To create new memories.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo