Larry has been after me to write a column with my thoughts of full-timing after these first eight months.
He actually started asking me at the six month mark but it has taken me this long because I am not a writer. I don’t gather my thoughts quickly and I have even been known to take 20 minutes just to write a one paragraph email, but I’ll give this a shot.
It’s no secret that Larry had to talk me into full-timing. When he first introduced the idea to me it sounded exciting, but the more I thought about it the more I didn’t want to give up our well paying jobs. I knew Larry wasn’t happy in his job and he wanted a change, but I was still satisfied with my job and the girls were still in school and trying to figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up. We talked a lot about it and dreamed of all the places we could go and see. We decided to go ahead and buy our motorhome and start making payments on it before we started full-timing. We set our sights to start this life style when our youngest was out of high school and doing what she had decided to do; whether it is college or work, which at that time would be around 3-4 years down the road.
But in my mind set I wanted all of this with the same income I had grown to enjoy. I didn’t want to give that up. This was the hard part for me. Larry wasn’t happy in his work, so was I being selfish to make him continue being miserable, but was it fair for him to ask me to give it all up after my finally having a well paying career after moving around for the 20 years of military life. But all of these thought and feelings ended up not mattering at all when Larry was laid off when the company he worked for closed their doors and my job ceased being fun and fulfilling.
After a year and a half of Larry being laid off and with just a few small jobs to keep him busy and now my not being happy in my job I was more than willing to hit the road. It was almost like the kick in the pants needed to open my eyes and see this is what we needed to do. Full-timing was probably one to two years sooner than we had planned but the pieces just fell into place when the girls graduated from school and started living their lives, although, I still feel guilty about leaving Cindy with her newlywed sister and for not being there to help them though some life adjustments. But that’s just my guilt, they really didn’t need mom in the way and they are, so far, doing great.
There have been times when I miss my girls terribly and I wish I could see them, but in reality I probably talk to them more now, between chatting on cell phones or email, than as if we still lived near them.
I have enjoyed seeing and doing new things, meeting people, running into old friends in the most unlikely places, and meeting new people who know the same people we know. A few things I don’t care for mostly have to do with driving. Larry and I at first agreed to stay off of the interstate roads. We thought it would be more scenic to stick to the “red roads” as they are shown on road maps. The only problem with that is that “red roads” are not always consistent in size. “Red roads” can be anywhere from a nice four lane road (these are the type I like) down to narrow residence size two lane roads with speed limits of 55 mph on them (these are the ones I don’t like, especially when you have our big class A motorhome being passed with on coming semi truck drivers who feel they own the road). We find we have to watch whether we will be going through mountainous roads. Interstates are better for us with steep grades and curvy roads and the weather plays a part in the planning also. When it’s pouring down rain with thunder and lightening all around, I much prefer the interstates over the smallest of “red roads”.
I have never been that good of a map reader to navigate, but over the months I have enjoyed seeing where we are on the map and offering alternatives to routes over the GPS’ suggested route. One television show Larry and I enjoy watching is The Amazing Race. This is where couples race around the world against each of the other couples. We both agree that even though we would love to compete on this show, for the travel experience, my map reading skills would lead one of us killing the other. I am improving so maybe in a couple of more years we can compete.
I feel better already expressing some of my feelings here and I appreciate your patience with my writing and rambling, but this is a start and hopefully I can contribute to our website with certain topics and reflections.
Wishing you all safe travels whether it be across the country or down the street!