Q. What does a man do with his car when he gets too old to drive it?
A. He tows it behind his motorhome!
I received an e-mail yesterday in response to a blog I wrote a few days ago about hanging up the keys. The lady who sent the e-mail asked “How old is too old to continue RVing? I’m 68, but am in excellent health and still feel like a teenager. My husband is 72, is also in good health, and we are both active. Two of our adult children are wholly supportive of our gypsy lifestyle, but after five years on the road, our third daughter has suddenly decided that we are too old to be running around the country and has been lobbying us to settle down in a retirement community somewhere in the Sunbelt. We’re just not ready for that yet. So how old is too old? When is it time to hang up the keys?”
There is no correct answer to those questions. We know fulltime RVers who are well into their 70s and have absolutely no intention of slowing down. We also know people living in sticks and bricks houses who are quickly growing old at 50.
A lot of it has to do with our mental state. I don’t mean how age has affected our mental faculties, but rather how our mind has affected our age. Remember the old saying that we’re only as old as we feel? I think some people have it in their minds to be old, so they are old. Others are just too darned busy to grow old!
One of the youngest people I have ever met is Lee Snow, whom I interviewed at the Escapees Plantation RV park in Alabama several years ago when she was a busy and active octogenarian who had been a solo RVer more years than some people reading this have been alive. Lee is a delightful woman who has so many wonderful stories to tell about her adventures that I could just sit and listen to her all day. Lee finally hung up the keys to her old Travco motorhome at age 89, but she’s still one of the youngest people I’ve ever known.
I think the fulltime RV lifestyle attracts vibrant, active people who have a love of adventure and a zest for life that mere years on a calendar can never slow down. Hang around an RV park in snowbird country and you’ll see people in their late 60s and 70s out riding bicycles, kayaking, swimming, playing tennis, and involved in tons of other activities.
Sit and visit with them at happy hour and their conversations are full of interesting opinions and information, and plenty of laughs. You’ll hear them talking about their RV trips to Alaska, fishing the Gulf Coast, or building houses for Habitat for Humanity. But you’d have to work hard to hear anyone complaining about their aches and pains, or sharing all of the details of their latest surgical procedure. There may be a few lines on the faces and gray in the hair, but these people are young at heart! Much too young to relegate themselves to a retirement community and a life of staring at the boob tube.
I think as long as someone has the physical ability to handle the tasks of hooking up and unhooking their utilities at a campground and the other hands-on aspects of the RV lifestyle; as long as they are mentally sharp, and their vision and hearing make them safe behind the wheel, there is no reason to hang up the keys based upon a chronological date.
As long as you’re capable, and it’s still fun, keep those wheels rolling. Because if you slow down, old age might just creep up and grab you!
Thought For The Day – How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.