Jul 272009

I met a man at Elkhart Campground a few years ago who told me he was unhappy in the RV lifestyle because he was bored. I suggested several things he might do to keep himself busy, and he pooh poohed every one of them; visit the RV Museum? No thanks, he wasn’t interested in looking at a bunch of old junk. Play golf? Nope, that was a rich man’s sport, not for him. Go fishing? Why go to all that trouble when you can buy a nice fish dinner in a restaurant? Build houses for Habitat for Humanity? Nobody ever built him a house, so why should he build someone else one?

It didn’t take long before a light bulb went off in my head and I asked him if he had been bored before he became an RVer. He told me yes, that was why he bought the motorhome in the first place.

In talking to him, I learned that he spent part of the summer and early fall parked at his brother’s farm in Pennsylvania; then he went to the same site, which he had reserved, at the same RV park in Florida for the winter. Then in the spring he drove to Elkhart for a few days before continuing on to his niece’s home in Wisconsin, where he stayed until it was time to go to Pennsylvania again. “I tell you, I know every inch of Interstate 95 between Pennsylvania and Florida, and Interstate 65 back up to Indiana,” he told me.  

“How about just for the hell of it, you take I-75 north or south this year,” I suggested. “You could stop in Clinton, Tennessee and check out the Museum of Appalachia. It’s really cool.”

He was shaking his head before I was halfway through my sentence. “Nope, that’s not on my route,” he said stubbornly. If I go off on a different route then what I’m used to, who knows what could happen?”

I wanted to tell him that one thing that might happen was he’d see some new country. Heck, he might even make a new memory or two! But I knew I was defeated, so I just gave up, told him to have a good life, and went on about my business, leaving him to his misery.

I’ve met a lot of RVers who, while they may not be as extreme as this fellow, are still stuck in a rut. They spend their summers in the same place and their winters at the same RV park in Florida, Texas, or Arizona. They tell me they have friends in their favorite campground in the Rio Grande Valley, or wherever they hang out, and they want to get back and spend time with them. I guess that’s okay if it works for them, but that’s just too much of the same old thing for me!

It’s an easy rut to fall into. We have our favorite places we enjoy returning to again and again, but we also go out of our way to visit new places too. Or at least to take a different route to wherever we’re going. And when a place gets too comfortable, we start asking ourselves if we need to look elsewhere.

We absolutely love the area around Aransas Pass and Rockport, on the Texas Gulf Coast, and last year we came across a good deal on a couple of RV lots down there that we seriously considered. But then we realized that buying them would be the first string that would tie us down. Why have the lots if we were not going to go there? But if we went there, what were we missing someplace else?

We didn’t get into the fulltime RV lifestyle to remain static. We wanted to see and do different things, new things. The familiar is comfortable, but it can also become suffocating if you allow it to be. We’re always looking for that new route we haven’t traveled yet, that new place we haven’t seen yet, and that new adventure we haven’t experienced yet.

Remember that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the length and depth.

Thought For The Day – Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Try Something New Once In A While”

  1. Hi Nick

    Again Thanks for your battery help. Haven’t gotten one yet cause I am still plugged in, but just made reservations for Gulf Shores State Park, Ala for the second week in Oct. Goin to the Shrimp Festival WAY TO GO Will get to see hubby’s sister and husband and his two cousins and their spouses. Great resturant there that has all you can eat mullet on Friday’s. Guess where I will be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OK reason for the comment. Checked out the ChatRV. An awful lot of ads and it looked real confusing for the moment. I am already on Facebook and couldn’t understand if I needed to resign or what. Not very clear, but then it is new, so I will wait a few weeks and look again. Thanks for the heads up. My computer is my lifeline to the outside world and I love all the possibilities it provides. Spent two night’s this week watching the last year’s episodes of ER. For fun go to NBC.com and watch the 3 episodes of the Great American Road Trip. Seven families get rental Class A’s and take the Route 66 tour from Chicago to Ca. They had never driven Class A’s before. What a hoot watching them drive away from Cub’s ball park in Chi town and get on the road. Someone that does RV driving teaching could use some of the scenes for advertising for taking the class.

    Take care and see you later.

  2. We agree Nick! That is one of the reasons Joyce and I volunteer in state parks. We can stay for a wile, soak up all of the local sights and culture there, then move to another park and do the same thing. Along the way we have made some life-long friends, which to us, is even more important.
    Barry & Joyce Crocker
    Presently in Trinity Co., CA

  3. Yes, I was in a nice comfy rut and that’s why I became a fulltime RVer. Learning flexibility and patience and seeing a lot of the country and meeting new people all over. Let’s not forget, though, that everywhere you go, there you are. So you better like yourself.

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