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.