Living In Fear

 Posted by at 2:37 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 212013

Last week when I outlined our plans to get off Interstate 20 in Texas and to bypass El Paso on a series of U.S. and state highways, I found myself in an e-mail exchange with a blog reader who said he plans to be going fulltime sometime in the next two years. I really hope he doesn’t, because I fear he’s going to be miserable.

His first e-mail was to warn us not to take the intended route because we’d find ourselves passing through a couple of small towns where we’d be at the mercy of the local cops, who always prey on out of state motorists. Then we’d find ourselves out in the middle of nowhere, and what would happen if we broke down with out of range of cell phone towers? We could be stranded. And what if one of us had a medical emergency while we were out there in the middle of nowhere?

I assured him that I wasn’t afraid of small town cops and that we’d never had a problem like that, and that our Winnebago is very reliable and we pay attention to routine maintenance. But even if we did break down, we had plenty of water on board, a full tank of fuel to power our generator, and enough food to live for a week. Or, we could just unhook our Explorer and drive it to where we could get a cell phone signal to call CoachNet, our roadside service company. And if we had a medical emergency, we’d seek help the same way.

That didn’t give him any comfort, and he replied that we were foolish not to stick to the interstate and to go off “willy nilly” on some unknown route we had not thoroughly researched. “You people take off and drive all the way across the country with less planning than I do when I go to visit my brother, who only lives a hundred miles away,” he added, “It’s a recipe for disaster!”

Some people are not cut out for the RV lifestyle, and I really think this gentleman is one of them. He’s too busy living in fear to really live.

Yes, we might get a ticket in some small town. But they write tickets in big cities, too. And yes, even though we don’t anticipate mechanical problems, we know they do happen and we’re prepared to deal with them. As for medical emergencies, should we spend our lives camped in a parking lot next to a hospital emergency room, just in case?

We are not daredevils, but we believe in enjoying our lives, not fretting our days away worrying about what could happen. None of us are getting out of here alive anyway, so we might as well make the most of the time we have.

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Nick Russell

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  24 Responses to “Living In Fear”

  1. What’s going to happen to him when he has to drive 10 miles off the Interstate to get to some nice RV park out in the country.

  2. Well said Nick!

  3. I hope he never decides to drive to Alaska.

  4. I’m afraid some people are in love with misery and insist upon inflicting it on others. It’s sad for them, but at least the rest of us are free to walk away.

    It really seems, however, that the more positive a person is in the first place the less life’s troubles afflict them in the first place.

    Anyway,keep up the good work Nick.


  5. Nick,

    That story reminds me of the time my company promoted me. To get the promotion, I had to move from Denver, CO (where I lived for 15 years) and move to the L.A. area. Now I loved Denver, but the promotion was significant. I was single and more than one friend told me, “But you don’t know anyone there.”

    There are something like 12 million people in the L.A. area. I was pretty sure I’d find a way of meeting one or two. I guess I’ve never been afraid of change…or adventure. So, when I retire in about 2 years, I plan on moving into an RV and becoming a vagabond. And I’m sure I’ll love it. Roger Miller said it many years ago, “No phone, no pool, no pet…King of the Road”. LOL


  6. Nick,your last statement about not getting out of here alive anyway cracked me up….Thanks

  7. Some people will never know what real adventure is. I remember as a kid growing up in West Virginia,a bunch of us would go up in the mountain tops and walk. We would come to a place that forked off and to decide which way to go.One of us would spit in our hand and take a finger of the other hand hit the spit. Which ever the most spit went thats the way we took. I guess at 75 years of age I’m still the same way.
    Have fun Nick.

  8. Yes, that gentleman is sad. It must be awful to be afraid of everything. We, as are most RVers, careful. We all say if it doesn’t feel right keep on driving. But we also don’t let our “fears” stop us. We like to see what’s over that next hill and see new and wonderful vistas. We meet new and wonderful people. And small town America is by far the safest place to be in the US. It’s a shame he will never enjoy this wonderful life we have.

  9. I wonder what this guy thinks of those “fore fathers” who went west on the Oregon trail? Can you imagine those fears??

  10. I wonder if he is married, and his wife has any opinions on Full Timing? One great lady I know once said,”If you are the kind of person who always NEEDS to know that the coffee is in Aisle 7 of the grocery store … then this life is not for you!”

  11. You hit it 100% on all points Nick. As usual 🙂 What a wise soul you are.

    I can only imagine what his wife must deal with on
    A daily basis …. Oy!

    At least hes doing some research before he ventures out.
    Some people live their whole lives missing out on experiences due to fear of the unknown. And regret what they missed when they are too old to do anything about it. You on the other hand, will be the life of the party at the rest home!

  12. Very wise comments here… and yes, I do feel sorry for those who never get out and about in an RV. Oh well, that leaves more remote places less inhabited for the rest of us to discover and enjoy!

  13. this poor soul will never know what it is like to wake up at the side of a river and meadow, or watch the wild deer etc because it off a safe or fairly safe road. great blog!!

  14. When we have the choice, we tend to stick to the interstates for mainly the potential breakdown issue. We generally only move 200 miles or so and then stay at least a week. We then can explore by toad (at high mpg) anything we might have missed on lesser roads. But we certainly go off the beaten path to get to places like Big Bend where we headed next. To us it seems that the preson you were conversing with may have some elements of prudence.

  15. Well he apparently isn’t afraid of a lot of other things–wild animals, snakes, bugs, zombies, bogey men and sasquashes to name a few.

  16. This reminds me of a trip to Europe Diane and I took many years ago. Our travel agent messed up some things so we cancelled part of the trip and ended up with a week on our own. We rented a car in Genoa, Italy and spent a week exploring the French and Italian Riviera. We had to find a motel each night on our own and a couple times had to keep going because the hotel was full. We had a blast. When we got back our friends and colleagues had two opinions, “that would be scary, I couldn’t do that”, or, “I backpacked across Europe, that was nothing.”

  17. Some of the highlights of our travels have been the unexpected adventures we’ve had when things did not work out as planned.

  18. We stay FAR AWAY from the negative, pessimistic naysayers. We don’t want any of our “carefree lifestyle” to influence them.

  19. We’ve been fulltime for 7 years, having quit our stressful jobs and selling the house. We had no retirement income, how about that for planning? We were able to be there when DH’s sister lost her battle with cancer at age 47, stay for 9 months to help with newborn triplet grandchildren, many visits with my 91 yr old Dad that I have had a strained relationship almost all my life, really get to know my 13 years younger sister & spend some time with DH’s severely disfunctional family. Had we been too afraid to quit those stressful jobs we would not have experienced any of that, I wouldn’t change a thing. My SIL’s mother is just like that man, she’s afraid of everything, after an early divorce from the husband went back to live with her mother, never dated again and is 66 years old, unhappy but doesn’t know any different or what to change. If you live your life in fear of what may happen you most likely will miss so many special things that are incredible.

  20. He has no idea what he’s missing. Just glad I’m not his wife!! I like your approach a thousand times better!

  21. You’ve got the right idea Nick!

  22. Some of our best times and memories were breakdowns……adventure and lots of stories.

  23. Aw, shucks! If we’d have stayed on the Interstates we’d have missed all the fun!

  24. our car broke down on Washington Island Wi. Our wifes boke out Champane from a cooler. We had champane, fixed a radiator hose and used empty bottle to fill water back up. It was the four of us were celabrating our 10th and one the best. That was 31 years ago and we made the best of it. Middle of nowhere.

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