DISCLAIMER: This first post is very long and includes a lot of detail and “catching up” because many friends had no idea we were doing this or what the process was, so I’ve included all of that. Future posts will be more concise, I promise.
We finally pulled the trigger! After 2 years (or more) of watching YouTube, reading blogs and attending RV trade shows, on March 1 we hit the road full-time in our 35’ Fleetwood Bounder motorhome, along with our 65-pound dog Pongo and our 3 cats, Oreo, the tortie (age 19), Kiya, the gray (age 7) and Spikejack, the black one (age 4)!
What do we mean by “full time?” Well, we’re not really sure. We PLAN to be traveling for a year. If we are loving it, we will continue. If we get sick of it, we will stop! We have rented out our house to a wonderful family, the Santiagos, (more about them later) and are so happy that they will be enjoying our home with their 4 girls as we did with our 2 kids!
So that is a start, but we have no idea whether we’ll keep going after that, or even if we’ll make it a full year. We think we will. Time will tell. David will still be working remotely, and I’ll work when I want to and there’s shopping work available.
It’s been interesting figuring out how to travel during these COVID-19 times. There will be different standards in different states, and since neither of us is eligible for the vaccine in CA, we’re not sure when or if we’ll be able to get it in our travels, so that means being a bit more cautious than we normally would, but it’s worth it for such a grand adventure!
SOME HISTORY: We bought our RV, a 2017 Fleetwood Bounder back in June of 2020 and drove it from Ohio to California in a week. As shakedown cruises go, it was pretty uneventful, although we quickly learned that we needed to make some upgrades in order to handle driving in high winds.
Our “new” Bounder on the day we bought it, with the sellers, Rodger and Christy
The next thing was to figure out what to do with our house! We decided that we would rather have someone we knew living there, caring for it, and NOT have to put all of our “stuff” in storage, so we ended up blessing (I hope) the Santiago family with the opportunity to live there while we are gone. Denny and Tiffany have 4 girls ranging in age from 14 – 8, and an adorable Chihuahua named Luna, We actually are the ones who are blessed because it meant we did not have to completely move everything out and store it while we are gone.
We did take advantage of this time to go though all of our “stuff” and discard/donate much of our 30+ years’ accumulation, thanks largely to the efforts of Alison who went through the attic, and Cheryl and Kimi who came over every week for 2 months to help us sort, decide and dump! I can never thank them enough for all their help! Here’s what the living room looked like during the height of the chaos!
Once we had everything cleared out, it was time to actually pack up and leave. We had set a date of March 1 because we knew that if we didn’t, we’d just keep putting it off. So the weekend before that, the Santiago family moved in as we were moving into the Bounder on our driveway. It was also the weekend of David’s 60th birthday, so we decided to have a send-off party at a local park so friends and family could see where we would be living for the next year, as well as celebrate that milestone for David. We felt that having it in a park would satisfy the need to be outside where things were safer, and give folks the room to be somewhat socially distanced. We did manage to grab a photo of the group. As you can see, most folks removed their masks for the photo so we can see everyone’s smiling faces!
Finally, we managed to get off the driveway and on to our first stop, beautiful San Dimas, California!! (Yes, really!) We had decided to spend a week locally so that we could take care of some last-minute appointments as well as figure out if we had actually brought the right stuff with us while we were still close enough to make changes. And we DID! Among other things, we decided NOT to bring our Suzuki scooter along. It was just too much trouble for the amount of use we would get out of it. We did bring 3 bicycles, though, so we can get out and enjoy the sunshine when we want.
If you love to camp and want a gorgeous place to camp locally, Bonelli Bluffs is just 45 minutes away from Torrance and it’s SO peaceful there!
FINALLY, it was time to really be on our way. We headed for our first stop, Las Vegas, where David had a work meeting and we could prep a little bit more. Not very exciting, but we are glad we did it. Among other things, we got to actually eat INSIDE a restaurant for the first time in almost a year! We are also learning more about our travel style. We stayed in an “RV Resort” in Vegas where the sites are individually owned. The management rents them out for the owners when not in use. Although it was beautiful, we figured out pretty quickly that it is not our style at all. We prefer staying in places that are a bit more rustic and where you can meet fellow nomads from different walks of life.
In my next post I’ll share more about our first weeks actually on the road, but this has gone on long enough! If you’d like to follow along, I invite you to subscribe to the blog. I’m not making any promises as to how often I’ll post, but I will post something from every stop we make, as well as let friends and family know where we’re headed so if you happen to be in that area, we can try to meet up!