We left Tyler, Texas on June 17, 2006, the day after I retired. 40 years before Dave had proposed saying that we would have an adventure, and it has been. We kept going to school, getting degrees until someone finally hired us. Dave had retired 18 days earlier, thus two refugees from Higher Education set out to see if there really is life outside of a college campus.
We are often asked if we don’t miss having a home. Well, we do have a home - a 2002 Alpine diesel pusher motorhome that is 37 feet in length and behind it we pull our “toad” a 2004 Subaru with a very essential top carrier for the golf clubs. When parked two slides move out about 2 feet giving us a little more room during our stay. It may be smaller than your home, and it moves from place to place, but it has been our home for the past 8 plus years. My pillow is on the bed, our towels are hanging by the shower, I wash clothes in our combo washer/dryer across from the shower, I cook and wash dishes in the kitchen, we eat in the dining room, watch TV in the living room, and barbeque on the patio. And one of the best parts - if the neighbors turn out to be unpleasant, we just move! In the basement compartments we have storage for winter clothing, Christmas decorations, a fire safe, room for lawn chairs, tables, a grill, plus extra food supplies. Additionally there is space for assortment of tools, fluids for the different engine/transmission parts, extra filters, hoses for hooking up to water, dumping wastes, power cords, satellite dish, and other assorted tools that help make our life enjoyable.
Yes, we sold or gave away everything else before we started. Most of the furniture, as well as my car, went to our daughter to do with as she wished since we planned to spend the rest of her inheritance. Work clothes were taken to Goodwill as our wardrobe consists of t-shirts and jeans with one ‘dressy’ outfit for each of us in the closet. Over 8 years on the road we have had only two dress-up occasions.
As to why we decided to become fulltime RVers, well that is a little harder to explain. We had a wonderful example in watching my parents do fulltime travelling for a number of years during the 80s. It was such fun to get telephone calls describing little out-of-the way places that they had found with great pies (Dad could spot a place with great pies just driving down the street), interesting local characters and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. They even did MUSEUMS (much to my surprise - Dad didn't do that when I was growing up) but most of all they enjoyed being together.
The second reason is a promise we made to each other while I was undergoing chemotherapy - that as soon as we were able, we were going to take the time to enjoy life and each other. After Dave's minor stroke, we took a good look at the calendar, did some figuring and looking at our finances, and put summer 2006 as our target date.
So after 40 years of moving from one college campus to another, always working more than we should, we've arrived at the point where it was time for just us. We made arrangements to stay in touch with family. We have an ongoing blog (www.barbanddave.net), we have an aircard for the computer (that’s how things get posted to the web) and cell phones for each of us, and we check in at regular intervals. We have a legal physical address in Texas with a mail forwarding company that receives our mail and sends it on to us whenever we are in a spot for a week or more. We vote by mail and do all of our financial transactions (as well as most other business) online.
After 8 ½ years we found that we are slowing down and it was time for a change. So in fall of 2014 purchased a Park Model in an RV resort in Mesa, Arizona, which is where we have spent our winters for the past 6 years. Park Models are classified as RVs because they are limited to less than 400 square feet and have a frame and axles underneath for moving. But it does give us a little more room for the Winter, and come Spring we will fire up the motorhome and leave to continue our exploring until about the middle of October when cool weather will push us back to Arizona.