Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Travel - Tues., Apr. 23

Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
 With a moniker of TravelBug, what else could "T" stand for but travel in the A-to-Z Challenge?

What about traveling motivates us? What keeps us focused on moving down the road pulling our home behind us? What are our favorite spots to which we've traveled? What setbacks can happen? What is in store for the future?

I'm going to answer the last two questions first. One of the sayings full-time RVers live by is: "Our plans are made with Jello." In other words, we have no crystal ball. What we thought we might do one day, gets changed the next. Just as Jello doesn't stay stable, but wobbles around and changes fluidity, so do plans of full-time RVers. What causes our Jello-like existence? What changes? Setbacks are a part of it, that's why I'm answering that question now as well. Here's a partial list:

*Breakdowns or mechanical problems requiring an extended stay, the length of which is determined by the availability of parts or mechanics to effect repairs.

    • A loved one in another part of the country becomes quite ill necessitating travel to be there for them
    • One of the RVers becomes too ill to travel
*Accidents: vehicular or personal. These can ruin your plans for quite some time. In a motor vehicle or motor home accident, depending on the severity, you will need to deal with insurance companies, the possibility of replacing vehicles, or doctor/hospital visits. If you don't have insurance or adequate savings, the time spent in an area becomes quite prolonged. (I speak from experience on this one!) You gotta do what you gotta do.

*Family/Grandchildren: birth of grandchildren in another state, travel for unexpected family events, death in the family.

*Change in job situation: job ends unexpectedly and you find a job in another state or area.

*Weather: predicted hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, high winds, snow, ice. With your home on wheels you can do your best to avoid bad weather...just pack up and move. Savvy RVers keep their eyes on the weather.

*Sale of your sticks and bricks house: You may be ready to hit the road in your RV; however, the sale of your home may fall through, be delayed or it may take more time than you thought.

*Bugs/infestations: Not a pleasant topic, but bugs can be a problem. Just ask anyone who has had ants invade their RV. I heard a story of one couple who were in the South. Ants took over their RV, swarming on the floor and even in their bed. They cut short their trip because they heard the best thing to kill them was freezing weather. They headed home to the north where freezing weather would be the ants' demise. No see 'ums, mosquitoes, wasps/bees/yellow jackets - all can make being outside (or inside) miserable.

*Allergies: if something in your current camp area is making you miserably allergic, it may be time to move somewhere else.

*Detour to meet friends and/or fellow bloggers who are in your vicinity.

*Travel before we get too injured/ill to enjoy it.

What motivates us? What keeps us focused on moving down the road? Why travel?
  1. See beautiful natural surroundings: forests, beaches, rivers, lakes, deserts, caves, gardens, arches, hoodoos, natural bridges, waterfalls, national parks, Corps of Engineers campgrounds
  2. Learn history
  3. Experience different cultures
  4. Taste new foods
  5. Volunteer, if so inclined
  6. Find something unexpected that delights us
  7. Meet interesting people, including blog friends
  8. Visit relatives we haven't seen in a long time
  9. Freedom of the open road
  10. Go to dark sky parks (e.g. Natural Bridges National Monument) to see the nighttime sky without city lights diminishing the intensity
  11. Learn what we like and don't like
  12. Look for a place we'd like to settle permanently if, or when, the nomadic tendency wears off
  13. We like the people we are as travelers
  14. Sporting events in different cities
  15. Anticipation of a new adventure
  16. Bob enjoys running, and I enjoy walking/hiking, in new places,  (e.g. the RiverWalk in San Antonio, along the Truckee River in Reno, Yellowstone, Big Bend...you get the idea).
  17. We're able to immerse ourselves in areas like the Oregon Trail through Nebraska, the Old Spanish Trail (Camino Real) and the Military Road in Texas
And our favorite places we've traveled (in the RV)?
  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Black Hills, South Dakota
  3. Texas Hill Country
  4. Reno/Sparks, Nevada
  5. Big Bend National Park, Texas
  6. San Antonio, Texas
  7. Corpus Christi, Texas
  8. Delta, Colorado and Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  9. Kearney, Nebraska: Great Platte River Road Archway spanning I-80, and history of the area
  10. North Platte, Nebraska: Union Pacific Railroad Golden Spike Tower at Bailey Yard
  11. Thermopolis, Wyoming
  12. Cody, Wyoming
  13. Oklahoma City, OK: Cowboy Museum, walking downtown along the river
  14. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, south of Ely, Nevada
Favorite places (before the RV or not with the RV)?
  1. British Columbia, western Alberta, Canada: Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver Island, Fairmont Hot Springs (before it was hit by mudslide in 2012), Kicking Horse Pass/Spiral Tunnels, Banff, Jasper, Icefields Parkway
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Southern Germany
  4. Southeastern Australia: Coffs Harbour, Blue Mountains, Sydney, Canberra, Great Ocean Road, Bowral, Australian Southern Highlands, Waterfall Way, Melbourne
  5. Utah: Zion, Bryce, Grand-Staircase Escalante, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley State Park, Arches, Canyonlands (Island in the Sky and Needles districts), Natural Bridges National Monument, Lake Powell, Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  6. Western Montana
  7. Oregon
  8. Hawaii
  9. Colorado: Mesa Verde
  10. Tennessee
  11. North Carolina
  12. Kentucky
  13. Washington: Mount Rainier, Seattle, Olympic Peninsula, Goldendale (sun observatory)
  14. California: Yosemite, Monterey/Pacific Grove, Redwoods, Gold Country
You can tell by our list we haven't spent much time in the northern, central or eastern United States.  All in good time.

Tell us why you travel. What are your favorite places? What causes you to change plans?

Travel Bug out.