Four Years and Counting

Posted July 18, 2020 – Narrated by Jim
To listen to the podcast, click the play button

Today is the 4th anniversary of the day we left San Diego. 

Tomorrow we begin the 5th year of our LIB sojourn.

In these 1,461 days, we have traveled more than 40,000 miles and stayed at 276 overnight locations in 46 States and 4 Canadian Provinces.

See more details and a map of our journey here

Our first blog post in January 2016, seven months before we hit the road, was to inform our friends and family of our new lifestyle and to clarify – to ourselves and to others – why we were leaving a perfectly good situation to travel indefinitely in our 200-square-foot Airstream trailer, Beauty. 

Back then, we could not have imagined that in the Summer of 2020, we would have 131 posts, more than 4,600 followers, and a blog registering more than 141,000 visitors and 314,000 views.  

What? Did we miss something?

Are old people trending? Maybe Boomers whose kids have come home for the pandemic are looking for some space? Or, perhaps, RVing is a solution for limited travel options due to closed borders?

Probably no method of travel is better suited to social distancing. At least, we can’t think of a way to improve our situation during these uncertain times … except, maybe, being less old.

Actually, we prefer to read RV blogs about young, sexy location-independent digital nomads who squeeze extreme sports and guitar playing between their remote working hours. We are totally jealous. 

Some of our followers have suggested we break into vlogging. Nope. Sorry. Even though I have a college education in telecommunications, we prefer to read content rather than watch videos on YouTube. 

Writing is our preferred method of communication and, from concept to publication, all can be accomplished from a comfy chair.

Video production, if done right, is hard work. You have to clean up, wear makeup, be energetic … smile.

Let the kids vlog. 

Primarily, this blog is our travel journal.

But over the years we’ve gained experience, so we’ve made a fun project of sharing tips and lessons learned, campground reviews, camping resources, costs and statistics, other blogs we follow, and reviews of our gear. It’s a blessing to feel useful.

This LIB blog also reminds us of thousands of details that would otherwise be lost in the blur of travel. And, someday, when our bodies fail and our memories grow dim, we will at least have this travel journal to lift our spirits and remind us of these good times. 

Yep, we’re old, but most days we feel younger than we look. Adventure still calls – especially the excitement of not knowing where we will park our Airstream tomorrow night.  

Will we sleep in a California vineyard?  

or on some isolated federal land in Nevada?  

or in a church parking lot? 

There can be stability in constant motion.

Uncertainty is an opportunity to discover.

It’s all about mobility – moving forward – progress.

What will we learn?

What new friends will we encounter?

What secrets will be revealed?

The unknown awaits. 

It is a gift and a privilege to be alive and well enough to entertain the spirit of adventure –

Whether it’s hiking in Big Bend National Park…  

Kayaking the emerald waters of Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park… 

Cycling through spectacular scenery on a 25-mile long bike trail converted from an old abandoned train track… 

or exploring an unofficial city in the California desert.  

Every day is a gift.

Why live near a lake when you can live on the lake?  

Why live near a National Park when you can live in the Park?  

Why live near the river when you can live on the river?  

Why live near the ocean when you can live beside the ocean?  

Or simply jump between them when the mood hits?

We are thankful the ‘bad’ things that have happened to us have not been catastrophic:

  • Tire Blowout
  • Wheel well damage from tire blowout
  • Water pump failure
  • Catalytic Converter failure
  • Refrigerator failure
  • Furnace failure
  • Hail damage resulting in Beauty being ‘totaled’ and having a ‘salvage title.’
  • Fresh water tank failure
  • Tree sap covering more than 50% of the rig
  • Lost the driver side mirror in collision on a narrow Ohio back road.
  • A leak caused some minor damage to the floor
  • Leaving the black tank valve open, forgetting, and trying to empty the tank.
  • One of Beauty’s front window guards flew off while driving down the freeway causing no further damage but losing the guard.

Also, we are constantly thankful for all the ‘bad’ things that have not happened to us (at least, so far)

Behold, our knock on wood list …

  • Side swiped by another vehicle (knock on wood)
  • Out of diesel in the middle of nowhere (knock on wood)
  • Broken hitch while in motion on the highway (knock on wood)
  • Anti-sway failure on the highway (knock on wood)
  • Awning damage or loss due to wind gust (knock on wood)
  • Hitting a tree or other obstacle while backing in (knock on wood)
  • Tree falling and destroying trailer (knock on wood)
  • Ungrounded outlet ‘electrifying’ the skin of our trailer (knock on wood)
  • Distracted driver causing an accident (knock on wood)
  • Falling asleep at the wheel (knock on wood)
  • Fire (knock on wood)
  • Pico bites someone in a state or county which requires him to be quarantined for six months or worse (knock on wood)
  • Bad health or a bad fall (knock on wood)
  • Nefarious incidents or encounters resulting in property loss or damage (knock on wood)
  • Hit by lightening (knock on wood)
  • One of us wakes up dead (knock on wood) …

… The horrible things list goes on and on. But for us, “naming the beast” – thinking ahead, practicing awareness, confronting and planning for all potential disasters is a dark, but realistic part of LIB – and, every day one of those things doesn’t happen is cause to celebrate.

But there are many unique ways to live, so at LIB we never tell anyone what to do, we simply record what we are doing.

And we are truly amazed that you have chosen to follow our travel journal and, thus, become a part of our lives. 

And if we are truly providing a service here, we hope that it is to convey the truth that life itself is a journey, the road is beautiful, and that dreams really do come true. 

You can live your dream!

Safe travels, friends. And may our dreams converge someplace, somewhere on this marvelous planet.

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.


150 thoughts on “Four Years and Counting

  1. Thank you for sharing such an uplifting blog post. Each of your posts has been informative and inspiring. What a great example of appreciating the gifts of life.

    1. Darrell, glad you enjoy our posts. We love this lifestyle and sharing about it with others. During this unique and unusual times, finding joy in simple things seems to be a way to combat the constant challenges of staying healthy and free from visits to the intensive care unit. Stay safe out there!

    1. Dawn, it is an awesome lifestyle! Hope to see you soon (with proper COVID-19 social distancing of course)

  2. Congratulations, you guys! All so beautifully done! Your shares help to inspire, cultivate and grow my own journey. Thank you! May your 5th year bring you many more beautiful experiences.

    1. Sabrina, thank you for being a follower of Living In Beauty. Although we can’t be sure, it appears you have been following us since at least January 2018 when you made your first comment on our Melbourne Florida post. Your comments always uplift us, thank you!

    1. Melodye, we spend quite a bit of time in Mississippi because we have relatives there. What part of Mississippi do you live in?

    1. Lori, thank you for following us at least as long as July 2017, when you made your first comment on the blog post, Facts of LIB. You are one of our long time followers!!!!!!!!! So glad you find inspiration in what we write. We SHALL keep on trucking!!!!!

    1. Jack, thank you! At times I miss the excitement and involvement of working with you on HSAB and San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage. But retirement is also an amazing blessing. Jim

  3. Wow; four years! We have been following you from the beginning and very much appreciate the knowledge you have shared along the journey. We so enjoyed meeting and getting to know you at Salem in 2018. I will take personal credit for admonishing you about viewing Texas as a place best traveled through in an hurry and take pride that when you did take time to experience Texas, you enjoyed it. We wish you many more happy years on the road and hope our paths will cross again in the future.

    1. Michael and Judy, We too enjoyed meeting you both way back in the day, June 2018. What is funny is we just spent 5 days with Joe and Ronnie Harris, which we met in Asheville in the summer of 2017, and now we share their friendship with you! Small world! And yes, absolutely, it was your encouragement that caused us to spend 60 wonderful days along the southern coast of Texas. Some of our best times in these four years! We are POSITIVE our paths will cross someday soon! Stay safe out there!

  4. Love following your journey. You are an inspiration to get out and grab life. Safe travels and hope to see you down the road.

    Judy Shelley

    1. Mickie, always a delight to hear from you! We hope our photography is getting better all the time. We try! Glad you enjoy following our crazy adventures!

    1. Jeff, great to hear from you! So sorry the timing last August did not work out when we passed through your beautiful area. Maybe next time! Stay safe!

    1. Glen, we are indeed! Wish we could have spent more time with you back in Ashuelot New Hampshire, but more than likely, our paths will cross again. Stay safe!

  5. Congrats on your milestone! I always look forward to reading your blogs, and very much enjoy your beautiful pictures! You two are such an inspiration! Here’s to many more years of great travel!🥂

    1. Lula, thank you for your kind words. It is hard to believe it has been over a year since we met each other in Jackson Center, Ohio. Hope our paths cross again soon!

    1. Rick and Julie, thank you! We are looking forward to our 5th year on the road. Hope we see you sometime out there somewhere!

  6. Congrats…we are also full-timers for over 7 years in our Kat’s Cradle. It is a 1999 28′ Excella with of course many replaced appliances over the years. Jackson and Kat from LifeOnTheBlueHighways. Currently parked at Top of Georgia AS Park which is beautiful! Safe travels

    1. Kat and Jackson, so great to hear from you. Our 2001 30′ Excella probably looks a lot like your 1999 28′. Love love love our Airstream. One of these days we are going to spend some time at Top of Georgia. We hear it is beautiful. We have been promoting your blog for years @ Airstream Travel Blogs. Hope it sends you some traffic. Safe travels!

      1. Thanks and yours is also a very good read. Hopefully we will cross paths. We were headed to Niagara Falls and Canada this year but of course we know that is on hold. We love our stream also.

    1. Nina, we think a lot about you and your wonderful family. Prayers are constantly being held up for you! Thank you for your kind words!

  7. What a beautiful post, both in words and photos. I love listening, and grateful to hear your voices and well-expressed thoughts. Hugs!

    1. Eva, we think of you (and Dave) often. How we miss his smile and laughter. Heaven is a better place having him as a resident, but us who live on this earth sure do miss him. Love to you Eva!

    1. K.K., thank you! We sure enjoyed hanging with you while having a fantastic dinner in Colorado Springs. Someday we plan to spend more time at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. See you then!

    1. Nancy, it is kinda hard to believe it has been 4 years already. Scary how fast life rushes by when you reach the mid-60’s. Hope United Way of San Diego is doing great, as I know it is under your leadership.

    1. Kristine, WOW! We are sure you could teach us a thing or two about being on the road for that long. We hope we make it to 7 years… and more. Stay safe out there and hope we meet someday on the road.

    1. Shannon, so great to hear form you. Are you still in Real Estate? Hard to believe it has been so many years since we worked together. Thanks for following LIB. We are trying to live life to the fullest! Stay safe out there!

  8. My wife and I retired last year and we hiked one of the Camino‘s in France and Spain. We loved not knowing what was around the corner as we met wonderful people and had amazing experiences that we will cherish. Your posts provide us the same kind of adventures! We appreciate the time you take to document and share the pictures and your narrative. We bought an Airstream in January and you give us great ideas on where to explore this continent. We wish you good health and continued enjoyment in your journeys! Thanks so much!
    Mario & Margarita

    1. Mario and Margarita, your trip to France and Spain sounds wonderful. We are so glad you enjoy reading about our adventures. Congratulations on the purchase of your Airstream in January. Maybe we will meet each other someday on the road. Safe travels!

  9. Happy Anniversary! We are two years in and can’t wait to learn from the two of you. Cheers.

    1. Jennifer, congratulations on 2 years traveling full-time. It just keeps getting better! Really!!!!!!

  10. Congratulations on four years on the road! You do keep track of a lot of numbers. 🙂 Love the photo collection. And, I agree, leave the vlogging to the youngsters. Like you, we prefer the written word (and the photography) turned into entertaining and – hopefully – useful blogs. In three days, I will start my 18th year of being a nomad. Not sure how many days that is. 🙂 Oh, one other lifestyle that is perfect for social distancing: the sailing life. But RVing is much easier…

    1. Liesbet, WOW! 18th year starting being a nomad!!!!! We should be learning from you, for sure. 🙂 Glad you enjoy the written word and photography. We try to improve our photo skills all the time. We thought about sailing, but my stomach can’t handle the seas. We will checkout your website. Hope our paths cross someday! Stay safe!

      1. Hi guys! Thank you for checking out my blog and becoming followers. Yeah, eighteen years is a long time. Sometimes, we crave creature comforts, but I don’t think we’d ever fit into normal society again. Plus, we wouldn’t even know where… It would be awesome to meet one day – where are you now and what are your loose plans? By the way, I’m very susceptible to motion sickness, let alone seasickness. Yeah…

  11. Enjoy reading your blog. Very well written and the pictures are second to none. Liked the picture from Dreher Island State Park, heading there next month. Stay safe.
    Jane and Brian

    1. Jane and Brian, so glad you are enjoying the blog and photos. We LOVED Dreher Island State Park and only left because Huricane Irma was headed that way in 2017 and they made everyone leave and they closed the park. We stay only 6 days, but we would have stayed our entire reservation of 14 days. Beautiful place. Be sure to have a meal at Frayed Knot down the street. Fun vide. Here is our review of Dreher Island State Park.

    1. Wow, what a wonderful thing to say. Three years on the road! Congratulations! We hope our paths cross someday! We just subscribed to your blog.

  12. Happy Nomadiversary! We hit one year June 1 of this year. Love reading your blog and have gained a lot of knowledge from it. Love the pic as well. Yes, we will leave the vlogging to the kids. 😉

    1. Brenda, congratulations on hitting one year in June. We can remember that 1st year anniversary. When we look back, we traveled too far, over 14,000 miles, that 1st year. Almost killed us. This last year, our 4th, we traveled half that much and was much happier with our energy level and lack of fatigue. Everyone has to find their pace. Glad you are finding value in our blog. We sure enjoy living his life and writing about it. Stay safe out there!

  13. Happy Anniversary! I’m in year 4 also! Loving every second, with zero regrets on selling my sticks and bricks, along with 90 percent of my belongings! Happy trails!

    1. Ronnie, you and Joe are special friends and we are also glad you have been a part of our first 4 years. See you down the road, hopefully sooner than the last time, 2 ½ years.

  14. What a great post and, as always, so much to think about!

    Yours is one of my favorite blogs because you guys do so much – there are so many people who have one particular interest or one or two types of landscapes they like and that’s all they write about – which is totally fine, but it doesn’t make for the most interesting of blogs. I like following people who have lots of interests and who are happy to check out the unknown. I also appreciate good writing and, like you, prefer reading interesting blog posts over watching youtube videos. There are a handful of Youtubers who put out great content, but I don’t know… I just always prefer to read blogs.

    Anyway, your site is awesome and your travels are interesting and your life is inspiring and you are most definitely doing it right. It doesn’t surprise me at all that so many others enjoy living vicariously through you.

    Congratulations on four years and here’s to many more!

    1. Laura! Wonderful to hear from you. Is Chapter3travels in Idaho right now? Thank you for your comments and “right back at ya” – you inspire us – your honesty about the joys and sorrows, travails and triumphs is a joy to read. We also love how you review campgrounds and visit places we’ve never heard of. We highly recommend your site for great information about RV travel. I think you three started out the same month we did, so congratulations to you for four years on the road. This lifestyle certainly isn’t easy, but what is easy these days? Be safe out there. Stay ahead of this stubborn pandemic. Make your own rules and stick to them and have fun. Give Thor a hug for us. Woof.

      1. Haha… good memory. We are, indeed, about to hit the 4 year mark too. You beat us by about 3 weeks! Amazing how time flies, but we wouldn’t change any of it. It’s been a great experience.

        We are currently in Montana. We spent about 2 weeks in Idaho before heading up here. This whole region is beautiful and we’re very happy to be here. The question is where to go next. We have plans, but I gave a feeling Covid may screw those up. We’ll just have to see.

        Just think, some day, we’ll all write our retrospectives about RV life during a pandemic.

    1. Bill, always great to hear form you! We raise our glasses back at ya and thank you for your continued support of our crazy lifestyle.

    1. Kathleen, you are the 2nd person to tell us they have been traveling full-time for 11 years. That is just amazing. You give us such encouragement. Thank you for sharing!

  15. We left San Diego 1/2009 to fulltime. Leased our house to return when we have seen everything or they take my keys away. Currently in a 25 ft FCRB Airstream. Life is good.

    1. Mike, wow! That was 11 years ago and you are still traveling full-time!!!!! That is very encouraging. Thank you for your comment. When we left San Diego in July 2016, we had sold all our real estate, and donated, gave away, sold, or threw away all our possessions. We have nothing in storage and no bricks and mortar home to go to when and if we ever stop this amazing lifestyle. But with your 7 years ahead of us as an example, we have plenty of time to enjoy this adventure (while our health allows). Stay safe out there and we hope our paths cross someday on the road.

  16. Keep on truckin’ Beauxs!! Wish we could call you up and drive to your abode in Coronado like the good ole pre-Covid days. Happy for your adventure. Thanks for the vicarious thrills
    Jim and Sam

    1. Thanks Jim, these are crazy times. We met some friends from 2 ½ years ago, and because of COVID-19, we didn’t even touch and stayed 6 feet apart. Seems strange, but that is our new reality.

  17. Your lives being full of adventures are truly amazing! You’re living the best life any wanderlusts would ask for! Happy 4 years of leaving San Diego and Happy 5 years tomorrow on ‘Living in Beauty’ sojourns! Best wishes as always and hope you guys continue to do what you do so that you may inspire more people with your stories and traveling experiences!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. We are living a wonderful lifestyle. Maybe not for everyone, but we sure enjoy traveling and seeing this amazing countryside and the folks who reside there. Everywhere we go we discover beauty. Stay safe out there!

  18. Congratulations on Four Years guys! Hope your 5th year goes smoothly during these uncertain and troubled times. Loved your post. You are our road heroes and inspiration! Our house in WV is now sold and we have moved back into the Silver Schooner after eight months of living in a B&S house. At this writing we are sitting in an RV park working on getting everything squared away in our truck and trailer and taking care of some overdue maintenance tasks. It is good to be back in 200 SF! From here we’ll travel to Ohio and Jackson Center. Then on to Oregon for another visit to Ultimate Airstreams. Then we’ll make our way down to Arizona. With any luck we’ll pass by close enough to get together. Take care and roll on!

    1. Steve, great to hear from you and your update on selling your house and moving back into the Silver Schooner. Congratulations! You mentioned maintenance, after 4 years on the road, it is obvious there will always be something to repair, exchange, upgrade or tweak. Always. We are headed to Vinnie Lamica to have a leak in the front located and sealed, the main door is coming loose, the hot water heater is failing and needs replacing, the fresh water tank has sprung a leak and need to be repaired or replaced… etc etc etc. To enjoy this lifestyle, I have discovered I must accept this reality, go with it, and deal with it in a positive attitude. Which, thankfully, I have. Seems like we are always either headed to Vinnie’s or Jackson Center every other year. Hope our paths do cross here soon! Say HI to Sue for us. Stay safe out there!

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