The Footpath Way

Posted November 6, 2017 – Narrated by Carmen

If you’d rather listen to the podcast, click the play button.

 

“Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,

And merrily hent the stile-a:

A merry heart goes all the day,

Your sad tires in a mile-a.”  – The Winter’s Tale

We’re always looking for shorthand descriptions of this merry thing we do, this LIB thing we have going here.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota

“Full-timers” or “Full-time Airstreaming” doesn’t cover it because folks still ask where we live.

We understand. With no specific base of operations, address, or permanency, we’re in a unique category for modern alternative lifestyles – even some ancient ones.

“Complicated people living the simple life.” How’s that sound?

It might be easier to explain what we’re not.

We’re not homeless. Well, people do ask sometimes … and we reject any comparison to that description. Not out of shame, but because we have a home and we’re not struggling for our daily existence, forgotten and cast out by society. The poor, elderly, mentally ill and disabled have enough jokes and difficulties on them without privileged RVers striking comparisons.

We’re not part of the Tiny House movement. The admirable consumer culture motivated by technological advances migrating toward simpler and cleaner living arrangements is also “not us.” Though tiny homes are often mobile, they’re not exclusively oriented toward mobility. Tiny homes may be just mobile enough to squeeze between zoning laws, but the structures usually (hopefully!) stay off the road. Our portability is by design and to support our constant, steady land migration across the continent. The caribou may be the only mammal in North America that can out-migrate a full-time RVer.

We’re not trying to reduce our economy. While it’s somewhat cheaper to maintain a 200 square foot (including storage) mobile living space than it is to keep up a 1,000 to 2,000 square foot house or condo – or wrangle a 400 square foot RV – economy is not our motivation. Some nights we pay $70 or more and other nights, nothing at all. Quality food and drink is expensive everywhere and living well in preferred locations is the goal.

We’re not environmentalists – Conservation is certainly a factor, but reducing our carbon footprint doesn’t, in our opinion, require an RV. Any person in any living situation is capable of greater reductions than what we’ve accomplished. If we were younger, we’d travel in our old Honda CRV with a tent. Sometime in the last decade, our bodies betrayed us. It was most heart-wrenching to part with our beloved family tent. We covet our evening strolls about the campgrounds as we ogle tents and remember the old days … If our aging bodies would cooperate, we’d still be sleeping on the ground.

We’re not RV enthusiasts. Living out of a couple of suitcases might be nice if AIRBNB type services could accommodate our no-hassles travel style. But maybe not. Risk of exposure to bed bugs and the heavy pesticides establishments use to combat vermin and then try to cover with pungent carpet deodorants is not our idea of luxury. Star-slathered, hotel names boasting environmental responsibility can’t win me over either. While traveling with my sister, Deborah the RN, we discovered lice after a routine flashlight inspection of our 4-star hotel room. They even evacuated the entire wing. So, I’m not taking any chances. LIB is clean, pest free, pet-friendly, fragrant and more secure than any hotel. RVing is our travel solution.

We’re not Airstream enthusiasts. Actually, we just joined the WBCCI San Diego Chapter, our number is 5108, so we can attend rallies with friends we’ve met on the road. But Airstreaming wasn’t in the original plan – it just evolved. Once we decided that towing suited our RV travel philosophy, Airstream was clearly the best choice. Halfway across the country, we found the best pre-owned 30′ unit in the USA from a reputable seller (who is now our good friend) and we’ve never looked back. A great 80-year record of excellence and a service department that’s a pleasure to work with is why we’re happy Airstreamers. When we’re done, Beauty and The Beast will probably go into service for another traveling couple who may give our team other names … and that’s the success story of Airstream.

Exploring is the goal – like a coupla’ kids brown-bagging sandwiches on a field trip that never ends. We prefer the outdoors – the really big outdoors. We like to drive into difference – landscape, food, architecture, art and history – and then cozy up at home with a good book or film before bedtime. Yesterday, we slept at a farm way out in the countryside …

… today in a seaside fishing community only four steps away from an awesome Tiki Bar.

We wake each morning to the new, the unexpected and most often, the beautiful…

LIB has detoxified us from conventional attitudes about old age.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park, South Dakota

What were we supposed to say when we retired … “I quit? I’m done? This is it?” – If so, we are happily misguided. When we walked out of the office we also walked away from an old way of thinking, and saying, and measuring ourselves and other’s personal contributions to the world, and placing price tags and value judgments on whatever precious moments we have left.

LIB is like being babes again, marveling at every new discovery like home is everywhere. If we’re caught grinning ear to ear for no apparent reason, that’s probably what we’re thinking – home is everywhere. Jesus knows the bird is home wherever it eats and sleeps. Sunday school 101.

Hey, I like that …

“Living in Beauty/Sunday School 101.”

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia