Four Years and Counting

Posted July 18, 2020 – Narrated by Jim
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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.