We had no plans whatsoever for Sunday.....Sunday this time of year has non-stop NFL games on from, in our case, 11 am until close to 9 pm. And that is what I did all day long with a few interruptions here and there.....I watched football, and the great thing about our latest work schedule is that I will be able to still watch a few games on the weekend since we don't go to work until 7 pm at night.
Sometime around 1:30 our very good friends Krash and Karen called us from their home in Ypsilanti, Michigan to wish us well before we go "dark" on Monday....."going dark" means we will be pretty much incommunicado for the next 3 weeks as we spend all of our time sleeping, eating and working. We had a lovely speaker phone conversation for the better part of an hour. If you have only started reading our blog recently, we met Krash and Karen through our blog about 4 months into our journey while we were visiting my sister and her husband in Michigan, and have become great friends. We lovingly refer to them as our first "stalkers", and they wear that title proudly. They are great examples of one of the chief benefits of this lifestyle. Over the past 20 months we have met, and become friends with so many people we would NEVER have met except for embracing this lifestyle. Now that we have just finished our 20th month living full time on the road, and have acquired this new, wonderful circle of friends we cannot imagine our lives without them.
I belong to a number of online groups that deal with the full time lifestyle, and was disheartened, along with many others, yesterday to read the following post by a relatively new member of one group:
"So we are near two months into our new life in the rig... and well, despite what we have encountered on line on the actual website of *****... not here on fb (where hate to be blunt but the age requirements have been overlooked i.e. less than 60 is what I assumed ****** was about).. we haven't met anyone our age that are fulltimers... oh and I should clarify we don't have children and are in our early 30s techgeeks, we do have jobs that allow us to travel, we do have a dog, we are very friendly and yeah we do like meeting older people 55 and over but we really have nothing in common with them, so we are a bit frustrated... where is everyone?"
When we began our journey we were not focused on who we would see, and meet, but on "what" we would see. What we have learned over 20 months (Sunday marked the end of 20 months on the road for us) of traveling is that these connections.....these friendships are so very important. Wherever we travel now we feel connected to a community of like minded souls who, regardless of age, lifestyle, philosophy, religion, or politics are an integral part of our lives. One thing we have learned is those things that we used to place so much importance on when we lived in our sticks and bricks homes, are just excess baggage now.....those "things" create walls....barriers. People are so much more than their political, religious, or socioeconomic status. Out "here" none of that is important. We have made friends with so many who are younger than some of our kids, and yet, because of this lifestyle, we relate to them as peers.......I don't think of them as a certain age.....I think of them as equals, and we are treated as such.
If you head out on the road to live this life seeking to connect only with people you would normally relate to in your narrow sticks and bricks life you will, unnecessarily, shrink your experience and your world. If you seek this lifestyle please do not try and replicate your sticks and bricks life on the road.....it simply will not work, and then, frankly, what is the point? Get rid of your pre-conceived ideas about what this lifestyle entails......just get out there, be open, and take people as they come. Don't put us in your convenient little boxes, or put your labels on us, or stereotype us. Get to know us......get below the surface and you will find a treasure trove of new friends, ideas, and experiences. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has an interesting story.....you only have to take the time to ask questions, and then listen.