“We all have a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”.
-Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
There are two things I have always wanted to do in my life along with having a happy family life and a solid career in the satellite business.
I have always yearned to travel, uninterrupted across the world with a backpack (and no reservations) and I have always wanted to do a full time RVing trip across the United States.
Truth be told, it was our family friend, Mrs. Chapin who first inspired me to do the full time Rving trip.
My Inspiration to RV Full Time
In the mid 1970’s Mrs Chapin took a pop-up trailer and drove with her two boys, twelve and fourteen, across the northern US to reach Seattle to visit her cousins. They were gone almost the entire summer.
Mr. Chapin flew out to Seattle to meet them and drive home with them. It was a trip they would never forget and apparently I never did either.
The Chapins had two children and I am the eighth child from a family of nine. There was no way we could not travel as a family in that way. In fact, I can’t imagine a camper that would fit us all or imagine my self-employed parents ever able to leave their business concerns for more than two days.
I always marveled at the Chapin’s freedom, the interesting sights they saw and what they learned about our country.
RVing Full Time and Me
For years, I yearned to see what ‘purple mountains majesty’ really meant and what the heck was a ‘fruited plan?’ I longed see cowboys, railroads, the land of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the rivers of Mark Twain..all things we have seen on this full time RV trip.
I read incessantly, mostly children’s biographies, carried encyclopedias to the dinner table and was bascially a pest to my older siblings and parents in my quest to know about everything.
Knowing my thirst for travel, my parents took me on my first real road trip during the summer when I was 12.
Just my parents and I flew to North Carolina to pick up a school bus and my dad drove it home. We still talk about that trip and all its wonderful details!
To this day, we still reminisce about the hot dogs we ate, the nice man at the service station, seeing Washington, DC for the very first time (me) and then Pennsylvania and ending with the aquarium in Mystic Connecticut.
I will always treasure that quality time with my parents.
It inspired in me a love for travel, boosted my interest in history and national landmarks and inspired me to later live in Washington, DC. It was a huge thing for my parents to take this trip, this time away from their business and other children and a very large expense for them at the time.
Yet, I remember this trip much more keenly and recall it more than any event of my youth…
The Real Influence of RVing Full Time
Now as we take our own children RVing full time on a cross country trip, I wonder what they will remember most in 30 years and what parts of this trip they will latch onto and how it will shape their lives. What experiences from this trip will inspire them and possibly even alter the course of their lives?
How will their lives be changed?
It will be interesting to see exactly what they remember most, what they learn, what they will take away from it all.
My hope is that they will remember it as one of the great adventures of their lives and that it inspires them to do great things as a result of at least some of the things they learned along the way.
Only time will tell…
What things have inspired you and have altered the course of your life?
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