Around the same time that we decided to take a roadtrip in the USA, we were reminded of this quote from Henry David Thoreau:
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Henry David Thoreau.
The quote seems so appropriate to our time and position. We were busy like everyone else around us, and perhaps just like everyone else, could see no end or advances from our busy lifestyle. Each weekend was taken by house chores and handyman chores, every week day consumed with money making work tasks. Small parts of our days would be given to visiting with friends and family, even less devoted to ourselves. We lacked time to read, explore, investigate, wonder, ponder, and rest.
” … we were looking for alternatives for quite some time.”
I have to say we were looking for alternatives for quite some time. We investigated a change of lifestyle in Fiji, a roadtrip in Australia, living on a yacht in Australia, or any kind of opportunity to take us from the treadmill.
We lived in a beautiful home, but as a great friend suggested: You can live the same wonderful day… every day. Or live a different wonderful day… every day. This same friend had just finished 4 years in a converted bus, traveling outback Australia and living a different wonderful day, every day, and we wanted to share the same passion for daily living, and be inspired by daily life, rather than being forced to endure the confusing environment we had created.
Working through the options
After doing the mathematics, we decided it would be conveniently affordable to travel the USA in a motorhome. At least six months is the aim. We were told that some fulltime travelers last a month, some last a year, others travel indefinitely. We didn’t know which of these timeframes would suit us until we tried.
The new year’s resolution of a lifetime
January 1, 2015, new year’s day and we made some deliberate decisions. We found a motorhome online that we absolutely loved! Price is right, floorplan is right! All that was left was a decision to make. It wasn’t easy and we took weeks to consider all the options. What about the family and friends? The house? The dog? Careers? We love our location – why are we bothering to make such a choice at all?
We had to consider it all … and … if we were to do this we wanted a fifthwheel, a trailed home on wheels securely towed by a pickup truck. This way we could leave the coach behind in a campground and use the pickup truck for day trips. One motorized vehicle, one towed vehicle. Many travelers choose a motorhome towing a car. We need the economy of one motorized vehicle towing a trailer.
[Pic: Wednesday January 21st 2015. The day we settled on the fifthwheel in Coshocton, Ohio after a special trip to inspect the camper. Former owners Steve and Debbie Clark with us on a snowy day in a Coshocton restaurant. We were confidently advancing in the direction of our dreams. Perhaps naively at the time.]
We wanted a small, compact trailer with a large truck for easy and comfortable traveling, but in the USA, ‘small’ and ‘compact’ means 27 feet of luxury. Full shower, full flushing toilet, queen size bed, storage throughout and underneath, two slide-outs to double the living space, galley kitchen, wide-screen TV, surround sound, ducted airconditioning and central heating! To me it is a palace on wheels. In the USA, it’s small. 33 to 40 feet is common! But we were deliberate about choosing the smaller rig. We learned that there is better chances of finding secluded locations with a smaller rig, and some National Parks don’t allow the big rigs. We wanted a home on wheels that is easily affordable, lightweight (by comparison to the others), and comfortable. We found what we wanted online and the truck exactly to our chosen specifications. Something to do with dream building and goal setting, but we decided what we wanted and got it!
The power of Thoreau’s quote was in motion.
Months of organizing, mixed with months of decisions, months of planning, mixed with months of mixed feelings followed. The power of Thoreau’s quote was in motion. We were advancing confidently in the direction of our dreams and endeavoring to live the life which we had imagined, and we were able to meet with a success unexpected!
Leaving our valued family, friends, home, and the peaceful location of Tamborine Mountain in southeast Queensland, Australia was difficult to do. We have so much to value and every night we would find doubt in our plans of leaving such a perfect situation behind. Each morning reminding ourselves that it was what we want to do. Thankfully we had supportive encouragement to keep us going.
My mother, nearing 90 years of age, kindly kept us in perspective to ‘go and see the world’. In the months leading to our May 13, 2015 departure, we made closer friendships and relations with friends and family, more than ever before.
Casting off to a new adventure was in motion from the day we purchased the air ticket. A date was set, we had to make the plane, and we had five months to downsize, pack our bags, and start the roadtrip.
Alan and Carolyn O’Neill
About this Blog
The aim of this blog is to record and share our roadtrip experiences. We’ll share stories, observations, and photos to stay in touch with family and friends, and we hope this blog reaches those that we don’t know, who also want to take a roadtrip in the USA, or want to be entertained and informed by our stories and pictures.
To fund this blog, we will be recommending products and services that we use, some we just like, and will be receiving a small percentage if you proceed to purchase from the affiliate sellers. We can’t endorse everything that is available through the affiliate sellers, and if you don’t want to purchase anything at all, you are more than welcome to visit anytime.
For the sake of setting design styles, (makes it easier to choose one style or the other), we will be using US English styles with some conversions and explanations to suit the Australian English and culture.
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