Monday, April 14, 2014

Sharing Becomes Caring, Or Why Black Tank Stories Make Me Give a S#*t

Southeast Canada, Arizona forest, Kentucky/Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Arizona desert, Southern California. I was in all of those places this morning, enjoying a large diversity of geography, weather, culture, flora and fauna. From all those places I can venture out to numerous other locations and share even more sites and experiences. The variety of locales is matched only by the variety of lifestyle and personality of those I travel with. Working/retired, married/single, pets/furless, motorhome/trailer/5'er/car, fulltimer/snowbird, grandparent/childless, hiker/walker, hookup/boondock, and so many more. It's delightful to share these places with such unique and different people.

Sharing is the right word I think. It's more than reading and looking at pictures.

A magazine article about a place or a travel experience is a one-time enjoyment. I might save the article for future reference - about the place/thing - but not likely about the writer. I'm not "there" in a magazine article because I have no relationship with the author. A great photo in a magazine might move me and make me want to see the same view with my own eyes, but I'm not feeling the lasting inspiration or humor or pure joy of the moment. I'm still in my chair reading and looking at pictures.

Bloggers take me along for the journey, sharing the everyday experience.

For me, the journey is more than the travels and the beautiful locations. It's the human experiences of real people doing and seeing things that we look forward to doing and seeing. All the excitement of new experiences, as well as the frustrations of missed opportunities, give me a true picture of what our dreamed-about lifestyle can and might be. Like any lifestyle, it's more about how we handle adversity and less about how we avoid it. Knowing that this person has off-days, even while living my dream, makes my planning more realistic. Someone shares a black-tank story with you and you're going to trust them to be real about the rest of the stuff :-).

All that sharing makes me care. About the blogger, their traveling companions (two legs and four), their family back home, even their damn rig!

Blog archives give me a unique opportunity to return to the beginning of the blogger's journey - to start their story at the place I am now. In many cases these archives cover five or more years. Not only have I learned a lot about locations, mistakes, insurance, budgets, routes, weather, and alligators; but I've gotten to know supportive parents, childhood friends, faithful pets, personal phobias, and Valentine's Day surprises. After spending "years" with them I'm invested in their lives. I care about what happens to them. I care about how they feel. When the pet dies or the partner is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, I'm in tears. The purchase of a new rig or the notice of clean test results have me doing the happy dance.

Sharing in the blogosphere makes the world a much smaller place while keeping the comfort of distance.

Someday I hope to meet all of the bloggers I follow and spend some great face-to-face time with them. If one of them were in trouble nearby I wouldn't hesitate to offer help today. But I don't imagine finding a RV park where we all hook up permanent sewer lines and spend the rest of our days sharing lawn space.  Bill and I love our privacy and the quiet of each other's company - making our journey.

Besides, whose grand adventures would we share at our own pace? Who would introduce us to new and wondrous places? Who would share a life we aren't living, and expand our hearts to care about people we will never meet?

I'm off to travel north from Florida and Arizona, and east across Utah, and return to the S&B for the summer, and finish up some medical tests, and plan the route to the workamper job in the northwest, and see some more historic sites in the northeast - all before lunch.

Glad I'm not sharing the fuel costs :-).

 

14 comments:

  1. You are so smart to take your time and read up on everything by everyone. We didn't even discover there was an RV community until we were in it. Your post is a wonderful affirmation for those of us who struggle to dedicated the time to writing a blog. Thanks for the encouragement. Hope to see you on the road.

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    1. Thanks Sherry. You and David blazed a lot of trails in your years on the road. Another newbie referred me to your blog and I've been reading ever since.

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  2. What a cool post you have today! What you described is exactly how we learned that full time travel is a lifestyle. Now that we are living our dream, we do love to share our experiences, good and bad.

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    1. Thanks! Like Sherry and David, you and John keep me inspired to get out there and live our dream in spite of what might get thrown in our way! Keep sharing - I'm loving the ride!

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  3. Beautiful Jodee! I feel the same and hope to meet you in person some time!

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    1. Thank you Debbie. Looking forward to that meeting as well - and to following your travels in the near future!

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  4. While it is so very hard to be wait for the big day to arrive, it is well worth taking your time to understand the workings of the MH. We began our journey the same way you are. It sure was hard reading those blogs, but I knew our turn was coming. Now we are completing our fourth year!! Meeting fellow bloggers is wonderful. It is amazing how comfortable that meeting is. See you soon down the road somewhere, Jodee and Bill!

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    1. Sure looking forward to that meeting! Thanks for the encouragement, we're working on our patience-lesson everyday :-).

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  5. I read RV articles in magazine, blogs, books & whatever I can get my hands on about fulltime Rving. The RV addiction is in our home too. We hope to buy our RV this year and fulltime RV in 2015.
    I hope to read more on your blog & RVillage. :) Janet

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    1. Thanks Janet, it's an exciting time!

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  6. Just found your blog thanks to RVillage. I love your writing style! We have been on the the road for 2 years this month! I have two blogs. One is written thru the eyes of my greyhounds. It is www.twogreyhoundtown.blogspot.com The other blog is my restaurant review blog. It is www.thatonerestaurant.blogspot.com I hope you can check them out sometime.

    Happy Travels!!!

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    1. Your blogs are great. I'll leave my comments there :-). Glad you found mine - RVillage is such a fun and resourceful for all of us. And happy two-year anniversary!!!

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  7. I also found your blog through RVillage. We have set our departure date for June 4, 2016. Less than two years! I started reading your 'story' from the beginning and just love this post. We too went to the Pomona show last year and plan on attending this year again. Perhaps we'll have a chance to sit and chat while talking all things RV :-)

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    1. The time really does fly by and soon you'll be saying that to someone else who is right behind you :-). I'd love to catch up with you at the show in October - stay in touch!! And thanks for reading the blog, I'm glad you enjoy it :-).

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