Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Next Big Thing!

Lunch spot at Backcountry Campsite #37 along Big Creek Trail - GSMNP
April 6, 2013

No apologies for my long absence from BlogWorld.   It's only been two weeks.  And all I've been doing is living life to the max.  Seems I'm on the go non-stop and there just simply hasn't been time for sitting still to write.  I even have to confess that I've done less reading of YOUR blogs lately, but that doesn't mean I have disappeared nor does it really mean anything at all.  I do admit that it makes me feel good to get an email just asking if all is well.  It's nice to be missed.  

A different version of "tagging" got started in some remote corner of BlogWorld that had escaped my notice until my friend Cammy at Tippy Toe Diet got enthusiastically involved suckered in.  Seems the premise of the tag wasn't really all that difficult.  Just simply write about your "next big thing."  Cammy wrote a great post here and passed the torch to my friend, Lynn at Lynn's Weigh.  Lynn wrote about her "next big thing" here and then ever so graciously (thanks to a senior moment comment I left on Cammy's post) tagged me.  

It turns out that I (we, since Bill would be heavily involved in this "next big thing") do have something big in the works.  This something has been a "next big thing" for us off and on for many years, but it seems we've reached the point where you either make a decision and do it or leave the idea behind for good.  

So without further ado, my NEXT BIG THING is to purchase one of these..........


When I was a little girl (my mother will back me up on this), I was forever telling people that when I grew up, I was going to buy an RV and travel around the perimeter of the United States.  Believe me, RV's back then were not like they are today, but nonetheless, I was adamant that someday, I'd do this.  The travel bug never left me and I've been fortunate to experience many different methods of seeing this wonderful world in which we live, but I've never experienced slow travel in an RV.  

The idea resurfaced with a vengeance shortly after I retired and we began discussing it seriously several years ago.  But by then, we'd established our routine of traveling during Bill's summer/Christmas/fall/spring breaks and we liked renting cabins/cottages/houses along the way.  This concept was relatively new and websites such as and were just gaining popularity.  Thanks to a tip from the owner of the home I rented during my last work contract before I retired, we were using these websites to plan trips long before the general public had ever heard of them.  It was simple, homeowners trusted those who rented from them and business was done with basically a gentlemen's agreement.  We've NEVER and I repeat, NEVER had a bad experience.  I enjoyed the process of finding just the right place to rent, negotiating with the owner, and then experiencing the fun of having a home of our own while discovering a new part of the US.  It's been a win-win situation for years and the RV idea kept being shoved into the background.  We'd always convince ourselves that our current way of doing things was much easier.  We go, we rent, we enjoy, we walk away, it's done.

Sadly, as it seems happens often in today's self-centered, me-first at all costs, world, the popularity of renting directly from homeowners has been discovered and the irresponsibility of some renters has made the process much more tedious for all of us.  I noted differences last year and this year's process has me pulling my hair out.  The price of rentals has skyrocketed, contracts have become ridiculously lengthy with unbelievable lists of rules, huge security deposits are being demanded, payment processes are becoming more tedious, and the list goes on and on.  This isn't so much of a big deal when securing one place.  But when you are trying to coordinate six or seven rentals over an eight week period......well, you get the picture.  

So, the RV idea is back and this time, we are determined to either follow through or forget about it FOREVER!!  Owning an RV is a huge responsibility and not necessarily in line with our family motto of keeping things simple.  It's one more thing to OWN at a time we are trying to OWN less and less THINGS.  It's also something to insure and maintain.  And RV travel isn't painless.  We have lots of people in our life who own RV's of all shapes and sizes who have used them for every purpose from family vacations to living in them full-time.  

We know what we'd be getting into, but we also see the freedom involved in ALWAYS knowing you have a place to sleep, a refrigerator and a bathroom!  We also see the simplicity in being able to just go without all the hoopla and hours of advance planning it takes to get ourselves ready now.  We are much less interested in large metropolitan areas and much more interested in easy access to trails in the National Parks. 

Heck, I'm still quietly using this blog to work on my childhood dream of having a friend in every state.  My RV may be the tool that gets you off the page and into my real life!  I'd like nothing better.

So there you have NEXT BIG THING!   We've set the goal of either purchasing by the end of 2013 or discarding the idea forever.  (Maybe if I say that enough times, it'll actually happen!  LOL!) Going back and forth has taken too much of our time and energy.  We have an idea of what we are looking for and I'd love input from any of you who own or have owned an RV.  What did you like?  Hate?  If you no longer have it, why not?  

Finally, it is my job to pass this along to someone else and my sweet friend, Debby at Debby Weighs In  has something up her sleeve that I can't wait to hear about.  It's been exactly one year since Debby (who lives in northern California) came to visit me here in Tennessee.  As expected, we hit it off and it was as if we'd known each other all our lives.  I can't wait to head out to California to see her neck of the woods.   Hmm....wonder if she's got room in her driveway for an RV???

What "next big thing" is happening in your life?


  1. Ooo! Sounds like a lot of fun, the RVs seem to be a big hit with everyone I know who owns one! :)

  2. I've always had that vision of traveling the states in an RV:)

  3. I can so see you driving an RV... you are gonna be so cool!!

    My next big thing is sort of a secret for now... perhaps we can have coffee/tea, or really maybe a hike sometime soon and I can share with you. And's not a child...haha!!

    Glad to hear you are living life to the fullest!! Your facebook post about your hike saturday made me put my work and laziness aside and I hit the trails :)

  4. I like your "next big thing!" I've also entertained the idea of traveling the US in an RV once I retired. But I've got at least 6 more years before I can even think of such a thing. In the meantime, I'll live vicariously though you! :) Good luck on your plans! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    My next big thing is my half marathon race next Sunday. And then....I'm entertaining doing a ski mountaineering race the following Sunday. Something I've never done!

  5. LOL at the thought that I even have a driveway.

    You know what? I've been thinking about this a TON this week! How weird is that? When I was a kid, I read "Travels with Charley" by John Steinbeck, about him traveling around America with his Standard Poodle. I even named one of my Standard Poodles Charlie! I loved the idea of just traveling around America with my dog. Anyway, if I do it, it will be my "five year plan." That's a weird idea I started about moving and doing certain things that might be difficult to do with Mr. You-know-who around (Noah. I don't have a real Mr. You-know-who.) If I did it, I would just rent one or buy a used one just for that time period. I don't have any interest in RV'ing otherwise.

    What a hoot--both of us thinking about the same thing at the same time!

  6. I think this makes perfect sense for you. The good thing about it is that you can change your plans on a whim without worrying about your reservations. Say if you come back up to the North Country and decide to stay a couple days longer to get in some biking with someone that lives there.

  7. Some renters are not fond of taking care of the house they rented since they think that they paid for the house and thus, can do anything with it. I know tenants and landlords have agreements regarding the stay in the house and I hope that those agreements are observed properly. I’m pretty sure that you guys were good tenants and you enjoyed your stay at every rental that you’ve had since you’ve been good to the landlords. They’re returning your kindness to you. :D

    - Demetria Iman -

  8. Sounds wonderful.... Hope it works for you two. We have not considered an RV --and am not sure we ever will... It's just something that we are not terribly interested in... BUT--if we ever get one, it will be similar to one you showed in that photo. We wouldn't want anything too large. But--are you going to drag a car behind it???? I'd want to park my RV ---and use a car to travel around areas... So far, we are just not convinced that this is the way to go. Some of our best friends love to travel --and they still go the tent camping route. We would never do that. But---I will listen to you and how having an RV works for you.

    The Next Big Thing for us is to go to Glacier and area in 2014... We thought about going to Yosemite --but have about decided to go to Glacier instead... I have a good friend who has been there a couple of times --and has lots of wonderful photos (waterfalls) on his blog. He also would share their ideas with us.. SO--we hope to make that trip happen sometime --probably in September of 2014...

    Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous weather as much as we are..

  9. I like your Next Big Thing. Hubby and I talk about getting a RV and traveling around. We do enjoy hearing from those who are doing just that.

    We do have room in our driveway if you come to southern Ontario. If we happen to be in Nova Scotia when you come that way, there is plenty of room on the family farm and we would enjoy exploring the area with you.

  10. That does not surprise me at all. It will be fun to read about your RV adventures, if you do decide to get one.

  11. I thought this would be your "thing"! It sounds wonderful! I have friends who have a small RV, and they stay in it sometimes and get a hotel when they need a bit more room. They bought theirs used and say it pays for itself in what they save on hotel rooms. Also, according to *him*, it saves on potty stops that just happen to be needed immediately when they approach an antique store. :)

    Since I usually travel solo, I'd like to have a Road Trek van. It's near the top of my lottery list. :)

  12. I meant to say also, Mi driveway es su driveway! Stop by anytime! :)

  13. That sounds like the perfect next step! I would most likely rent one for a test trip before buying one just to see if I like the slower travel pace and how parking it and navigating getting around in cities goes. My in laws pulled a small car behind their motor home so they could park the RV and get around easily in the car to site see.

    Thank you for the information about renting homes - that was a thought I had for after hubby retires and we start traveling more. I had thought that renting vacation homes would be a nice alternative to hotels so we could cook some of our meals but it sounds like it's not so easy to navigate that route.

  14. That sounds like so much fun!!!

    I just found your blog... Hello fellow Tennessean! I'm on the other side of the state but it's still nice to find people from my state. :)

  15. I am sort of living my next big thing: Hawaii! We are here for a family wedding, but took an additional week to enjoy the island of Oahu. I have already got in 32 miles of biking. So, although I am in HI right now, it is my next big thing.

    Good luck figuring out which RV you will get. Looks liek a good decision for you both.

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    Read the Bhagavad-Gita online for free here:

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    In the end, what do you have to lose?

  17. I found your blog today, and this is the very first post I read, and what do I find? Another person who has dreamt of owning an RV since they were a kid! I've told everyone who would listen that that is my one dream, the one thing I definitely want to and will do in my life. LIfe has thrown my plans to the trash so many times already that I've learnt to go where the wind takes me. But the one thing I won't let Mr Life take from me is that! Where I live, you can rent them and they cost more or less than the same number of days in a resort, so it makes sense for me since it's just me and my teenage daughter, and I can't afford the insurance and maintenance of an RV. Summer here starts in January, so, maybe, next summer I'll be able to have my RV vacation! The best of luck- hope you can buy that pretty baby and take her places! I'll be your backseat passenger if you allow me :D

  18. How exciting!! My husband and I would LOVE to do something like that. The big thing happening is a two week trip out west this summer.