Being on the road for over a month makes me realize how lucky I am to have all the things that I do. Least of which is a solid roof over my head to come home to.
But what if I didn't? What if camping evert night was the way I had to live, or the way I chose to live, for myself and my family.
A part of me thinks it would be great! Being able to stay an area for as long as I wanted, see everything that I wanted, when I wanted. Then, move on at my leisure.
But then I look down at my ankles that have mosquito bites on top of mosquito bites and I quickly think, " There's no place like home!"
Last week my girls and I visited the Smithsonian's American History Museum in Washington, D.C. There was a Great Depression exhibit and it included the display, "The Trailer Problem." It was referring to "trailerites," or people who lived in trailers full-time to get through the hardships of the 1930s.
Nowadays, they call themselves "fulltimers." And if you look up the term on the Internet, they also are playfully referred to as boondockers, trailer trash, freeloaders, road gypsies, drifters, asphalt cowboys, vagabonds and, my personal favorite, saddle tramps.
As expected, a majority of fulltimers are retired, but not all. I have to admit, I'm not too chatty when I pull into camp, but I have met a few here and there. I met a family of fulltimers who are very much employed and like the freedom RV living provides. Since he works for an Internet company, all he needs is a WiFi connection and he's good to go. His wife homeschools their two young children, so they're able to pick up and leave whenever the mood strikes. They're touring the U.S. right now and if they like it, and it seems that they do, they're going to head to South America next year.
I read that scenarios like this one are becoming more and more common and I believe it. When we visited Oak Meadow a few weeks ago (my children's homeschool), their teacher mentioned that the number of new families purchasing just Oak Meadow's homeschool curriculum has risen 86 percent in one year. That's quite a margin!
Also in D.C., I met a 54-year-old man who, unfortunately, has been unemployed since 2009. I ran into him at the rangers' station where he was paying his weekly rent. He had to sell his house after he lost his job and now he's a fulltimer living out of his RV. It was originally purchased as his vacation home, but now it's his full-time address.
When we met he was in a suit, with a loosened tie, and he mentioned he was just back from a job interview. He told me with a smile not to feel too sorry for him because his RV is loaded with everything he could ever need. Nice guy. I hope he gets that job.
True, some RVs are huge and have more amenities than my house, but not everyone who calls a campsite home owns one of those. There are the few who roll in also wearing a suit and tie, but they're tent camping. Looks like everything they own is in the back of their car. Though I don't know what their stories might be, my mind does wonder.
My girls and I are now in Williamsburg, Virginia. We've been sightseeing for two days at the colonial city and tonight we're under a tornado watch. It's pouring and supposed to storm, complete with thunder and lightening. You know what I'm going to do? Get a hotel room. I don't mind a little rain when camping, but high winds and hail? No thanks! We'll definitely be in a hotel tonight and I sure am glad I have that option.