House or Divorce?

We both need a good mental slap to make a decision as Option 1, Do Nothing on our New List of options for settling down seems to be our default setting.

We made a zig zag passage across the United States from Washington State to Florida and along the south and up the west of the country to Washington. We missed many states on our first launch into The United States so picked up the northern and eastern states and navigated around again to Washington. We saw a little or a lot of 47 states and drove a total of 20,000 miles on our helter skelter journey.

Our nearly complete journey depicted on our dirty trailer!
Our nearly complete journey depicted on our dirty trailer! Are you seeing double?

We’ve been cooped up in close quarters for close to 10 years now and have never once resorted to physical violence towards each other. That’s something of an accomplishment in itself but testing our relationship was not the purpose of our travels.

This whole shebang needs to move on to a Stage 2 – test the weather, the economy and the friendliness of the natives in one place! for a year – of the Grand Plan.

Stage 1 is so over for us. Stage 3 is to live in a house.

The fact remains – and it is a fact, himself will attest to that – if our trailer were a little bit bigger, our seating a little less like sitting on a plank, our bathroom a little less like a phone booth (albeit with a toilet instead of a puddle of piddle on the floor) he’d be happy to carry on traveling.

I’m wondering if he’ll ever settle. I’m wondering which brother will take me in if he doesn’t.

An old people’s magazine I read recently listed ways to stave off Alzheimer’s. “Listen to this. It says here that you can exercise your brain by shopping in a new market. When you shop in the same store all the time and know where everything is the brain doesn’t have to work. It’s too easy.”

I snorted with derision at the idea but figured my brain and body should be well set up for a good few years with all the rummaging around wrong aisles and extra miles walked in unfamiliar grocery stores.

It was a privilege to see so many natural wonders in this country. An added benefit was making my sluggish brain work finding our way from one to the next.

It was a worry that we’d run out of stimulating reading material without a library nearby. Being too cheap to buy paperbacks that we could read in two days and then have to throw out we discovered most campsites have book and magazine swaps so a constant flow of literature from F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck to the trashy magazines that I would normally only read while standing at the supermarket checkout is weighing down the trailer.

When in a library I tease Jimmy with, “Did you notice they’ve got used paperbacks for sale at 50 cents?”

“I’m not going to look. We’ve got enough books. We haven’t got any place else to put them until we get rid of some.” Invariably he would exit the library with two paperbacks in his hand. “Look! A Harlan Coben and a Michael Connelly. I haven’t read these!”

I often get accused of not listening to him. He doesn’t even listen to himself any more.

So we have plenty to read.

I’ll miss traveling if we stop and settle. I will especially miss it if we sell the trailer and burn our traveling bridges.

We both experienced these conflicting feelings after a year-and-a-half of traveling in Europe. The caravan (quaint English word for trailer) was too small. Moved to Washington State where a two bedroomed apartment seemed huge. Got cabin fever and itchy feet. Missed the caravan and traveling. Bought a trailer.

Jimmy is depressed at the thought of being tied to just one place.

As I search for suitable affordable houses, he is googling big trucks and bigger RVs. . . . . . still!

Motorhome on BayLUG layout
Do you think he’d be satisfied with this one? (Photo credit: Bill Ward’s Brickpile)
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74 thoughts on “House or Divorce?

  1. Our 12 months of touring the US are coming to an end very shortly… and I am in awe of you for having coped with being cooped up for more than double that time! I have dreams about my large sofa and an oven big enough to cook anything larger than a small chicken breast. I hope you manage to make the best decision about where to end up… if not, I have an F250 and a 33ft 5th wheel for sale 😉

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  2. Decisions hmmm very tough!. I told my kids that at some point when we are so old we don’t know what state we are in we will call them to come pick us up! Mind you, our “adventure” is still 3 years off 🙂 I think you should live in NY…upstate. I may be a bit bias 🙂 You’ll have ocean, mountains, farms and everything in between within hours. No tornados, no hurricanes (well Sandy was the 100 year storm and that’s done)..some snow (said with tongue in cheek), no earthquakes BUT you will have to pay 50% of your earnings on taxes. OK so nothing is perfect! LOL

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  3. Carol, I really feel for you as I could see myself in a similar place in a few years. I am enjoying the lifestyle we lead right now but know I will want a home again and a sense of community, most likely before hubby is ready. I cannot imagine throwing into the equation which continent you should live on. I do so hope you both can come to a decision that is easy to live with, and soon.

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    1. Thank you LuAnn. You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s the continent thing that makes our decision $$$. Otherwise we could test out potential home towns without feeling like we’ve burnt our bridges. Nowhere will be perfect so fingers X’d that we get it right!

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      1. I don’t know if this is possible, but can you perhaps house-sit somewhere, either here in the states or in England? We have friends who do that quite regularly.

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  4. I can certainly understand the desire for a home (without wheels) and shorter trips — we did that for 15 years and it was a good way to live. I know that we’ll return to that lifestyle someday. But not for at least a few years, as we’ve just embarked on our full-time travel adventure. I can’t imagine throwing into the equation the dilemma of settling in the U.S. or abroad! I’m not sure how things like this get worked out, but somehow they finally do. And I know this doesn’t help at all — sorry. ;-(

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    1. Thanks for weighing in Laurel. I know no one else can answer the question for us as there are so many unique issues for us as there would be for anyone. We’ve had a lot of suggestions but what it boils down to is that there is no perfect solution. 😦

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      1. Oh so is the question whether you move back to England or stay in the US? It’s got to be tough with likely no perfect answer. I take an anti nausea over the counter medication when I fly long haul and usually sleep a few hours at least…if that helps.

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  5. I couldn’t spend 10 days cooped up in a small space with my OH – we’d kill each other, and anyway where would he store his 9+ guitars? Never mind the books. But I have to confess if it were just me, on my own, then I’d love to travel again. Have you considered buying a yacht, a big yacht? Then you could travel all around the world – that will take a few more years 😉
    Jude xx

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      1. I have been blessed to have traveled much in my life, including abroad and living in Ireland for 12 years. I would still like traveling, but the issues with flying these days doesn’t make me overly enthused about traveling that would include the hassles of flying.

        As for you two and the journey you are on…maybe you addressed this before, but just in case not…would it be possible to find a place to put down roots (in a house), but take shorter trips on wheels?

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        1. Thanks for that Ann. It’s exactly what we are considering. As much as I want to have a home base, I think I (and I know himself) would get itchy feet and want to travel. I just want to come home again!

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  6. Here’s another option – try North Cyprus! Central to Europe, easy if you want to get away and travel in other countries (catch the ferry to Mersin, Turkey), great climate, friendly people. Now that’s stirred the pot, hasn’t it????

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    1. Thanks! We’re getting there. In fact, I’m going to stop bleating on about it for now and move on to another topic for my next post. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ll probably come back to it! :_(

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  7. As much as I love to travel, I know I’m a person who needs to put down roots. I’m in awe of your ability to live mobile for so long. I would have lost my grasp on sanity some time back 🙂

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