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.
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!