Homelessness

‘We’re homeless. Intentionally. What planet was I on when I agreed to this?’

Do you see where it says that up there beneath the title? When I wrote it all those years ago, I thought it was funny. I had no idea it would go on for so long.

As I said in my About page ‘ours is not the tragic homelessness of poverty or extreme weather, but the ridiculous homelessness of an Englishman who wanted to live in America with freedom and an Anglicized American who wants to live in England with family.’ And so we’ve wandered.

Well we’re back in the UK now. And still homeless.

We have spent in total five years in an RV (one-and-a-half years in Europe and three-and-a-half years in the USA) and four years (one-and-a-half in Washington State and two-and-a-half in Arizona) in an apartment as temporary accommodation before taking the next step. After six months in England in a rental house we are still floundering. Himself is keeping an eye on France with a view to fleeing the UK after the next general election but I won’t air our political views here.

Ingrid asked me if I missed ‘it.’ I’m not sure if ‘it’ is Arizona specifically , warm weather, RVing or possibly all three.

No. I don’t.

With the greatest respect and best wishes to all of you off on your adventures and photographic journeys – and you all look like you are having a whale of a time – I’ve had enough of meandering. I need a base. And I’m happy in damp England. It’s where I belong despite not wanting to give up my navy blue passport.

We toured the Suffolk and Essex countryside on Easter Sunday, initially to look at a house, and saw thousands, nay millions, of daffodils. Each new field of dancing yellow blooms took my breath away. Quarter mile driveways of stately homes were lined with the yellow darlings. What a treat to come home to that. What a treat to come home at all.

Is living the gypsy life a guy thing? He’s already bought another caravan/travel trailer/RV long before a sticks and bricks house. In fairness to him he spends a lot of time online researching houses to buy (and cars, trucks, motorcycles, race meetings, campsites, channel crossings – tunnel vs. ferry, flights to Arizona and Australia and reading just enough news to make him angry). But mostly he looks at house sale sites.

Chevy Silverado and Swift Conqueror caravan
Mr. Chevy with his new friend.

Himself would go back to the itinerant lifestyle in a shot. I would not. Himself is lamenting leaving Arizona. And if you could pick it up and drop it in southern England, so would I. I just can’t bear the thought of all the long haul flights and the accompanying aggravations I seem to attract with the airport gestapo. He takes it all in his stride. It was beginning to drive me bonkers.

Beginning? Don’t kid yourself, you’re thinking.

I would be interested to know from all you full timers:

Do you get homesick for somewhere that no longer exists?

Do you at least have a family base where they put you up or plug your RV in in the driveway and offer you showers and laundry and meals?

Do you fly there or drive there?

Do you see much of your family?

I also put it to you people of a home loving persuasion – would you sell up and store your present existence in order to fund travel?

We’ve traveled through 47 states and seen glorious U.S. State Parks and National Parks, Sites, Recreation Areas, Monuments and Historic Sites too numerous to mention. We’ve RVed east to west and top to bottom of England and Scotland and traversed France and Spain. We’ve camped all along the three U.S. coastlines as well as the interior and visited most major cities. I have thousands and thousands of photos and have written over 300 blog posts.

Now I want a house. A home base. I don’t want to go anywhere. At least for a while.

Am I being unreasonable?

85 thoughts on “Homelessness

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. All your travels sound both fascinating and exhausting, and I’d definitely want a home base. Although out here in the 100+ Arizona June, traveling *away* from the heat sounds like a great plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s not an unreasonable desire. A base is extremely useful, where you can recharge the batteries. Where family and friends can gather with you to catch up, celebrate and exchange hugs. We’ve looked into living on a boat, versus building a home out of containers (far from civilization) versus settling in a village or small town. The townhouse won in the end. We’re not spring chickens anymore, so living in a small town (with a marina for whenever we get that boat) is hopefully taking shape now. We managed to find a place with everything on our doorstep, from a butcher’s shop to a weekly farmer’s market and plenty of restaurants we can waddle home from after a bottle of wine. (No arguing over whose turn it is to be the designated driver). That’s when we leave by the front door. The back door offers a completely different world with a lovely old walled garden. I think with you having a house and a caravan or motorhome you’ll experience the best of both worlds. Good luck with it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your input Jean. Your house in town sounds perfect. I like the idea of waddling home after dinner. And your walled garden – lovely! Hope you’ll be posting some pictures. I’m sure we’ll find something soon. Good luck to you too!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am happy that you are finally going to hopefully get the home base that you want. You know, we are in our late 50’s and loving our RV trips, but hubby still works a full time job and travels a lot by plane with the job. We RV for most of our trips because he is not a fan of airplane travel too much anymore. It has been a great thing for us, and of course, we talk of the possibility of one day doing it full-time. Home ownership is more and more expensive, even with our house paid off now. Utilities, insurance, taxes all just keep going up and up. Plus, we have a pretty big yard, and we’re not getting any younger, especially in the hot, hot summer months. For me personally, the thought of doing this full-time for a few years, then finding a home base once again sounds pretty nice. I think the hubby will probably be the one to likely keep us grounded instead, but we’ll see one day, I guess. Enjoy your “new” adventure of *not* roaming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts. Good to hear from you! We are house hunting every day but still roaming as well. Next post – France. We haven’t yet seen a house that shouts ‘Buy me!’ We’re beginning to wonder if we’re being too picky, throwing up too many negatives.
      I hope you and your husband are able to compromise on your home/travel arrangements.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think that the nomad life would be for us. We both spent a good part of our lives in jobs that required travel to far flung places so maybe we got our fill. We still take 3-4 international trips a year and enjoy them but also enjoy coming home…especially to our grandkids these days. Good luck with the home hunt and happy trails with the caravan – great combination! Enjoyed those daffodil shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Carol… You know we do a lot of traveling but we have a home base. I also have a lakehouse in PA. so that I can be there during the hot months but it also is a home base so that I can be near my boys when I go to visit them in Ohio.
    You have to do what feels right for you. You are not being unreasonable. Hugs to you… Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can definitely say that I don’t miss my THINGS. What I miss are my PEOPLE. Downsizing for us was incredibly liberating and I never want to return to that servitude to possessions.

    After three + years we are still trying to find the right ‘kind’ of RV for us. So many people do multiple months in one place followed by multiple months in some other place and we have intentionally tried our hand a stop-and-stay-RV’ing. However we seem to be gradually coming to the conclusion that maybe stop-and-stay isn’t for us. Having been upper Midwesterners for our entire lives the hardest thing for us to figure out is what kind of temperatures we want to live in and that is proving not to be very easy. It’s been easy for us to say, “well, John and Joan like XXXXX” but sometimes we get to XXXXX and find it’s not entirely comfortable.

    We have always been small group people. We don’t join caravans, we don’t do group activities — we have waited our entire 47 years to be able to really spend our time TOGETHER and where we do it is sort of inconsequential as long as we ARE together. But we have a small family and while they sometimes come to visit us and we go to visit them at least 1X a year we don’t know if that is proving to be too seldom. It certainly isn’t great for maintaining relationships no matter how many phone calls and private blogs we maintain.

    After 3 years we are having a ball but we are still just as confused about if and where we might settle. Hopefull nowhere where frostbite is a possibility.

    Best of luck as you suss out your own needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and good wishes, Peter. I hope you are able to suss out your needs too.
      Two main problems (for me) with the life we led was the size of our RV (too small) and family (and possessions, bank accounts, credit cards,telephone contracts, etc.) on different continents. That’s more than two ins’t it? Anyway, if we’d been permanent in the U.S. we would probably have bought a bigger RV, had simpler finances and wouldn’t have had to fly back and forth across the Atlantic. We chased the sun for 3 1/2 years which was great but envied people with their family all in the same country. Best wishes to you. ~ Carol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhhh…. well, adding separate financials into the mix would be enough to make me lose interest. That is just my weak link and I have enough problems keeping 1 set of books sorted.
        Anyway…. best wishes to you too. – P

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t know how you’d done it this long. I love to travel; am happy to come home today and fly out again tomorrow, but I need to know that there is a “home” waiting for me somewhere. Wishing you happiness and peace as you figure out this next step for you and Himself.

    Like

  8. I’ve aways loved to travel, but seem to have stuck to the USA & Canada for the most part. I’ve moved around the country a bit, too. Seeing regional differences has been interesting, but I’m with you… I want a place to call home. Don’t know if you could pay me enough to fly these days. It used to be such fun in my younger days, but with all the security nonsense and being squeezed into those tiny seats is sheer torture. Sure hope you work it out with Himself.

    Like

    1. We’re getting there, thanks. I started to write this post weeks ago when I was feeling a bit bleak. Now spring is here, the daffodils are blooming and we’ve got our eye on a few house prospects I feel like I’m whining!

      Like

  9. We’re coming up on our two-year anniversary of full-time travel in June, and we feel like we’re just getting started. I do miss our friends in Oregon, but it helps that we see them often (either in Ashland or they come to see us). And traveling enables us to spend time with family flung from one end of the country to the other.
    One of the things I love about RV travel is that we have our comfortable home with us everywhere we go (I hate flying!!). I do miss gardening at times. But hiking, biking, and kayaking nicely fulfill my desire for the outdoors. And we visit lots of gardens.
    We rented our house in Ashland instead of selling it, so perhaps that helps me to maintain a sense of “home.”
    I hope you find your perfect home base soon. And then I bet you’ll be happy to venture on trips from there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like you’ve got it all worked out Laurel. I think part of my problem was maintaining a life in two countries that were so far apart and had an ocean in between! We had a high maintenance (read old) cottage in England with a large garden that wouldn’t have made a good rental prospect.
      Happy travels to you and I hope to continue to enjoy visiting people and places!
      Thanks for your good wishes.

      Like

  10. Carol, Love your photos. They are beautiful. I sometimes wonder if I should become a hermit! See my reply comment to smukkecirsten. I love the city I am living in, but just unhappy about what is being done to it. I guess I am just an idealist and may never be in the perfect place while on this earth. So I have to think of all I am grateful for…mostly for the wonderful people who are part of my life and always in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Concentrate on the positive Ann. I would have brushed this off when I was younger but now I am able to appreciate everything that I have that is good. And I am not truly homeless, never have been. I’m just whining about living in a small space and having to make transatlantic flights. Oh poor me.
      No. Life is good.

      Like

  11. Guess we’re just beginners but we’ve been traveling over two years and still enjoy it – a lot! We’re happy to not be burdened down by so many “things”. We’ll alternate travel abroad with travel through our home country (the US) visiting family and friends. I think it does help to travel slowly. We’ve made friends in a lot of the places we’re stayed and honestly, the only stressful days are transit days when we fly to the next country.

    Glad that we both agree. Compromise can be tough bot maybe a home for most months of the year and travel for the others would work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a lot to what you say. I think we covered too much ground in too short a time traveling around the States. I found that stressful. We drove from England to southern Italy for a wedding and back to England for another wedding in 9 days last August. Never again!! Not helped by not having a home to come back to.
      So yes, as you say, a home for most months of the year and travel for others. That would work!

      Like

  12. Carol, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings:) I hear from other full timers how they miss having a home with a yard. I guess what makes life interesting is that we are all different in our views. Many people thought we were crazy with selling everything and moving into a house on wheels. But for us it has been perfect for the last five years and we plan to continue for, hopefully, many more years. Of course, we haven’t found that perfect place to settle yet either. But it is a struggle seeing family, the downside to this lifestyle. We love the west but our family is in the east from northern NY to Atlanta. We are struggling with whether to return east for next winter or not. Glad that you are happy with your decision and place at this time:)

    Like

    1. . . . and speaking of different views isn’t it interesting to wake up to different views from the same ‘house?’ Yes, people thought we were crazy too.
      Will you stay in your RV for the winter? Could you stay in southern Florida for the winter and have your family pop down to see you?

      Like

      1. Yes, we’ve done the Florida thing three times but I don’t like it. I don’t like the humidity and bugs. I have been waiting to retire and move to the west. We have wintered out here twice now and love it!!! But getting my mother out here doesn’t work. She lives in nowhere ville and we are usually in nowhere ville out here. The kids don’t mind a long day of flights to visit. Right now we are struggling with whether to return east next winter. Our MH is our only home so we are in it all year:)

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I can’t believe you bought another trailer. What’s left to see? I TOTALLY understand that need for a home base. We haven’t even hit our two year full-time anniversary and I’m starting to long for a home base. I just don’t know where I want it and finances always seem to have an input. For us it’s a little easier than for you. We have the kids somewhat close; Denver and Phoenix are only 14 hours apart and perfect places to bounce back and forth to. I hope you find a home base soon so you can plant your own perennial garden filled with daffodils.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Denver and Phoenix are perfect places to look for a home base. I’d be happy living in either place with one child in each. And perfect that you can drive between them!
      As for what’s left to see by RV- loads! I also, despite what I said, want to spend some time in France. I’ve been sntudying the language for the last few years. It’s time I put it into practice. Bien sur!
      When might you go back to sticks and bricks?

      Like

  14. Well, you certainly have travelled around the world! And if I were in your shoes I probably would also long for a home base and just stay put. But then there is the other half to think about 🙂
    I wish you good conversations and soul searching with your hubby and figure out a middle ground. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It isn’t a gender-based thing. In our couple-dom, HE is the one needing roots and a home base. I could happily be in an RV forever. I wouldn’t move every 2 weeks or even every 2 months, but after 6 mos +/- I’m ready to GO. Everett however is very uncomfortable with that lifestyle so we’ve settled down and now do the “Oh, it’s April, time to visit the same place we went last April, so we can come home in 2 weeks and say we’ve traveled.” Bitter? Me? Uh uh. Just patiently giving him what he wants knowing I’m 10 years younger and likely to get MY dream as a single sooner or later. Cold, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. We will be on our next adventure soon and still be renters for about another year. I hope to have a home again to call my own. I am hoping we will see more of family too 🙂 Wishing you the best in figuring it out – Good Luck!

    Like

      1. Due to connectivity I will be posting about my travels afterward. I will be letting the cat out of the bag soon – have to wait a little bit before I share the adventure news in more detail – hang in there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. You deserve a home base. I understand the airplane thing. I followed my children across the country because I’m tired of flying and battling through airports and driving another five hours once I get there. But then I miss my family on the other side of the country. It’s a catch 22. Right now I’m on the east coast visiting instead of living in my RV on the west coast – doing the same airplane thing in reverse. Save space for me when you buy, I will visit in a year or two! (It’s ok folks, we’re first cousins.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have made a note of your room booking. You’re welcome any time. Might be best to wait until we move unless you want to sleep on the sofa! Still, I hope to goodness we’re moved by the time you get here!

      Like

  18. You are well and truly travelled out. A base to call home and put down roots sounds reasonable to me, but then I am still looking for my spot. I probably wouldn’t mind a nomad life but I know the OH would hate it. And to be fair I do like my home comforts 🙂
    Did the house in Essex not work out then? What about a pied-à-terre in this country and a home in Europe? So you can spend 50/50 in each? I wish I could afford to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only the one in the photo was the one. I could be a real princess then instead of the sarky title I earn when I’m being a bit prissy. Still considering the one in Essex but it’s a bit too much money. May make a silly offer.
      I really don’t want to have a foot in two countries again – doubling up on bank accounts, credit cards, phones, bills. It’s expensive, confusing and aggrivating. We’ll just pop across the channel in the caravan now. You having any luck?

      Like

      1. I can see that being a problem. I also like to holiday in different places – Australia being one 😀

        Off to Cornwall on Saturday for another look, this may be the last time we try there though, if nothing comes up to scratch. Thinking of looking at some new-builds (I don’t particularly want to be on an estate, but perhaps that is a compromise I’ll have to make). You were going to send me the link for the Essex house, I’d love to have a squizz at it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good luck in Cornwall. I hope you find a wonderful house or at least have a lovely holiday. I quite like the idea of a new build now and I also like the estate we’re living on at the moment. Who knew? Not me. I’ll have a look for the link tomorrow.

          Like

  19. Would I sell and store my current existence to finance travel? No. I would love to travel the world, but my reward for fulfilling a life’s dream would be coming home to my bed, and my life, and live normally for a while before heading out again. I like my bed and being surrounded by my things. Even a week at the ocean, even though I loved being able to see the ocean and the peace I was surrounded by because of it, but I found being away from home, living in a hotel suite to be stressful. I was relieved to return home.

    Like

    1. For the longest time home was a small box on wheels. It enabled us to see things we wouldn’t have seen in two lifetimes of holidays. We had decent beds on the RV but I WANT MY THINGS. If living a gypsy life is (mostly) a guy thing then having your things around you is probably a girl thing. I’ll just be relieved when we’re settled and can take the ocassional trip.

      Like

  20. Not unreasonable at all! Having just spent the better part of 18 months between homes, I can tell you, there’s no way I’d do that again. I need a place to let the dust settle! In your case, I think a house is definitely in order….you’ve done the travel thing. You’ve seen alot! (Besides…..you can’t have a wine cellar in an RV! I know that’s what this is about, right?) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I’ve often joked about selling everything and living the nomad life. It sounds like a great way to runaway. I know, however, that I’m a homebody. I need roots and my roots need to be reasonably close to my family and friends. They are everything that makes my life special to me.

    I have many friends – and some family – who live dual lives. The summers in Canada and the winters in Florida / Mexico / Arizona. I feel a sense of loss – and abandonment – every fall when they disappear for months again.

    Good luck Carol. I hope you and Himself find that common middle ground that makes you both happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Joanne. If you’re upset when your friends go imagine if you went for months and left them all behind! I am so enjoying being around family and friends albeit having left two brothers behind in the States. We did take the opportunity to visit them a lot while we were there. I hope they’ll come to visit here. Let them do the flying! My cousin has already booked a room.
      I think it’s good that we have another caravan for hubby’s joie de vivre. I will accompany him despite my threats to fill the fridge and freezer and send him off! Thanks for your good wishes. X

      Like

  22. I’m happy to have a home base here in Florida. I still hanker after our life in South Africa, but when I read the news, I know we did the right thing to get out when we did. It’s such an angry country and getting worse. Your description of your hubby reminded me of that old Temptations song. ‘Papa was a Rolling Stone’. I hope you can reach a happy compromise. Love you daffodil. 😀 xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wondered about you leaving SA as it looked idyllic there but now I understand. Your home in Florida looks idyllic too so I hope you’ll be very happy there. We seriously considered FL as we both love it and I have a brother there as well but we’d still be faced with those awful flights. Once we sort out a house hubby will throw himself into planning caravan trips. And that’s okay. Should keep us both quiet! 😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I haven’t travelled nearly as much as you guys have, but I’ve moved a lot. Inside countries and between. From flats to houses to summerhouses to a mattress on the floor to a single room apartment and back again. Now I finally moved into a lovely, spacy flat with a living room, dining room, bedroom, two guestrooms, an insanely large office, a kitchen, pantry, bathroom, laundry room, a huge backyard and an even larger garden. And from my windows I see green fields and groups of deer and pheasants. It’s all mine and I don’t have to share it with anybody. It’s sheer bliss.
    On the other hand, I feel like your husband. It drives me crazy to read about politics in my country (Denmark). We too have an election coming up, and chances are that it will go from bad to worse. I really don’t mind paying my taxes when I know that what’s taken from me goes to things like schools, the unemployed, old and sick, or infrastructure, protection of the environment and our drinking water or something else I can see is of value. But that’s not what’s happening these years. No, they are trashing the unemployed, the foreigners, the early retirees and everybody else they think is a burden on the public finances, and they are making cut backs everywhere except for those who have more than enough already and for themselves. They destroy other people’s lives, and then they congratulate themselves by taking a pay raise. They also buy military equipment for billions. It drives me absolutely nuts!
    So I’m seriously considering going to America for some time from summer next year. And afterwards I’m thinking of Switzerland.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure the political scene is any better in one country than another. Are you living in Denmark at the moment? I think himself is only considering France as he doesn’t speak the language so wouldn’t know what was going on. You may know this but be warned that the US presidential elections are in November 2016. The whole country will be in a frenzy of political nonsense. It drove us mad.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I hate to tell you smukkecirsten, but the same things are happening in America.
      I also have traveled a lot including other countries and actually lived abroad for 12 years. There are wonderful things about most countries, but none are perfect.
      I have moved a lot even since I moved back to the US in 1990. One place I believed was the right place for me, but ended up moving back to the place I left 6 months before;and since the house had not sold, I moved back in.

      Then unexpectedly I found a city in another state which called me “home” and I don’t mean where I was born. It has a downtown which people love to go to, or did. It had a small town feel to it and the people so friendly. But now the politicians and developers are beginning to build it up so it looks to become another BIG CITY 😦 I rarely go downtown anymore and that makes me sad. This morning I met someone down there for coffee/chat time. I saw even more construction going on and two people mentioned they believe the powers that be are going to make it into another Atlanta!!! So my heart has been hurting and my spirit crying all day. I pray this to shall pass.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s a shame, Luckily we don’t have a lot of that kind in Denmark. I don’t know if it’s because of more restrictive regulations or if it’s because it’s just a small country. I hope you’ll find another nice place you can call home.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well I still love Greenville, but just not happy with what they are doing downtown. It will take a couple years from what I hear for it to be finished down there. Maybe I just need to give it a couple more years and just rarely go downtown. I am also living in an apartment in an area where they are creating an urban community with land left by a man who specified it to be used for an urban community and how it was to be used and created. It already looks like some of his wishes will be happen because the “powers that be” are trying to keep it for the well-to-do (rich) people. Time will tell and I am not going to react and jump the fence; at least not for awhile 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

Please chat - put your two pennyworth in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s