“Home is where the heart begins, but not where the heart stays.
The heart scatters across states….escape is vital, in some cases, as a survival tool.”
Hanif Abdurraqib, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us
It all started when Mark came home from work talking about RVs, or showing me RV Trader listings and dealer videos on YouTube. I listened to him, but these conversations were like listening to a distant melody. Nice topic, but not something right in front of me.
The casual conversations became an everyday topic. My growing apprehension of RVs was all logistics- they are expensive and a depreciating investment, what would the upkeep be?….all of those worries. We arrived at the idea of renting an RV to see if we liked it or not. Renting was a no-brainer and we were all very excited to see what “The Lifestyle” was going to be about.
“The Lifestyle” was a term coined by our dear friend. We shared this RV odyssey with our closest friends and one friend said, “So, you’re looking into the lifestyle?” Little did we know, he was very interested in RVs and was enthusiastic about our expedition. Since then, we started calling everything associated with the RV, “The Lifestyle”. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what this lifestyle entailed.
Soon, I was warming up to the idea of RV vacations. The man wore me down. After all, I always dreamed of having a camper ever since I had a Barbie Dream Camper when I was little. It was my favorite toy, but I never thought my amusement would become reality. I had myself convinced that this RV thing was meant to be. Until, I heard Mark’s voice as he was driving the rental to our house.
“What’s wrong?” I asked when I heard the lack of enthusiasm in his voice. He seemed, well, nonplussed, to say the least. Was he afraid to drive it? Is it too big? Aww. Now that I was on board, he was wavering. Man!
After peppering him with a million questions, it turned out he was just really worried that somehow the kids and I would not like the RV – would it be too loud, too cold, too wobbly?… In our family, sometimes the smallest issue can turn into a big problem. His worries were justified based on past experiences. I mean, we’ve had entire vacations messed up because of bugs.
When the kids got home from school that day and saw the RV, Mark and I were relieved to find he had nothing to fear. As soon as the kids set foot in the RV, they were completely hooked! John promptly leapt into his perch above the cab and shouted, “I’m king of the world!!!” Colleen, ever the domestic goddess, started setting up her cozy nook in the dining table area. She even unpacked John’s clothes for him! It was amazing to see how our sensitive kids were adapting to our temporary home on wheels.
After getting situated in the RV, we were off! Yes, the ride was loud, but the kids managed beautifully with the help of headphones and calming music. When we arrived at the campsite, we found our spot was under a thick canopy of trees that gave just the right amount of shade under which to read and write, at least that was my plan. Even though we were only 1.5 hours away from home, we felt miles away. I had no idea how much I was going to love outdoor living, and how much it would pay dividends for my mindset. It was a tonic to sit outside with the night sky winking its bright stars at me with approval.
It was as if nature said to us, “You made the right choice. Welcome to the lifestyle.”