For me, traveling is fulfilling my life. I got the bug after a trip to Nowy Sącz, Poland, in an exchange program. The group included a doctor friend of ours, my wife, a registered nurse, and me, an educator among others.
Since then, we’ve been on an Alaskan cruise, a trip to Hawaii, and on a scenic, tourist train across the Canadian Rockies. We’ve taken a tour bus guided trip through the majestic Colorado Rockies and through the Southwest including the Grand Canyon and several National Parks. We’ve also been to Yellowstone several times. The sights and sounds of the geysers and mud pits never get old. (Yellowstone Falls September 17, 2013)
Travel opened new vistas for us and broadened us as nothing else can. You can’t get it from a book or magazine. You have to experience it.
Our travels made us yearn for a travel trailer camper. That way, we could also take our beloved Shelties wherever we go. We consider them family.
After much research and watching YouTube videos, we decided on an Airstream.
We were inspired by the YouTube videos called Long Long Honeymoon and their blog posted by Sean and Kristy Michael from Alabama.
We’ve been up here for a week (May 9-17) in Palos Heights, Illinois, near Chicago with our Shelties visiting my daughter and son-in-law, Scott and Kelly Sorenson along with their two cute Papillons.
Yesterday, instead of touring Chicago as we had planned, we decided to go to an Airstream dealer in nearby Joliet, Illinois.
There we were greeted by salesperson, Amber Koche. She was wonderful, exuberant, knowledgeable, and super friendly.
Airstream of Chicago has a huge inventory of everything the company makes in nearby Jackson Center, Ohio.
Amber graciously spent a long time with us and showed us every make and model that Airstream manufactures. It was informative and exciting for us and my daughter, Kelly, who went with us.
Kelly came up with the idea that we should sell our house, buy an Airstream and a Ford F-150 pick-up truck to pull it.
We intended to hit the road full time and live in the Airstream. After all, Joyce and I love to travel, and there is so much for us yet to see in our beautiful country. Some places we’ve seen before deserve another visit. It will be unhurried since both of us are retired.
We decided on the 25 footer. I doubt we will feel cramped with in a smaller camper space since most of our time is spent at home in Appling, Georgia, outside on our screened-in porch.
There will be lots to see and do wherever we park the Airstream. National and State Parks have numerous and beautiful walking and hiking trails.
We’ve been getting in shape for the hikes in the West since the end of December by walking two or more miles daily. I even bought a Fitbit to measure my progress. It has reminders to walk every hour on the hour. It’s a wonderful tool.
Selling our nice house in rural Appling and buying an Airstream is, of course, a huge decision.
Do we stay in Appling and make long trips out West like we have done knowing we have our home to come back too? Or, do we throw reason and caution to the wind and travel wherever we want to with no obligation to come back home and see about things here?
Well, we got home yesterday evening after our ten hour, 900 mile trip from Chicago. We broke the trip up spending the night in the scenic Appalachian coal town of Beckley, West Virginia.
Fortunately, we found a dog-friendly hotel, Country Inn and Suites. Perfect dog-friendly hotel. No carpet. Just tile flooring. The breakfast bar was outstanding. And, it was just $102 for the night. They waived the $35 pet fee.
The Shelties behaved perfectly. That is, except Sophie who barked a couple of times answering the bark of a dog in another room.
(Picture L to R. Sophie, Lilly, and Tipper).
It was so good to get back home. Real good! We were tired and exhausted. I was ill. The Shelties came alive, and Sophie got hyper! She ran around and around the backyard making us momentarily forget our fatigue.
After unloading our SUV and walking in the backyard to loosen up a bit, I sat down in my favorite chair in my man cave. I thought of all the material blessings God has poured out upon us. We worked hard during our careers and now enjoy the fruit of our labor. (Man Cave)
As I reflected sitting in my man cave, I thought of our home here in beautiful rural Appling, Georgia on the edge of the Georgia Piedmont section. Rolling and gentle hills. No noise or light pollution. It’s a nice place to live. Real nice. It’s a nice place to come home too.
(Our beautiful home in rural Appling, Georgia)
Yea, living in an Airstream full time and traveling this beautiful country has a definite appeal for me and Joyce. There is so much to see. But, when we come right down to it, there really isn’t no place like home.
I don’t think I can be a nomad like Abraham in the Bible not knowing where He was going and directed from place to place by the Lord. In a sense, that would be an exciting way to live, but it’s not for me.
I suppose I will always have a winderlust spirit about me like Abraham. But, my homing instincts will cause me to pitch my base tent in good old Appling. It’s home sweet home.
From time-to-time, I’ll hitch up my soon to be bought Airstream covered wagon and take off West as the pioneers did. They left and never came back.
But, I’ll come back. I must come back. It’s home.
“You can go other places, all right – you can live on the other side of the world, but you can’t ever leave home.” – Sue Monk Kidd, author from Sylvester, Georgia