Tag Archives: Zen and the Art of RVing

The Joy of the Unexpected

Life on the road brings with it many unexpected surprises.  We travel with destinations in mind, but what we discover along the way is often more meaningful.  When travel reveals something as special as a previously unknown landscape, charmed town, history or cultural nuance that is when the journey becomes the destination.  Often what catches us off guard are little things like the quality of sunlight in a specific place, the different colors of rivers, or the cultural juxtaposition of Texas and Wyoming cowboys.  The U.S. is a country of regions and sub regions each offering unique experiences.  Most of this was unknown to me prior to our travels, minus my impressions through media and brief vacation stays.  While well known landmarks like major cities, national parks, and storied locations are impressive and provide a travel guide, it is the discoveries along the way that are the sweet filling that make RV travel so delicious.

Cultural references take on new life and meaning when experienced first hand.  When a country song references “a good-bye town,” I know exactly what that is.  I’ve been to a Hootenanny, know why it is called bluegrass music, and have tasted Carolina Gold.  I can tell the difference between a Kentucky and a Georgia drawl.  I have seen places where races and cultures mix well, and others where there is a dividing line through town (and they are not where you’d think).   I know why Northern Californians dis-like Southern, and that Oregon and Washington want nothing do with either.

Continue reading

Choosing Simplicity

In our modern consumer culture learning to live simply, not constantly in pursuit of things, is an acquired skill.  I grew up, like many Americans, believing I had to have the fanciest, the best, and the latest I could afford; that possessions defined me and made me better.  The reality of this was far different than I had imagined.  The very moment I was the most successful in terms of wealth and “stuff,” was also the most miserable, including a descent into alcoholism.  Working hard in effort to acquire more stuff seems little more than a hollow unsatisfying effort to superficially boost ones’ self esteem.  This path, at least in my case, was diverting me from taking pleasure in life and happiness.

Living simply is not taught in the classrooms, and it is certainly not a part of our culture.  How many times have you heard, “I am being a good American and buying stuff?”  In fact, our rampant materialism and consumption seems to not only be at the core of our unhappiness, but is also destroying that which supports a happy and healthy life.  Living in a small modest RV by choice has taught me to live simply, and without the constant pangs of wanting.

Continue reading