Earlier this year (2015), when we made the brave decision to leave apartment life behind and travel full-time in a 22-foot camping trailer named Scotty, we never expected to find ourselves back to “normal” so soon. We envisioned lazy mornings reading books over coffee, days filled with adventure and exploration, and evenings roasting marshmallows by a campfire, as we leisurely traversed the US, from Florida to California.
We spent 2 weeks cleaning, ripping out flooring, sealing windows, making mechanical repairs, and generally upgrading Scotty to travel-worthy condition. On the first day of our first camping trip, I knew we were in trouble. The brake controller on our tow vehicle didn’t work with the brakes on the trailer and we dragged her 50 yards through grass and gravel. When we finally disabled the controller and made it to our destination, the air conditioner didn’t work. A few days later, the skylight began to leak like a sieve, as did the line leading from the gray water tank.
From June 4 to September 15, we lived in our camper, tackling all manner of problems while I continued to work my full-time job. Flat tires, electrical failures, a busted sewage cart, a fridge that was only cold at the top, ants in the cabinets, spiders in the shower, mosquito bites, squirrels hiding nuts in the air conditioner, and a touchy hot-water heater…those were just a few of the things that became a part of our daily life. Soon our “big dream” became less about adventure and more about just trying to survive each day without incident.
Though we managed to do some exploring in Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, poor Scotty never left the state of Tennessee. Midway through a hot and muggy tent camping trip to New Orleans, it was decided that this nomadic lifestyle wasn’t quite meeting our expectations and it was time for a change.
We are travelers. We love to explore new places and try new things. Apparently, we’re also homebodies. We love making a “nest” and having a safe, warm place to come back to when the traveling is done. I guess this means that we’re not quite cut out for full-time RV living and that’s okay. Had we not tried it, we would not have known this.
A friend of mine recently said that our misadventure was just as inspiring to her as one that was an overwhelming success. As we move on to new adventures, I’ve decided to leave our blog posts from those 3 months of camper life up on site. Perhaps these posts will help encourage others not to fear pursuing their own dreams…even if they don’t quite go as planned.