Friday, May 18, 2012

FRIDAY FIVE: FIVE THINGS THAT LIFE ON THE ROAD HAS TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE IN GENERAL

This road trip - which is really our "way of life" for this year at least, has been a huge learning experience. There are all the technical things to learn about the RV, of course, and then there's the part where you learn to change your mindset about what "daily life" looks and feels like.

Today, I'm listing five things that living "on the road" has taught me so far - things that I think are applicable to life in general!

5.  It always takes longer to get there than you think it will
(Especially in an RV, which you keep to around 50 - 55 mph, and if you have to go through a major city -Yikes!)

4.  The things you think will be easy end up being problems and the things you think will be problems turn out to be no big deal.
(The automatic hydraulic leveling system that should be "push-a-button-easy" has been nothing but trouble, and our GPS crapped out on us halfway through Texas. On the other hand, everyone warms you how yukky emptying the "black water" tank will be, but it's a piece of cake).

3.  You can never have enough bungi cords
(No explanation needed :)

2.  Some days are good, others ... not so much (or:Life on the road is really no different than "normal" life).
Some days are great - the weather is good, the road is smooth, you don't get lost, the levelers work, and you get to sit on a beach with sand like sugar. Other days, the road is bumpy, there's construction and traffic, the GPS takes you the wrong way (or dies) and you sleep in an RV Park along I-40 in Nowhere, Texas that makes you feel like you're in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

1.  It's not about "everything going perfectly and smoothly" all the time. It's about the kindness of people who help you out when things go wrong. 
I'm thinking about Connie, the park ranger at Palmetto Island who called ahead to Jim's Tire Repair for us; the folks at Jim's who fixed up our tire for $15 and gave us directions; the several people who gave us directions when I got us lost in Savannah; My friend Maggy who's been moral support; All my friends who've weighed in with supportive comments along the way.

31 comments:

  1. Melissa, these are wise words indeed. Hubs and I are on a car road trip right now and I'm learning to let go of expectations even more than ever. Then whatever happens, I handle it better. I can't imagine doing this for a year, though, except we're not in an RV.
    Karen

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    1. Hi Karen, I think that it's a real opportunity for me to let go of wanting to "know" what will happen next and just let it be. I've been remembering your advice to try to just stay with the moment, and I've been doing pretty well with that! I can feel myself getting a little nerved-up as we prepare to head out on the road again on Sunday - staying put for a week has been nice! So, I'll say my oms and just keep on leaping without the net :) Hope you're having a good time on your trip and thanks for the kind words and support.

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  2. Hope you will continue to share you thoughts and experiences...Although we only used our RV for short trips I can relate to all that you shared except GPS and Levelers were two by four home made ramps and maps:)

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    1. WEll I sure can read a map pretty good now! I think the universe was forcing my hand by taking away the gps - I have a fear of getting lost and I so I was forced to rely on myself - maps, my iphone and the kindness of strangers to get us where we were going!! I think by the time we get to my sister's in Massachusetts, I'll have conquered quite a few fears!

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  3. It's true. You can never have too many bungi cords lol.

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    1. You know what I'm talkin' about!

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  4. These are terrific life lessons, Melissa! I hope your weekend goes smoothly!

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  5. Highs and lows always come with trips. Sounds like your taking them all in stride which is a good thing. Praying that things run smoothly and the troubles are little. I have to say I would L.O.V.E to be on the road for a year. How blessed you are to be making this trip.

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    1. Debby, I've been a book with all sorts of simple abundance and gratitude inspiration, and it sure reminds me how blessed and abundant my life is! I can be a whiney baby because I'm kind of a scaredy-cat, but I think that's a big part of what this adventure is for me - helping me overcome my fears and my desire to "know what lies ahead" - as if we can no matter where we are! Thank you for the prayers - when things go well it gives me a chance to settle in a bit more. I can't say I've taken it all in stride, but I do think I'm adapting well. It helps so much to have my friends like you to share with.

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    2. That should say I've been reading a book :D

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  6. Good ones - I agree - funny how the road applies to life. sandie

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    1. It's like it magnifies everything about normal life - a "good day" is spectacular, "bad days" are spectacularly bad :D

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  7. I hope the GPS doesn't fail too many times, although think of the places you'd see and people you'd meet by going off route!

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    1. Yes, we saw parts of Savannah we wouldn't have seen!

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  8. Dear Melissa, I'm so glad you left a comment today -- I've been thinking about you, but I lost, I mean forgot, the name of your blog and in the midst of the A to Z Challenge didn't take the time to look for you. Now I will put your blog in my sidebar, so it will always be there for me. I am glad your trip seems to be working out OK so far. What I liked best about Texas when I traveled through it many years ago were the starry, starry nights on the prairie. I have never seen stars like those anywhere.

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    1. Hi Inger, I'm glad I was able to come by today - it's been hard to get wifi and it's all I can do to get a post up. I've made my iphone into a "hotspot" but I have to be careful how much I use it. I'm glad you "re-found" me as I was thinking about you as well. I'll come by as often as I can -hoping that when we're in the Northeast it will be better.

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  9. Excellent advise...or knowledge shared, I suppose I should say.
    Adaptability is a virtue, too. ;)

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  10. You are so right about taking life as it is. Easier said than done. Years back I saw a huge billboard in India saying 'Life is a duty. Do it.' It shocked me, but my mind goes back to it often.
    And indeed, bungy cords are a necessity.

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    1. It sounds so wise, but of course, I'm telling it all to myself, because lots of it doesn't come "easy" to me. Some people are so at home with new things, but I've always taken a while to adjust. In just a few weeks on the road, I feel I've advanced lightyears! I love that saying, and I shall bring it to mind when i feel anxious - it's kind of a Just Do It thing. I also think of brave people I know and ask "What would SHE do right now?" It actually really helps!

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  11. Very inspiring post Melissa, I like that you've linked the road trip back to life in general. There's always going to be ups and downs and bumps along the way (no pun intended! Or maybe it was...) but it's the journey that matters and the things that you are seeing and learning while on your way. Hope your both having lots of fun!

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    1. I'm happy to tell you that we ARE having fun now - I was a little worried during the first weeks when we came back from Indiana. But now we are going to and seeing such wonderful places, and it's not all "on the road" - though this week we are on it again :)

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  12. We too live in an RV - only in Australia we call them "Motorhomes". And you are so right - some days are really easy and a big breeze. Other days are not so easy - with too much traffic, gears not working, and bus not able to gather speed!
    But I so love our way of living and wouldnt change it for anything :)

    Love reading your Friday Five Things that life on the road has taught you!

    Cheers
    Lisa

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    1. Lisa, I'm so glad to meet you! I've got some other Aussie friends and they are just the loviest people. I'll check to see if you've got a blog and I'll pop over there to say hi.

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  13. I love your no.1 reason - makes your road trip worth it and most memorable! Enjoy your adventures! Now off I go to find out what a bungi cord is! LOL! Take care
    x

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    1. The #1 reason really is the best :). And when you find out about bungi cords, you'll understand. They come in all sizes and can secure anything to anything.

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  14. Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. What an adventure. For someone like me, I'd love to go on a motor home all around the country.

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    1. Thanks Nas. I can honestly say i'm having fun now!

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  15. Thanks for sharing you lessons! Can't wait to hear more. What an exciting adventure (or not so exciting sometimes, based on what you said in your post).

    ~Jess

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    1. Jess, actually "a little TOO exciting" is sometimes the case ... but overall, I feel so lucky to be having this adventure in all its forms :)

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