Life on the Road

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A day or so after I arrived at my present location, I looked out my window to see the above scene. The sun was setting behind the Vermillion Cliffs, and as the shadows lengthened eastward, Echo Cliffs lit up. This photo was taken from the window of my motorhome as I sat in my recliner relaxing after a tough day of doing…I don’t remember what I was doing, but it had to be a tough day.

In all reality there are not many rough days when one lives the life of a nomad. It seems that more and more people are opting to spend their days as I do. We travel this country enjoying what comes our way. When we tire of one spot, we move to another. From time to time I’ll share a photo I’ve taken of some place I’ve called home, whether it be for a day, week, or month.

You’re probably wondering how a person can survive without a permanent job in a fixed location. Some of us nomads are retired, living on pensions, investments, and social security. Quite a few are not old enough for social security and survive by working temporary jobs, or utilizing technology to earn a paycheck. They may write a blog, design websites, sell items via e-commerce, sell their crafts at fairs, or any number of different things. The ideas are limitless.

I’ve met many people during the past 11 1/2 years as I’ve traveled the roads of this country. They’ve ranged in age from very young to very old. There are single travelers, couples, and even families who homeschool their children. One thing they all have in common is the desire to enrich their lives through new experiences, in new places.

My journey began on the West Coast. When I left California I figured I’d travel across the United States, and then back again. I didn’t make it. I’ve spent most of my time in the Southwest, but that doesn’t mean I might not make it to the East Coast one day. It will all depend on what I feel like doing when I roll out of bed.

I wasn’t on the road long when I made a decision to work seasonally in National Parks. I figured I’d be able to see some beautiful sights across this great land. I could stay off the roads while others were on them. I haven’t gotten very far. I keep returning to places I’ve fallen in love with: Bryce Canyon in Utah, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Tetons in Wyoming, Big Bend in Texas. Sprinkled in there were short stints in Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, and back to California. In each of these places I’ve collected a paycheck. It may have been a couple of weeks or a few months, but I stopped long enough to work a while and enjoy the surrounding area and culture. I’ve worked in nine different states, and I’ve visited many more.

Oh, it’s not all been work. I’ve laid on the beach on the Gulf Coast, listened to music in Austin, Nashville, and Memphis, hiked more canyons than I can remember, visited a few caves along the way, and waded across the Rio into Mexico. I’ve eaten some good food, slept under the stars, watched eagles fly and hawks hunt, and even talked to the rocks from time to time. Sometimes I’ve even done nothing at all.

My address book continues to grow fatter. Every time I stop I meet new people. Some I keep in contact with. Some I do not. Social media comes in handy. Email is a blessing. Cell phones are a must. Banking is done electronically and shopping online is a convenience. I remember the days when this was not so. But, it did not stop us nomads from wandering from state to state and city to city, enriching our lives with our new experiences and friends.

This life I lead is not for everyone. It’s human nature to put down roots, and live a more conventional lifestyle in one place. Human beings are social animals. Most of us need others in our lives. But, don’t think that just because we do not have a brick and mortar home, anchored to piece of land somewhere, that we are lonely and alone in this world. Wherever RVers congregate there’s a happy hour somewhere. And, somewhere it’s 5:00.

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