Browsing "Why I Do This"
Jul 1, 2012 -

Why Would a Full-Time RVer Want or Need to Go Camping in the Toad?

The title of this post comes from a very good comment/question by Kathe in reply to my post about converting the truck for camping.

Before I try to articulate an answer, I think that the best house-bound analogy I could make is, if you own a home, why would you want a cottage? Or an RV, for that matter?

For me, using my RV as a homebase and exploring in the toad means cheaper excursions because of needing less gas, access to rougher roads, and not having to break camp when I’m coming back to the same location. A toad I can sleep in also means saving money on accommodation and that I don’t have to rely on others for a bed. Finally, I will be reducing wear and tear on my aging RV.

Some examples:

-When I hiked the Chilkoot Trail, I stayed with a cousin who has a tiny house with little privacy. There wasn’t really any good place to pitch a tent in the yard, but I could have slept more comfortably in my parking spot while having access to the bathroom. Moreover, why do the round trip in the rig ($500 in fuel) when I had free hookups in Dawson and cat sitters?

-If I had had a toad I could sleep in, I would have probably taken off for a few days and left the RV in Hinton instead of driving the Ice Fields Parkway

-There was no way I was taking Miranda on the Dempster Highway to Inuvik or the Pacific Rim Highway to Tofino.

I am also thinking ahead to the next few winters, when I plan to spend several months in the American Southwest. Having a toad I can sleep in means that I will be able to plot a fairly U-shaped journey in the RV that will be as fuel efficient as possible, leave the RV in a few set locations, and then take off exploring for three or four days at a time. I am also thinking of leaving the RV on my lot next summer and taking off for Yellowknife in the toad.

In summary, having a toad I can camp in will reduce the limited mobility that comes from having a big RV while still allowing me to have a nice mobile home. In short, I’m going to get a taste of the best of both worlds.

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Personal, Technical, Towing and Toad, Why I Do This    6 Comments
May 3, 2012 -

How Do You Measure Wealth?

I was raised to believe that wealth is defined by your bank balance. Then, as I said at the RV show seminar, I discovered that material wealth is very fleeting and that we are wealthier in our memories than in how much money we have.

This past week, I have discovered yet another measure of wealth. This realisation has resulted in a profound paradigm shift, one that is rather overwhelming. Wealth can also be found in a community that bands together in hard times. The individual members might not have a lot, but together they can make things happen.

For the first time in my life, I truly understand what it is to truly live in a community of like-minded people with comparable stressors and life experiences, to be part of something bigger than myself, to not be alone. I have always felt so alone because even though I was surrounded by lovely acquaintances, there was no support in bad times, no one to turn to so I could unburden myself.

When the problem with the rig started, I moved from, “I can deal with this by myself” to “I can’t do this on my own.” When the issue with the brakes happened, I felt I was to blame and that it was my burden to carry. But this time I am a victim. I loathe that word, but it is accurate, and I need support to get through this.

I reached out to my community and the response has been touching. I feel supported, cared for, valued. People have responded in whatever way they could, from legal advice to financial help. Knowing that I can unload about what’s going on to people who actually understand what’s going on is doing me a world of good.

I’ll be fine, but I’m holding it together in the meantime thanks to all of you, my readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Musings, Nice Folks, Personal, Social, Why I Do This    2 Comments
Apr 13, 2012 -

Final Thoughts On My Year in Lethbridge

It looks like I am on schedule to pull out sometime tomorrow morning. I have decided to meander through southern Saskatchewan rather than race to the border as I am leaving a couple of days earlier than planned. I’ll therefore be overnighting at the Walmart in Swift Current tomorrow.

I’ve been asked a number of times about how ready I feel about leaving, with the meaning being “How sick are you of Lethbridge?”

The answer is that I am not sick of Lethbridge, but I am ready to go. I know that what I needed to do here has been done and it’s time to move on to new challenges. My being here has not been unbearable and if I needed to stay a while longer, that would be fine. But I have come to a point where I feel that I would gain nothing more here.

As I wrote at the beginning of winter, I very much believe that we all have a life plan. I can always tell when I’m following that plan or not; the further I get from it, the more chaotic my life feels. When I am firmly on it, like I am today, I am awash with a feeling of serenity. When I ignore the niggle at the back of my brain, as I’ve done several times in the last three and a half years, I feel uneasy, worried, and out of control.

My time in Lethbridge has allowed me to gain professional growth that I truly believe I would never have had in my old life because I wouldn’t have believed myself capable of the challenges of management. When I last saw my boss, he confessed to me that it was only the office manager’s urging that allowed for me to take charge of the apartment complex starting in late June. He trusted her that I would grow into the position. I feel that it took me till well into November to really feel comfortable with the job. But he said that he knew by the end of July that I was going do great in the position! I appreciate so much that I was allowed to make mistakes and that my judgment was trusted. My feelings for this company are difficult to put into words. I am just so happy to have worked for it for the last nine months and am still in disbelief that I have such a wonderful tangible reminder of how I felt while working for them.

The personal growth that came from this job is also immeasurable. I was finally able to let go of my need to be liked and that enabled me to be respected. What an adventure and a half that was! I have finished a rough draft of the little ebook I’ve promised about my winter adventures and I hope to have it out shortly!

The idea of Travels with Miranda isn’t just of physical travels, but also of a journey of the soul, of a half-baked person seeking to find her true voice. So often we get lost in the minutia of daily life and others’ expectations for our life that we never learn to grow into our person. I am returning to Quebec very confident and ready to hold my head high against those folks who measure success in financial statements and who told me that I was throwing away my life. Oh, I did do that, and look at the life I am now living!

I have a ton more stuff to move back into the rig and an apartment to clean, so I’m off to do a final burst. Departure tomorrow is scheduled for 11ish, but no sooner than when an order of Jody’s muffins arrives. 🙂 I’ll post before I take off, then it will depend on cell coverage in Saskatchewan, which is spotty at best.


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Alberta, Canada, Finances, Musings, Nice Folks, Personal, Preparations for Departure, Social, Travel, Why I Do This, Work    4 Comments