Tin Can Travels —
What It’s Like To Live, Work, And Play On The Road
(Year-Round, In Less-Than-200-Square Feet)

Home / Tin Can Travels —
What It’s Like To Live, Work, And Play On The Road
(Year-Round, In Less-Than-200-Square Feet)
/ Living In A Tin Can --
A Blog About Traveling Year-Round In Less-Than-200-Square Feet
/ The Road To RVing --
A Teachable Moment In Aisle Three At Camping World

The Road To RVing —
A Teachable Moment In Aisle Three At Camping World

A Teachable Moment In Aisle Three At Camping World -- what it's like to explain full-timing to someone who thinks you're a "camper" (#blogpost #RVlifestyle #RVer #fulltimer #fulltimeRVing #Airstream #glamping #travel #lifeofadventure #homeiswhereyouparkit) at http://ramonacreel.com/2018/01/10/living-in-a-tin-can/teachable-moment-camping-world/The other day (while toilet-deodorizer-shopping), I had a weekend-warrior-type ask where my rig was parked. I said I was full-timing at blah-de-blah-RV-resort — he responded, “I’ve never camped there before.” I smiled conspiratorially, gave an Eric-Idle-worthy nudge-nudge-wink-wink, and replied, “Neither have I!”

Poor dude raised a confused eyebrow, looked at me quizzically, then pulled out his best Imma-be-blandly-pleasant-while-dealing-with-this-potentially-unstable-stranger expression. “How’s the camping over there?” he asked — I shrugged and grinned evilly. “I really wouldn’t know. I don’t camp. I live.” Radio silence.

My new friend’s blank countenance told me that this man was not picking up what I was laying down — so to avoid completely alienating him, I added, “It’s a very nice park.” With palpable relief, he gushed, “Well great! I’ll have to camp there someday!”

I sighed. “Yes. You do that.”

Could I have launched into a prepared speech about what it honest-and-for-true means to full-time? Attempted to explain why a lumpy gaucho sofa or crack-your-head-sleeping-loft doesn’t cut it for decent 365-night-a-year slumber? Described the changes your housemate-relations will undergo upon final jettison of that brick-and-mortar residence? Examined moving-beyond-burgers portable meal options? Expounded the inadequacies of RV park wifi — the necessity of carrying an internet connection with you?

Sure.

But I’ve had head-banging conversations about my rolling planetary existence with these folks before — it’s almost HARDER than discussing this lifestyle with a never-set-foot-in-a-recreational-vehicle virgin.

With the clock fast-approaching noon and my belly growling, I was forced to make a choice between investing a lot of time/energy in a fruitless attempt at domestically-automotive education — or Taco Bell.

(Fortunately, I’ve always been really good about recognizing my priorities.)

I love these less-oft-rolling brethren/sistren — really I do. My issue is the assumption that they intimately understand what the hell I’m talking about (RV-wise), when that patently ain’t true. It’s a case of non-cognizance of that about which one is non-cognizant. While total noobs embrace knowing exactly dick re: nomadery, existing part-timey-peeps can let preconceived notions get in the way of their schooling.

Weekenders see travel as “getting away from it all.” They pack up bathing suits and hiking boots (while quite intentionally leaving behind briefcases and business cards), then head off to the mountains or forest or beach — taking long naps, day-drinking, acquiring skin cancer, grilling out for every meal. The whole experience amounts to a special activity, something unusual that happens for a short period of time before daily life comes crashing back down upon their crackhead-level-vacation-addicted excursionist heads.

Then the recess bell rings, and it’s return-to-your-job-and-laundry-basket-and-bills-and-paperwork-and-grocery-shopping-and-soccer-practice time. It doesn’t matter whether these people take off for a few weekends here and there or engage in an extended multi-month-running-away-from-home sabbatical — they still have another permanent place to be at trip’s-end. Their rigs are truly vehicles of recreation, and the life they lead while driving them is very different from their existence back in the real world.

Not so for us full-timers!

A good many dabblers face comprehension difficulties when it comes to the difference between camping in your rig and living in your rig. They think, “We’re all RVers, we’re of the same species” — yeah, not so much. To be fair, I’d’ve shared a similar belief before I sold my house and hit the road. But there’s actually a grand-canyon-sized (those 18-miles-wide-spots, not the marble-canyon-600-foot-across-part) gaping disconnect between those who use their rigs for vacationing and those who treat their rigs like home.

Well, maybe next time I’ll have the patience (and enough food in my tummy) to engage the right way.

I guess one moral of this story is, “If you meet Ramona out in the world, she’s prolly going to fuck with you at some point — so don’t take anything she says too seriously.” The other is, “Part-timing and full-timing are like and shopping carts and hula hoops. (They both roll, but that’s where the similarities end.)”

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    6 Responses

    1. Paul says:

      Yeah, camping always conjers up at least pitching tent.

    2. Ramona says:

      That’s what I think, anyway.

    3. Mike And Michelle says:

      Less a vacation and more a way of life!

    4. Hazel says:

      I know…you could bring your Airstream to conference next year and give tours!

    5. Ramona says:

      actually, that’s going to be part of my proposal for Baltimore!

    6. Alicia says:

      I think bringing the airstream to conference would be great. What kind of airstream do you have? I have a 1970 Sovereign airstream, but I’m not a full-timer. And, a professional organizer. Just started reading your blog & enjoying it.

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