Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taking stock Part II -- people

Still in White Rock, where it's 56 degrees and mostly sunny at 9 AM.   Just thought I'd throw that in here for my southern Arizona friends.  Weather aside, I'm thinking about thinking about heading for home... perhaps arriving mid-week next week.

Last post I outlined some of the mechanical/logistical issues which have marked this trip.  This time, I want to focus on what might be called the inner game: my motivations for doing this, and things I'm learning about myself as I go on down this road.

I've said before: the original idea was to get out of Tucson heat in the summer.  An RV seemed like the most affordable way to do that.  I'd lived in Flagstaff, and summers there are close to perfect.  But buying a second home up there, or renting one, were out of the question financially.

The Beast does make it possible to get into more tolerable temperatures.  And to visit, and re-visit,  places I've seen before and liked, or always wanted to see.  Dealing with the inevitable mechanical issues has been stressful; as I said last time, I've never been a hardware guy.  But one of the ways one manages aging is to try new things, and while it's sometimes not all that enjoyable, stretching my limits has surely been one outcome of this venture.  This old dog needs to keep learning new tricks.

Learning new things has always been a pleasure.  I enjoy figuring things out.   I hadn't thought about just how much of that would be required to prepare for travel with the Beast.

The personal issue which has surfaced this trip more strongly than before is the matter of being alone. A good friend put it this way:  I'm loneliest when I'm happy.  I don't need someone to be with me in the emotional bad times.  I'm loneliest when there is something beautiful that I want to share, and no one is around to share it with.  

And that has been my experience this trip.  I haven't wanted/needed someone with me to help when problems arose, or even, particularly, to hold my hand when I felt bad.  But often there are moments when I want to say, "Hey, look at that!" Or to have my attention called to something I'd have otherwise missed.  This is true occasionally when I'm not traveling: I live alone.  But it happens many times a day when I travel: either there's something beautiful, or someone interesting.  And there is also the phenomenon of companionable silence: simply being with someone without the need for comment.  I've missed having someone with me.  A lot.  

This feeling is not new for me.  But this trip it's been stronger  than before.  It seems like most people I see in RV's of various stripes are either couples or families.  I'm wondering how other single travelers deal with this issue, if it even is an issue. 

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