Sunday, August 02, 2009



Many thanks to all those who expressed themselves on this subject----I feel reinforced in my lifestyle choice---convinced that all of us were describing the same elephant. Sampson 1960 has, in my opinion, gathered up our thoughts into a chewable bite----so I'm pleased to present his/her essay in this prominent manner. I will close with a final observation of my own and then move on to a new topic. Here is sampson's essay:

Novelty and challenge are what bring happiness, and the traveling life is full of novelty and challenge. So it's easier to feel fulfilled living this way. But it's by no means guaranteed.

Is it possible to feel fulfillment without traveling? Certainly it is. But the mechanisms of standard society have most of us so controlled, so indentured to a way of life we didn't actually choose, that it's very difficult to feel real fulfillment. Lack of fulfillment is what drives people into addictions! Looking for the freedom they know is out there, the freedom they could feel when they were little children, the freedom that is right there. If only they could reach through the fog and claim it. But they can't get to it. So they drink. Or they porn away on the internet. Or they surf the channels. Or they buy stuff. All are substitutions for feeling real things in the real world with real people.

REAL life, REALLY being present in the world. This is what is so simple, but is so hard to do in our society.

So the travel part is just a mechanism, a freeing mechanism that makes it easier to reach real fulfillment in a culture that is really like living in an occupied country. Can travel be used in the same way as other addictive 'substances"? Possibly. But I don't think it's very likely, given that the traveling life so fully engages the whole person. That can't be said for life on the couch, on the barstool, or in front of the internet screen.

Harriet Tubman said: "Yes, I freed a lot of slaves. But I could have freed a whole lot more, if theys only knew theys was slaves."

So Randy, inside do you feel empty?Didn't think so. (end of Sampson essay)

FINAL THOUGHT: Perhaps the mobile lifestyle is best understood as a phase of life. I like the Hindu notion of three phases: 1. The Student----learn, learn, learn. 2. the Householder---build, build, build----family, career, business, possessions. 3. The HOLY MAN ---when we feel the urge for simplicity, solitude,mobility, spirituality. Customarily the couple cuts a deal--the wife has aspirations also----they give the business and possessions to the kids. The ideal for the male is that of a SADHU, a wandering Holy man. Hundreds of thousands move slowly about the landscape in India, wearing little or nothing, carrying only a small bowl. (people walk up to them and silently put stuff in their bowl---it's traditional---the giver gets a blessing, the receiver dinner) Generally accepted and even revered, these holy men focus on experiencing the wonder of life---giving little thought to destination---only journey--now, now, now.---and lying down wherever nightfall catches them. And then one day they die and are cremated. A far nobler end-game than the sickly whimpering of an old folks home. But I digress!

Extreme? Yes! Not your cup of tea? Mine either--but I like the simplicity, solitude,mobility, spirituality----So I declare myself AN AMERICAN HOLY PERSON--and all who share these aims. We will wander the continent in our cozy trailers, experiencing here/now, here/now, here/now, till the game is over. And I call to my housebound sniper man------leave your same old, same old staleness and join us in the cool freshness of Tillamook, Oregon--or wherever your finer impulses urge you! Randy 8/3/09


T from Gainesville said...
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Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't use the unfriendly word "sniping" to describe a comment or question that tries to climb above the usual kindergarten playground level of RV culture.

Any serious question about RV travel philosophy is likely to sound pointed or edgy, considering that RVers are only used to sugar-coated, escapist cliches about the RV Dream.

Everything in glossy magazines or "How to be an RVer" websites is promotional, rather than philosophical.

the Sniper

Randy said...

Well said anonymous, and I take your point to heart. Perhaps you knew that I used the word in jest but other readers may not.

Without vigorus critics we languish. BRING IT ON!

homes on wheels said...
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Dixie said...

I very much enjoyed the two articles! And I find that way more people than not try to rain on our parade of retiring early, leaving the "normal" life, and following the wind. They just think we're crazy to leave good jobs and a nice home to live on the road, esp. since we don't have $2.3 million in the bank for retirement. Sniping isn't such a bad term; just means trying to pick off pieces of the dream to scare you back to your "senses." I'm scared NOT to leave and discover the world!

Doug In Powell said...

I know people that have lived within 20 miles of the same place all their lives as did their family that cannot understand "wander lust". All I say is "If it has to be explained to you - you'll never understand"