Yup, we did it. We bought a Unity Murphy Bed, sold our home of 35 years, quit our jobs, and began our RV-travel adventure.
I (Robin) had spent the last twenty years of my career between ministry and the tourism industry, ending up as interim pastor for a church and interim CEO for a convention and visitors bureau – simultaneously! Jim, my husband, had started his career as a firefighter/paramedic before starting and selling a successful pool supply business. By the time the business sale was made and my “interim-ships” were over, we were ready for a break. We figured we would take a year off to recalibrate, but after a year of RV travel, going back to an office held no appeal for either of us. So, Jim retired, and I began writing.
We have three grown children and seven grandchildren ranging from 18 months to 16 years of age. Family is a great gift, offering a haven of love, laughter, and fun. Vacations are usually spent together as a large group and often include extended family in multiple beach houses.
Jim loves to play golf and is an accomplished guitar player and home chef. I spend most of my time mastering classical music on the ukulele or writing for several blogs and the Small RV Ninja book series. “We have indulged our creative sides in our retirement, exploring our interests from cooking to crafting to music.” I have also participated in the 100 Days Project for the last two years producing 100 fantasy ukulele designs and creating 100 souvenirs from shells collected on our travels. Jim created recipes for a cookbook based on travels but has taken more pride in coaching our grandchildren in their sports activities.
Our Second Half
We took road trips over the years and spent many vacations renting beach houses. But when we decided to take a sabbatical to plan our “second half,” we bought a Unity Murphy Bed – the first RV we had ever owned. We were not RVers nor campers; we considered ourselves city kids, but the whole RV idea intrigued us. We did our research and looked at dozens of RVs before deciding on Leisure Travel Vans. The Unity Murphy Bed was the right size, maneuverable, comfortable, and well-appointed. Still, to this day, we are delighted with our purchase!
This RV is Part of Us
Hotels and air travel have been a big part of my work, and though many lovely hotels and jets are faster, a lot is lacking in that kind of travel when you want to decompress. The RV travel style is whatever you want to make of it. We love resorts and National Parks – there are benefits to staying in both, but the RV gives us those options in a more affordable package, and we always get to sleep in our own bed!
Short Trips and Bucket List Trips
We make a lot of short trips to visit the grandchildren. Those short trips often include attending their ball games and school events. The RV is a great spot for grabbing a sandwich or a nap in between games!
We have also very much enjoyed our bucket list trips. We started our RV adventures visiting The Keys. Then we traversed the East Coast North to South before heading west to Yellowstone, the Badlands, Arches, and other National Parks. We prefer nicer RV parks and resorts, but we do occasionally boondock to take in more natural surroundings. State parks are wonderful, especially when the campground borders a lake.
Pack Up and Go
RVing has opened up a lot of travel opportunities for us. We always have the option to pack up and go wherever we want. The RV is our “way to get there” and our “where to stay.” That takes a lot of concern out of the travel equation–especially in the last few years. I also know that we have grown closer as we share the adventure of a new destination, see natural wonders, and enjoy sunsets all over the country.
Favorite Travel Destinations
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is other-worldly. There is spectacular mountain scenery and wildlife everywhere. The thermal features are just so unusual and quite beautiful. From the powerful geysers to the “smoking” Fire Hole River to the view of Yellowstone Falls from Artists Point, there is something to see around every corner. We stayed at Henry’s Lake State Park and were inspired by fly fishing, so we took a lesson from a guide in town.
Arches National Park
Those rusty-colored cliffs and wind-swept rock formations offer a desert experience like no other. Walking between the slices of rock and viewing the eroded arches gave us a new appreciation for the power of wind, sand, and water.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
This is our favorite beach. At the Santa Rosa Area near Navarre, Florida, the seashore is a vast expanse of white sand dunes and turquoise water. A beautiful and often secluded beach is an invitation for a reflective stroll.