Travel versus Vacation

I haven’t had much to blog about here lately, as other life projects and twists or turns have a habit of getting in the way of our project!  (We’re also a little stuck in the fear/what step do we do next loop!)  I’m trying to accept it, and glad we didn’t set a hard departure date yet – it would have been possible, but we would have given up so much of what’s currently important in our lives at the moment.  It will be tough to balance doing everything we want in the busy summertime and still get the bigger picture tasks done, but it may be our last summer here for a while.  We are still sticking to the main goal of buying an RV, converting to WVO, and driving it to Burning Man this year – and just taking everything else as it comes.

Without much progress, it’s hard to find something to talk about!  However a tweet and blog post by the Technomads was a great jumping point for a topic today – they are leaving St. John where they stayed for the winter, and talk about how nomadic travel is different than a vacation.

The differences are the same reason that I want to live in an RV and explore – without changing locations daily or weekly, rather than the usual work hard and take two weeks off to travel somewhere every year.  Vacations are wonderful, and many destinations have popular tourist attractions for a reason.  If you spend only a few days in a city, I’m sure even locals will say you can’t miss famous landmarks during your visit.  The thing is, you get to know the landmarks – you don’t truly get to know the city or area, or the people who live there, in doing this.

I was lucky enough to spend a semester of college in Nottingham, England.  It was my first trip out of the country (except for visits to Canada and the Caribbean), and the first significant journey I took on my own, though I traveled there with some fellow classmates.  For about 5 months, I lived there and went to “uni” among Americans and Brits during the week, and traveled with the Americans on weekends.

While we had our share of tourist sights, my fondest memories are not of the Robin Hood Museum, the castles, the cathedrals, the museums.  Being immersed completely for that long really lets you find the hidden gems – a favorite secluded restaurant, picnicking at the lake on campus, meeting people and having the chance to see them often.

The thought of living constantly on the move is not appealing to me, though I know it is for some nomads.  The intrigue for me is being able to stop, anywhere and everywhere, for as long or as briefly as we want.  We expect to spend weeks or possibly even months having a home base, making further excursions as we want to explore.  We will have to balance time spent on work with time getting to know the area, but part of the beauty is in developing new daily routines that introduce us to locals and their favorite places.

Some, if not most, of the most amazing places our world has to offer are off the beaten path.  A simple cross country drive would not allow us the time to truly get to know the people and areas we pass through.  I can’t wait to explore America on a deeper level!



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