Back in 2017, when I began to share my wild idea to leave the blissful town of Charleston, SC for the summer, I received so many baffled “Why’s?” I had a visceral pull that I couldn’t quite explain. I wanted to create an epic summer with my family.
I wanted to get in an RV, and go explore our country with my people. So we did.
Because when you look back at your childhood, don’t you remember those bizarre events? My concrete memories all revolve around travel. The time our wheel flew off the car and sent sparks flying behind us. Or the time our minivan slid off the ice-covered road into the ditch in Minnesota in the dead of winter. When we went white water rafting in Colorado. Flying in a little two-seater airplane next to my Grandpa.
Trading in our perfect upscale neighborhood in the South for a shitty RV that we bought on Craigslist for $3,500 was surprisingly not that hard! Don’t get me wrong, we had those “holy shit, what did we just do” moments, but at that point in time, I would’ve rather been in that old beater-mobile than in the town where kids spend the dog days of summer meandering on their beach cruisers, underneath the drippy live oaks, while sucking on an organic popsicle. We needed to get outside of our monotony and work on our family bond. There’s nothing like a good team building exercise. Jumping in with both feet, when all four of us hadn’t a clue how to do this, was thrilling. And I needed to get what I craved.
We Needed Simplicity
Make it Simple but Significant
All we really needed was a place to lay our heads. Our two-toned brown, 1985 Class C beauty that we named “Harry Henderson” was good enough. We each packed a week’s worth of clothes, hiking shoes, and flip-flops. It was so freeing to detach from all the physical clutter.
We Longed for Peace
“Peace is inner awakening” – Sri Chinmoy
There’s nothing more peaceful than laying in one of our country’s National Parks, under the stars, on a blanket, staring up into the night sky with your family. Trust me. It’s magical.
We were Motivated to Create Experiences
Collect Moments, Not Things
I can’t even begin to tell you how many “remember when we…” sentences have been shared since this journey ended. Those moments are ingrained in you and matter more than any physical object. Give the gift of travel.
Because the Timing Was Right
There is no time like the present
Our children were 11 and 9, the perfect ages. They still wanted to spend time with us, and each other. Yet, they could completely take care of themselves.
We Needed to Connect with Mother Nature
“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles” – Mary Davis
Getting lost in a field of wildflowers that tower over your head. Waterfalls making rainbows. Snow-capped mountains. Arches carved into rock from winds. It’s all-humbling and reminds you how minuscule your life is in this giant world.
We Craved Family Bonding
Never forget who was with you from the start
When is the last time you laid in a hammock and read with your kid? Or actually talked with your spouse in bed before going to sleep? Slowing down, and being off the grid, was one of the greatest gifts we could give to our nuclear relationships.
THAT, my friends, is The Why. Stay tuned for The How.