Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reflections on 2013

As 2014 looms, I’m reflecting on this past year – a wildly successful year of travel!

Some rest stop in Oklahoma
As I prepared for my first mega-trip in December 2012, I had owned the GDB for about 3 months.  Until then, I had taken a few trips of short distances and durations, always with hook-ups.  My 7-week journey to the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ was to be my first real test. 

Approaching the Guadalupe Mountains, TX

When I departed on December 29th (exactly one year ago), I was still green as a cucumber RV-wise.  For example, I had never even used the entertainment system, furnace, water pump, or the water heater.  Nor had I ever camped without hook-ups.  

That all changed on this epic trip.  2013 became a year of liberation!

First WMT overnighter - Lafayette, LA

I endured temps down into the high-teens and even some snow.  Despite my inner qualms, I happily lived off-grid with the RTR tribe for 11 days.  

In fact, I didn't want to leave!

That roadtrip was a real initiation into the Part-Timing life.  Two more long trips were to follow.  And the next big step came this fall as I began my career as an online nursing professor.    

McDonald Observatory

This year, I camped from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam.   I crossed both the Eastern and Western Continental Divides.  I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.  

Bob assessing solar possiblities

Nelda & Jerry






Authentic people, non-conformists, freedom-lovers, nature-lovers.  I engaged in very little small talk this year. 

I also learned the important skill of keeping in touch on the road.

There were some glitches.  

All were overcome.  

My experiences this year confirmed the fact that I want to keep doing this as long as I’m physically able.  It’s just too much fun to stop! 

2013 by the Numbers

3                  Road Trips

5                  Camping Trips

116              Nights in the GDB: 

66               National Park stamps

12                Fellow bloggers met

54                Generator hours

10                Propane refills 

3                  Oil changes 

8                  Repairs: galley window leak, outside compartment lock, auto battery, 
                    house batteries, front rotor, torque converter, flat tire, 2 cabinet latches   

16,353        Miles

I haven't calculated how many gallons of gas I bought, nor do I want to.

After this initiation year, I feel as though I am prepared for anything.  I’ve developed a comfortable and efficient travel routine.  And I’ve pared my possessions down to the absolute essentials.  My home-on-wheels is simplicity itself. 

I still get a kick out of pulling off the road, making coffee, and doing the crossword.  

Blue Ridge Parkway stop

And sometimes I just gaze out the window marveling at my good fortune.

Me and the Bison

Looking Ahead

In 2014, I won’t put as much mileage on the GDB.  I made a conscious decision to skip the RTR in order to save a bit on fuel.  Likewise, I scuttled my post-holiday plans for a trip to Key West, but will still try to visit Everglades National Park.  I’ll spend some of the winter on monthly week-long camping trips.  

And – bonus! - it looks like Bob Wells will make an Eastern RTR happen in March.  If so, I will head to South Carolina and hang with the nomads for a while.

In the meantime, I'll save my pennies for a 2014 summer on the road.  I want nothing more than to escape the unbearable swamp that is summer in the Deep South.  I haven’t decided whether to head north to explore the Great Lakes region or head west to join the WINS in the Pacific Northwest.  

I look forward with great excitement to another joyful year on the road.  

Thanks for coming along for the ride!


  1. One of my favorite things about this time of the year is reading other bloggers' recaps of their year. You sure did a lot!

  2. Congratulations on a successful fun-filled first year! It doesn't ever get old. :-)

    The March RTR is most likely not going to happen. Read Bob's seventh comment on this post -

    I'm wondering if there might be a good spot in one of Florida's national forests. Or would it be too hot in March?

  3. I agree. I love reading recaps and yours is so well put together. As a non-full-timer you surely get the most out of your adventures. I'm envious of your making a nursing career that allows you to adventure travel at the same time. My surgery jobs from staff nurse to director certainly didn't allow for that kind of life. That's why I'm not missing it at all! Now, it's finding enough time in the day to get done all the reading, blogging and online educational opportunities I want to take advantage of each day.
    Currently I'm at Betty's RV Park in Abbeville, LA; last night I actually contemplated putting a sign outside for this morning saying "Vegetating Today." There are so many activities and socialization I'm feeling like my alone time has been cut short!!!

  4. What a great summary. Even got pangs of envy, but am so happy you DID IT!

  5. If you do go to Key West be sure to meet Captain Fritter. I'd love to listen to the conversation you two would have.

  6. What a great year it has been for you. Looking forward to following along in the New Year.

    Best of luck to you,


  7. That was a great "year in review." What a fantastic year 2013 was for your travels!!! Wishing you just as many great adventures in 2014!! Happy New Year!!!

  8. Thank you for sharing your travels online. I enjoy reading your posts.

  9. Wow! You spent almost a third of the year in the GDB. That's great. An awesome recap to an awesome year for you. Love the hair picture.:-)

  10. When you share the joy you are creating in your own life, you inspire others to find a way to create more joy in their own. I'm hoping to go full-time in February, but I'll continue to learn and contemplate choices by reading well written blogs such as yours. Thanks and blessings for your new year!


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