For those just finding the blog, I purchased a 1969 Shasta travel trailer on a whim, and now my family of three are exploring the nooks and crannies of the United States. I am a graphic artist and am working as we roll along. We departed Atlanta one week ago and are now in Southern Texas. Here are ten observations from the first week, presented in no particular order.
A 10 foot travel trailer is REALLY small. With three people, one of whom is three years old, our Shasta Compact feels cozy, to say the least.
Communication is the key. With a lack of routine comes lost car keys, misplaced cell phones, and plenty of tripping over the cabinets, each other, and our own feet. The more we talk about what we are doing, the more the details of the day start to smooth out.
Cooking even simple meals takes a lot of time, and cleaning dishes takes even more. Eating in the trailer is definitely the cheapest option, but the tasks of cooking and cleaning with a bored munchkin tugging at our pant legs can be a lot to face. We are starting to experiment with cold no-cook meals to save time and effort.
Work is more efficient without the distractions of home. As I am designing graphics projects in the trailer, there is nothing luring me away. We don’t even have a bathroom beckoning me for a five-minute ‘download’. Four hours of work in the trailer equals a whole day’s worth of productivity at home. This is awesome, because less work time means more family-fun road-trip action.
The heart of Louisiana is one of the greatest pockets of the USA. With unparalleled hospitality, fantastic food on every corner, and foot-stomping music every day of the week, our two-day stay in Breaux Bridge was one of the most unique and enjoyable getaways I have experienced. Heartily recommended.
Texans don’t brake for vintage trailers. We have nearly missed several exits and turns because Texan drivers never let us in. We have had the blinker on for as much as a full minute before we found a way to make a merge.
Campgrounds are bustling with families; RV parks are packed with seniors. We purchased a subscription to Passport America, a discount camping club that lands us in the range of $15-$18 per night of camping. That’s a great price point, but our son is feeling a little lonely among the blue hair crowd. We think we will occasionally choose a campground instead, even if the price is a little higher.
‘Wide open spaces’ takes on new meaning in rural Texas. Without hills and trees, the southern farm fields in this state stretch clear to the horizon in every direction, and the sky is a gargantuan, boundless mass of blue with perfect wispy clouds wafting in the strata. Inspiring stuff.
A vintage trailer will make just about anything else feel huge. We are staying at my wife’s brother’s house in Corpus Christi, Texas. This cute house may seem modest when compared to the mucky-muck Mayberry mansions, but the place feels downright palatial to us, even after only one week of roadside living.
This trip is not easy, but it is worthwhile. Clearly, staying home would have been the easier choice. But the excitement of the adventure, the quality of the family time, and the fun of seeing my son gain an array of experiences — from catching his first fish to live Zydeco dancing — is worth the investment of time, money, and energy. Not everyone is cutout for a trailer trip, but everyone needs to find their own version of adventure in life.
The weekdays are filled with work and travel. Needless to say, I am excited it is Friday. The coming week will hold tales from the road and highlights from San Antonio and Austin. Thanks for following along, and we’ll see you on the other side of the weekend.
What adventures haunt your daydreams? What holds you back from trying to turn those hopes into realities? I would love to hear from you — please fill me in using the comments below.