Changes in Seasons
As surely as the seasons change, we pass through seasons in our lives. In 2012 we set out on an adventure to see how we would like camping in a moderate-size travel trailer. In July of that year, after a vacation to the northern latitudes to see family, we purchased our 2013 Coachmen Catalina 222FB and put in motion a chain of events that would change our lives in a most positive way.
Our cozy little travel trailer, affectionately named the Island Time, became our escape vehicle from the stresses of the everyday routine. We purchased it as a great starter kit to see if we enjoyed the camping and RV lifestyle. We learned a lot about what the modern RV world was about and found that we truly enjoyed our time in this mobile “tiny house”.
Over the next few years we continued to enjoy the Island Time and week-by-week filled it with great memories of adventures. Everything from weekend trips to local campgrounds to longer trips to the Keys, Hilton Head, Gatlinburg, Chattanooga, Naples, and so many other stops along the way only served to feed our desire to do and see more. Wonderful visits with family allowed us to share in the everyday lives of our children and grandchildren with special outings.
Simple times in the woods at Hanna Park or wonderful relaxation at North Beach only more firmly cemented the idea that we should do this more often. Even time with our dogs seemed more special as we spent time together walking, talking, listening to nature and calming our minds. Each outing served to feed a satisfaction deep within our souls.
Of course, we were never roughing it. Air conditioning, HD TV, walk around queen bed, full Internet connectivity, range, oven, microwave, hot water and shower are accommodations a long way from what most people think of as camping. All of the luxuries with just enough space to live and wheels to take us to new places or revisit the best of the places we had been made this an attractive alternative to being stuck at home.
As we filled the Island Time with memories we were also filling our hearts with joy. We came to realize that this camping thing worked well for us and that touring the country while bringing our condo with us would be a great way to make the transition from a career of busyness to a retirement full of adventure and intrigue. The vision materialized and became named the Victory Lap and achieving it meant careful planning and execution. We had decided on the approach for our next season, now we needed to align the resources.
As the season changes from occasional vacations and outings to fulltime travel, so does the need for the appropriate tools to support the dream. While the Island Time was a great if not a perfect vehicle for vacationing, we would need something more appropriate for fulltiming.
And now at the start of the change of the season, we are excited to be the proud owners of a new 2018 Airstream 25 FB Twin Flying Cloud we have named ChILL and a new 2018 F150 Lariat 4×4 pickup! Of course, we are also sad to say goodbye to the Island Time as part of the transition. There can be no replacement for all the memories it provided, but at the same time it was not up to the task for the next season. Fortunately, as part of the trade-in process we were able to park the Island Time and ChILL in close proximity to each other to transfer a few items. Deep in my heart I believe that during that transfer all of the great memories and experiences moved over as well. When I step into the Airstream I can feel the excitement of the memories yet to happen as well as the memories from the past.
The Island Time will continue to be with us as we travel the country in ChILL. We celebrate the past by including a reminder from it in the future. The Airstream will continue to have the ISLNDTM license plate as the reminder of a special travel trailer that started the whole adventure. We always believed that the license plate brought a smile to those that were stuck behind us as we lumbered along the highway. Hopefully, the feeling will continue with ChILL.
We are so excited to be moving into the next season of our lives. We can never know for sure what the future holds, but we are truly blessed to be well positioned for our next season with family, our health, adequate resources and a burning desire to explore. Thanks for coming along on our adventures so far. We look forward to sharing the joy of our next season. Stay tuned!