As we finish the 97th day away on this winter 2005 adventure and camp 180 miles from home, it is time to pause and reflect. Although this is the first vacation I have felt ready to come home from, it is also about three times longer than we have ever been away before. My compulsion to see everything in case I never get there again, has been mellowed by the growing realization, that as a retiree, I can return to these great spots repeatedly. We are pleased by how comfortable living in our trailer has been. At the Elderhostel we attended last week, we remarked to one another that we were glad that we were not staying in the hotel. Being in your house, having things your way, is worth having to take out the vacuum cleaner or going to the laundromat once in a while. We are surpised how little we miss the things from home that we could not cram into these 325 square feet.
As we look ahead to winter 2006, we are uncertain about where we want to go. We have found that even in the southern US and Mexico, January can be cold. While we love to camp along the ocean, March in San Diego taught us that the winter ocean is cold and generates fog. Perhaps sinking our toes in the sand is better saved for late spring, summer and early fall.
Our lengthier stays, while more economical, made us feel restless. We did not meet our goal of making new good friends and wonder if we need to stay in one spot for more than a month - or maybe we're just not all that nice! We enjoyed the people we met on our caravan because they were restless souls just as we are and we enjoyed the people we met in the Elderhostel because they shared our love for learning new things. We are grateful that our famiiles got through the winter without needing our assistance and look forward to spending some time with them and our old friends for the next few months until the travel bug bites again.