Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

Yesterday morning looked like rain. I went outdoors in my pajamas to put the lawn chairs away, then returned indoors for our morning coffee. Marilyn and I made some plans for leaving in October, as to where we will go and what campgrounds we want to research, etc.

Soon, it was time to get a shower and dress for work. We have really had mixed feelings about being work campers. I made a promise to the owner of the Mark Twain Cave complex and we had promised our daughter, Jennifer, that we would be near her for the entire summer. So, the bottom line is that we have to be here for five months this summer.

The Pro side of things goes like this: The people we work with are wonderful. We enjoy the cave, the work isn't difficult, we get a free site to park with all utilities except propane, free wi-fi, and, in addition, they pay us minimum wage for every hour worked. Not bad!

The Con or down sides to being a work camper for us are: I am working five days a week, Marilyn works three days a week, and Jennifer is not always off when we are off.

However, the most important down side item is our loss of freedom.

The most attractive part of being a full-time RVer is the freedom it gives you to go where you want to go, whenever you want to go there. So we have such mixed feelings as to whether we will do this again. We know that next spring we will return to this area much later. We are going to explore the southwest USA before heading back to the midwest in the spring. We are also talking about going west to Colorado during the hottest part of the summer. These plans would not allow us to be work campers next year.

Some people who are full-timers need to, or desire to, be work campers most of the time. Others find different ways to supplement their income. We use our retirement and social security, and live a pretty simple life style, which does not require us to touch our modest investments.

So there are two sides to being a work camper and each person, or couple, must decide for themselves what will work best. There is certainly no shortage of positions available for you if that is what you want to do.

As for Marilyn and I, we will probably choose the freedom to travel over working in the future. Life is an adventure though, and you never know for sure what changes will take place in your life. For us, after this summer as work campers, we will take a different road for awhile. Can't wait to see what is around the bend...

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