By Dr. Jeff Beyer
I have always been a big fan of the outdoors. I grew up in Buffalo where we definitely had four distinct seasons, so in August I would be water skiing in Lake Erie, and just six months later I found myself skiing compliments of the lake effect snow that came from Lake Erie as well. I also love to travel, particularly in the United States. In fact, the only state I have not been to is North Dakota (now a bucket list item).
In light of this, a couple of years ago we decided we would “try” an RV. No sooner did we visit the showroom than we made our first purchase, and we drove off in our 30-foot Class A motorhome completely clueless about all things RV’ing. We joined forums, researched stuff on the Internet, and did our due diligence so that we would not stick out like the Griswolds on our first outing.
We found a cute little RV park in Southwest Virginia and decided to make our first journey. A great part about RV’ing is that you can take your pets with you, so we loaded everybody in and off we went. To say that we liked it would be the understatement of the year – WE LOVED IT! A few more trips and we were completely hooked. We realized that this was going to be our new hobby and that we were going to spend the years ahead of us exploring this great country.
What’s great about the lifestyle is that there is something for everyone – whether you have a pull-behind “pop up,” or a luxury 45’ diesel bus motorhome, manufacturers have something for everyone. Campgrounds can be very rustic or extremely modern. I will also say we have met some of the nicest people while RV’ing. A lot of the fun for us is the journey itself. Stopping in little towns, enjoying the local fare or just attending a festival or visiting a park; there are so many cool places to explore and visit in this great country we live in. We are even planning our first retirement trip – a journey across the Trans-Canada highway all the way to Vancouver.
There is something very special about being able to essentially take your house with you – no waiting in airports or bus/train stations. You can prepare and eat your own meals without having to go to restaurants, and you get to sleep in your own bed every night! We love to be able to take the dogs along to share our experiences as well.
Last fall, we took the kids for just a short weekend close to home. I expected it to be like most weekends where they spent most of the time on their phones, just as kids do. But guess what? We hiked trails, we cooked and ate meals together, we played board games, made campfires and s’mores, and actually TALKED to one another. I will never forget that weekend as long as I live.
If you have ever thought about trying RV’ing – I would highly encourage it. You can always rent first to see if you and your family likes it. Our kids call us the Griswolds now, because we are always learning new things about our RV and exploring and planning our next adventure!