Life on the Open Road

Life on the Open Road
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Awesome Expectations

I had a really cool realization this evening after an experience on the beach. I have fun, interesting, new rendezvous every time I go out. The same way I have the expectation of meeting friendly people everywhere, I have the expectation of these exciting experiences. I adore the variety, diversity and range of them. I love the brief conversations or moments with animals or whatever it may be. This week alone, I’ve had several and it has me wanting to venture out even more often because it is so fun and satisfying. I love time and physical space to myself and I love connecting with others. I love being awake and I love being asleep. The ebb and flow and ease of it all is enjoyable. 

That said, here are some of the examples of these rendezvous of late. 

I was driving an EZ Go (that doesn’t have a windshield) and a butterfly came right at me. I ducked so it wouldn’t hit my face and had a good laugh. I love seeing so many butterflies happily fluttering around. 

A different location and butterfly that same day. Kudos if you can spot it there, somewhat central and left. 
Remember that post about my evening beach walk where I said it was an eagle I’d spotted, then corrected it as a hawk? It WAS an eagle. I saw one at the beach again today and got some pictures as it stood eating something it had caught. That was cool because I knew it was an eagle and not a hawk and now know I can be sure there are eagles here, at the beach. 

Eagle, right? It was big! I zoomed in quite a bit so as to keep my distance and leave it be. 
I have had some very nice short conversations with people who have had lovely things to say and have complimented me on some things I’ve been doing. Without getting into the specifics of that, I take a lot of pride in what I do and to have multiple people notice that and comment was incredibly fulfilling. 

I love excellent customer service and people who are kind and professional and that is always nice to meet with. I got some propane the other day when the weather was grey and storms had been passing through and this particular place is one I like returning to because, despite it being a fill station I need to go the “wrong” way into for them to reach my LP fill, they are always friendly and professional plus I can pay via credit card right there and the price is fair. Yeah, some places may be cheaper, I haven’t looked. I like paying for good service and the ease of it being nearby and I’m happy to return to this place. I was told they will not fill if there is lightning as that is considered dangerous for them. Thankfully the rain stopped for the bit of time it took and she got exactly the amount I asked for in! 

And then there is this evening when I was walking the beach, closer to the end of the walk. I saw some folks fishing and recognized a shark fin. The reeling it in was also noticeable as I’ve seen other-than -fish caught enough times at this point and I know what this looks like. It was a nice sized shark. I watched from afar, wondering what they’d do. Long story short, they tagged it, measured it, and released it. I took one picture since my camera is full and that was all I could get. I passed them but then went back and one saw I was going to ask a question. I asked if they’d tagged the shark and he said yes, they are volunteers with NOAA. He then explained that they get postcards from NOAA and, when they catch and tag the shark, they send the stats to them for tracking. This isn’t the GPS kind of tracking. I thought that was interesting and I was glad to have this experience as it was totally new to me. I also learned it was a lemon shark! I said I thought it was a great white and he laughed and said no. I know what great whites look like and hadn’t really looked at lemon sharks before. I can clearly see now that they are rather different and now I know how to tell them apart. 

Lemon shark. 
So… I have more to share about sharks at some point. For now, I will simply say that during a beach walk the other day I saw a fin very nearby me, close to where I stood with just my feet in the water. It was a shark moving swiftly and deliberately. I had thought it was a great white that was young but larger than the babies I’d been seeing. I now think it was a lemon shark. 

I love the beach! 

I love having these experiences. I love having awesome expectations for fun and satisfaction to be a part of my days in moments like these. I love learning new things and making connections. I love walking the beach and I have the expectation of enjoying it every single time. Each night especially, when I walk it, I look around so thrilled to be in such a beautiful place. It's one of the easiest places I know to be. I love it. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ways to Enjoy Revisiting a Familiar Location

I love to travel! 
If you’re a seasonal traveler who chases 70s or you often visit the same location for whatever reason, you may be looking for ways to mix it up and keep things interesting. Of course, there are favorite places and people to see which can make the repetition enjoyable, but what about if you still want something new? I’ve come up with some ideas for experiencing a familiar location in a new way.

First, there are considerations like visiting at a different time than you’ve done before. Have you only visited on Spring Break or a weekend? The weekday or sometime off peak may give an entirely new impression of things. Or, maybe you’ve done the opposite and would like to find a special time like a holiday or festival when the place picks up and has a unique and focused vibe. There’s a certain excitement that builds as a community comes together in celebration and that can make for a great experience and happy memory. Something as simple as visiting in the Fall instead of Spring can also be fun as you get to see the shifts in nature, apparel, foods, activities, and so forth. If you’re really into contrast, some places have much more extreme seasons than others. For example, visiting the Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin in the Summer where boating on Lake Superior is a popular activity, is quite different than visiting in the Winter when the lake is frozen and you can try your hand at mushing or tour some ice caves.

I've been to Greenville, South Carolina once so far, during December when it was decked for the holidays. This was a fun, brief visit and is a place I'd like to explore more, in a different and warmer season. 
Next, you could meet up with someone or bring someone else along to see the place with a new set of eyes. A fellow traveler, friend, or relative will have a fresh perspective to add to the experience. Add to that stopping at a new store or eating at a new restaurant, visiting a local museum or attending a local sports event, or maybe walking at a park or even returning to the parts you’ve really liked, sharing and appreciating them once again.

While revisiting a park I like earlier this year, I spotted these bats mating right outside of my RV. You just never know who or what you may find. I've been there several times yet this encounter has only happened once... so far. :)
Using a website or app like TripAdvisor can be useful to get a feel for the area. It may surprise you what is there that you were unaware of. Asking the locals for favorite popular spots or activities, or taking a stroll or drive around and stopping when you find someplace of interest can be a lot of fun as well. Maybe the architecture or neighborhoods are diverse, perhaps the landscaping is well done, or there’s a nice downtown to discover. Many places have wonderful murals and historic markers that enhance the area. Visiting an old cemetery can also be interesting, especially reading some of the headstones.
The beach has various textures of sand to explore both visually and through touch. Taking notice of and appreciating things like this, then making connections with what you know, what you've seen, and what is new is part of the fun. No two beach walks are ever the same, yet all can be enjoyable.   
There are countless ways to create an engaging visit, even to a place you’ve frequented or know fairly well. If you can be open to a totally new and different experience, letting go of how it was before, you may discover you enjoy it all over, or find pleasure in a place you had previously been less fond of, as if it were your first time filled with satisfaction and excitement. A huge benefit of travel is the exposure to diversity, even when revisiting a familiar location, and the joy of taking interest in the experience. Being alive and exploring the world can always be seen an adventure and, if you’d like it to be, a fun one at that.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Modes of Travel: A Visualization

Oh, the open road!

So you're interested in traveling and start looking at the various options. The following can be a lot of fun to do whether you're looking forward to some trips, fulltime travel, or even if you're just dreaming and never intend on leaving in the physical sense. 

Imagine yourself traveling. Are you driving a lot? Flying? Walking? Chauffeured? Are you in cities? Towns? Nature? Campgrounds? 

You want a place to spend the night, where are you sleeping? In a tent? Someone's couch? An RV? A hotel room? A house with a bed?  Apartment? Sleeping bag? 

You wake up hungry, where are you eating? A kitchen? A diner? Cafe? Chain restaurant? Local joint? Your backseat? Outside? 

You decide you'd like to bathe, how and where? A river? A stand up shower in the middle of your RV? Sponge bath? Truck stop shower? Bathtub? Gym? Traditional in home bathroom? 

What clothes are you wearing? Are they comfortable? Easy to clean? Fancy? Simple? Versatile? Luxurious? Are there a lot of them? Do you layer basics or prefer a specific item for each need? What are your preferences? 

Speaking of clothing, how is the climate and weather? River or desert or mountain or deep sea? Warm? Cold? Both? Somewhere in between? Sunny? Rainy? Dry? "Predictable" or "unpredictable"? 

You consider how you'll spend your days; in museums? Libraries and bookstores? Hiking trails? Out on the ocean? Canoeing? Bird watching? Exploring downtowns or small towns or out in the desert admiring cacti? 

And are you traveling alone? Are you with a caravan? A friend? A significant other? An animal companion? Meeting folks (known and new) along the way, weaving in and out of social groups? 

What items do you feel you'd bring with you no matter what? A computer? A midi keyboard? A fishing pole? Tablet and camera? Boat, bike, kite,  hammock? Games? Sourdough starter? Hammer? Paint set?

You imagine days upon days of doing what you love, however you find most pleasing. What are most commonly occurring thoughts and how does it feel to be fantasizing about this? How does it look to you if you imagine looking at yourself in action? 

There are so many ways to live and travel. I chose RVing because it was an ideal way to travel the way I want to. I chose a class B because it was easy to get around virtually anyplace and I like a lot of variety and easy access. I could live out of a car. I think it'd be fun to live out of a backpack. I like the idea of subletting or renting a place here or there for a bit, to explore an area more and have a home base that stays put, perhaps centrally located to a wide range of opportunities. 

I've seen some solos in big rigs or class Cs, too. I've seen trailers and tiny houses and all sorts of things. 

You can travel by bus or train or car or bike or plane or boat or... there are so many options! I think it's fun to imagine, let loose of any "reality" that exists in your thoughts and just dream away, taking it in, creating and experiencing your traveling however you would like it. 

Everyone's experience is different and even the same situation will be totally unique to one person than another who is right there, too. 
It's a consistent theme here that I believe there is not one right or best way, but many, all with their lovely aspects for those who choose them. 

I may not always live in an RV. I will always travel throughout my life though and I have fun imaging the various options. 

I'm back from the tech break and have noticed link and pictures that need to be corrected. I will take care of that over time. In the meanwhile, please feel free to use the search option for anything specific as the pages the links go to should all be there, they just didn't carry over from the previous web host. 

I hope you're having a fantastic day! 

Friday, December 9, 2016

After the Fact: A Beach in Florida

During my travels in the Fall of 2015, I experienced many new places. I didn't always track where I was or when, I took it in as I went and enjoyed the journey. I took a lot of photos and texted people. And I saw things and experienced things that simply were for me, not shared in any vocalized or photographed sense, still parts of the whole I remember.
I know I went to Valdosta, GA. I can imagine a downtown decked for the holidays in the dark night without recalling what town that was in. I remember strip malls and then more strip malls nearby. I remember gas prices right off the highway in the $1.50-1.60 range at full price. I remember interesting people and birds in parking lots, dialects, friendliness, and smiles. I remember vibes and nature and culture. I remember numerous firsts for me as a person, a solo traveler, and more. And maybe those specifics that made any given experience a part of the place are unimportant anyway. It doesn't matter where it happened, it's that it happened. The right time happens in the right place and there are many right places.
There's so much that this site will only ever cast a glimpse on things and "After the Fact" has highlighted places I could more easily document and share about. What I can say is that it was filled with fun and good stuff. I'm very happy with the travels and my memories of it. I'm happy with where I've grown to be and how I continue to expand through my life experiences.
So to end this series of posts, I have a few pictures of a beach somewhere in Florida. It was, as far as I knew, a new to me place. A touristy area, yet with its own feel, different from the others I'd visited there before and since. Every place has the potential to feel good. As I stopped briefly to visit the ocean and capture a few pictures, this is a spot I still wanted to include even if I can't quite remember the name of it. And as I looked through my photos recently and saw some of Florida, I felt good, smiled, and felt warm. The feelings of Home.
A sunny Florida road.
A sunny Florida road.
A gator in a visitor's center.
A gator in a visitor's center.
I hope you've enjoyed "After the Fact" as I have. It has been awesome to recap and I am eager and excited for the treks to come!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Games for the Solo Traveler

As a game loving solo traveler, I narrowed down my somewhat massive game collection to a few with me on the road. (Full disclosure: I still have some stored in a closet at families' house, even after donating and selling a bunch!) Many games just don't make sense to carry since the space taken and need for other players would make them used less than it's likely worth.
On the road, I keep it simple. In terms of physical games, I have Bananagrams, dominos, and a dice and cards set. These are small and compact, can be used in different ways and for various games, and work for solo or more play. I love it!
There is also an alphabet game that is fun. Basically, starting with A and working through Z, I think of something that starts with each letter. For example, sometimes when I'm in the woods I'll play this and go through what I love about being in nature. "Abundance, Beauty, Clouds, Deer, Earth, Freedom..." and so on and so forth. This is something I play in my head as I walk, and could work just as well with others aloud, picking whatever theme you want. I choose topics that feel good, to focus on what I like.
Like with so many things, technology and the internet allow for access to a lot of options. I have a poker app and had an app similar to Catch Phrase on my phone. I know some people have gaming systems and computer games. I personally don't carry either.
Then there are athletic sports games. Visiting so many parks inspired me to buy a second-hand tennis racquet and have three tennis balls with me. When I find a racquet ball court, I play against it. Sometimes I just throw a tennis ball against the wall or bounce it as I walk a trail or path.
Obviously what you choose to carry will vary not only by space and use, but interest. While it is nice to have your own for if and when, there may be options available to rent, borrow, or trade items. For example, I have considered a kayak or small boat of sorts and ultimately decided not to carry one. I can rent one as needed. Same goes for a bike. If I used these often, I'd likely take a different route. For now, this works.
A general guide for fulltime RVing is if it has multiple uses, can fit somewhere, and you enjoy it, it's worth bringing. So far, I'm happy with what I've got!
Bananagrams, a dice and cards set, and Dominos make up my RV game collection.