Five Reasons to Consider Caravaning (is that even a word?) When You Get to the Lovely Age of 55
I have this small, 17 foot home on wheels that I pull with my Subaru Outback. I picked her up in Quebec. The guy at the factory gave me a two hour tutorial with a French accent. I was in love. The little trailer and with the dude too. I mean who wouldn’t love to learn about how to hook up the poop hose or how to break off all your fingernails hitching up the trailer or rearrange the cushions so you had a king sized bed that looked like a puzzle? Not me. I was all ears.
I drove off. She spoke to me. Yes, a SHE. Right then and there I named her. I had never named a piece of steel, aluminum and whatever, with wheels, in my life. Car, truck, van. That’s all the further I got. Not this beauty. She became Maple Leaf Canadienne. I call her Maple. Don’t you love those Canadians? I even have a stuffed plush friend shaped like a Maple leaf with eyes and a smile. Yes, purchased on Etsy and made in CANADA.
Five reasons. Is this a test? I am so through with tests. Taking them and grading them. If this is a test just give me a “C”. For Courageous, cute, capable and cunning from time to time.
Reason 1. Because you damn well want to go caravanning. Oh, forgot to mention this part. I call Maple a caravan because she sure as hell isn’t a honking big ass McMansion on wheels that threatens to blow me off the road when passing, or something I have hitched to the back of my “I’m better than you because I have a big effing truck so move over you economy loving wimp” truck or anything like that. She is a lady and a gypsy and has adventure in her soul.
Reason 2. It’s fun. Take away your breath, whoopee kind of fun. And entertaining. I always get to entertain people when I back her up. Just two wheels and slippery as an eel and no matter what truck loving dude tries to help me, Maple has her own ideas and laughs. I laugh too and pretty soon they do too and we’re all laughing and Maple is jack-knifed.
Reason 3. Because you can. Maybe at 55 or 75 or whatever you are, you can’t become an astronaut or a veterinarian or become an NBA player but you can become an adventurer and go caravanning all over the place. Get smart. Do lots of research. Go to these shows that showcase the new models of RVs. Ask lots of questions. Figure out how much your vehicle can haul safely and go from there unless you want a larger vehicle. Don’t believe the sales people. They want to sell you the vehicle. They don’t give a crap if you can haul it or not. Get SMART. Yes I already said that but you weren’t listening and already thought you knew everything.
Reason 4. Nobody knows where you are. I love this reason. At any time I am nowhere. I am in the wind and being creative. One of the first things people ask me when they write or call is “Where are you?” I want to say “What the hell difference does it make to you anyway?” but I say some remote place I might have passed on the way. One time I told people I was in Harmony, California. They believed it. And their mind created some quaint little town along the coast of California maybe between the Redwoods and Big Sur. Nope. Harmony, California, population 18 appeared to me to be one farmhouse a barn and some animals. Two people, some chickens and sheep spotted on the quick drive by. This might be scary if you are in the witness protection program but for me it is a no brainer.
Reason 5. Challenge yourself. When I reached 60 I decided to challenge the hell out of aging. And I am doing a great job of it too. I’m on my third trip across the United States in 8 months and it is a wonder. I get to see sunrises and sunsets and full moons and the milky way and the desert and prairie and the coastal areas and the big towns and small. I see lots of farmland and rivers and streams and mountains and valleys. I see beauty and sadness too and poverty and despair. I meet wonderful people and park rangers and fishermen and women and bikers. I LOVE bikers. Beards, tattoos, big bikes, great smiles and full of laughter. If you aren’t up for an all out holy shit kind of challenge then maybe rent a rig some weekend or week and take off and see what you think. Bring the dog. Have fun. Laugh. You deserve it good people.