Wednesday, May 11, 2011

RV Normal or RV Nuts

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’m bored out of my gourd. I have been looking forward to traveling full-time in our RV for a dozen years. Now that I have retired, my wife and I have been on the road for just less than a year and I am a bit disillusioned. We both have many interests, love to travel, get along fine in a confined space, enjoy life and the many friendly people we meet. So, what’s wrong with me? Why do I feel I’m missing something? I’m always thinking I should be doing more. If you could get my head screwed on straight I would be forever grateful.
Lost in Paradise, MI

Dear Lost:
As Bob Dylan said, “Don’t think twice, it’s alright.” Many people go through an adjustment period just as you have described. Going from a structured lifestyle to “free as a breeze” can sometimes knock the wind out of you. You need to give it some time and find your comfort zone. These exact conditions have created a new job description for thousands of people. Both volunteer and paid positions in many parks around the country are now filled by people like yourself that can’t seem to stop doing something that feels like work. Companies like Amazon have started “workamper” programs. They need seasonal help in their distribution centers and they fill positions with RVer’s who want a work fix and some extra money. There are positions like this all over the country with various industries.

The National Park Service could not operate today without the many volunteers who join the ranks in return for free camping in some of the most incredible places on the planet. I just had a guy on the couch recently who bought a metal detector and went looking for gold. He thought that was going to cure his need to define his existence. He was back a month later. He traded in his metal detector for a digital camera to shoot wildlife. Last time I saw him he was happy as a lark, migrating north to Alaska. The point is, keep searching for what makes you a happy camper. You have a lot going for you already, you just need to fine tune your compass setting.

Always remember, if you don’t think you’re normal, you’re nuts!

--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

6 comments:

Sunny One said...

I see part of your problem. If you are used to living in a town area, you won't feel so comfortable in Paradise, Michigan. There is lots to do, but not too many restaurants, shops or venues to enjoy. Paradise -- Tahquamenon Falls, hiking, biking, agate hunting, the Shipwreck Museum, Shelldrake ghost town, or head down the road to the casinos at Bay Mills. The closest town area is Newberry, cute but might not satisfy someone with an urban history.

Anonymous said...

Campground host=
I hear what you are saying about being bored and not knowing what to do with yourself. The first year I retired, I didn't know what to do with myself after 6 months of traveling. I was bored and felt like I needed something to do. So we applied for a campground host position in and area where I wanted to be. We were hired by the forest service and really enjoyed it. The forest service has campgrounds all over the country. Pick a place close to a city if you want to enjoy the conveniences of a city. Enjoy the camping experience, get to know some new people and have a really nice place to camp for free. Adjusting from working all the time to enjoying life takes some time.

Dr. Bowman said...

Know What You are Talkin' about--for many years I was in Education, was a principal and then Supt. SO when retirement came I became bored--Do some RVing--Keep working on adjustment, Is difficult to go from having an important position to Not doing That much! --I keep thinking I want a 2nd career--PS (And I'm a woman!)

Anonymous said...

Join any lions club. With over l.3 million members, anywhere you travel you will find a club close by. All clubs do service projects to help in their communities and would appreciate the help. You get to meet some of the most gracious people in the world.

lionsclubsinternational.org

Rollin said...

Think your problem must be Michigan.....would like to see it myself, it would be different for me, given it would be new for me.

Let me give you one word: Moab. As in Utah. That would be for starters. You'd totally feel you were on another planet. You'd have to cross the Rockies to get there, still another planet of difference.


Moab....Arches, Canyonlands, National Bridges, National Monument, some of the very top parks and scenery in the country, you see it all the time in RV and car ads.

Then pop across the state to Zion and Bryce for more tremendous eye candy and incredible hiking experiences......and the hikes don't have to be difficult to be incredible and to produce life time memories.

Then you've got the entire stinking incredible American West to see.......Yosemite, Oregon coastline, Mt Saint Helens, The Grand Canyon, Sequoia Trees, California beaches, Gold country, so much GREAT stuff, too much to see no matter how much time you've got. No time to be bored if you're serious about sightseeing.

I'm in South Carolina......in the southeast corner; lots of beautiful coastal scenery. A trip to the hill country is wonderful, right on up into NC and the Appalachians, waterfall country and beauty galore. This is what we grew up with.

When we head out West, all this goes out the window, we're going to another world with alien scenery, instead of saying "That's really pretty" we're saying "Holy Cow, will you LOOK at that?"

So my diagnosis is "Limited horizons". My prescription: Go West, Man.

Rollin, bored in South Carolina

Anonymous said...

You could try different things as I was traveling around I ran into a guy that work for Idaho Afloat which does day floats and overnight trips on whitewater rivers it was a great trip so look up website Idahoafloat.com for info