in Cabin Fever, On the road, The State We're In, Things we do

Here’s where I go all gypsy and foretell our future. Sort of.

1987. I was a gypsy in a high school play. Wasn't everyone?

1987. I was a fortune teller in a high school play.
Wasn’t everyone?

When we hatched this full-time RV plan, our primary mission was to find our future home, and I wrote a little about that here. However, since moving aboard in August of 2015, we’ve been choosing our parking places out of necessity — for working on one house (Norfolk – rental) or another (San Antonio – on the market), for medical appointments, or for this current long and necessary-in-a-good-way visit with family in WA.

That changes in 2016, but not until April. We’ll be heading back to the San Antonio area for the first quarter. It’s our home base for medical needs, and we’ve both got follow-ups to manage over the coming months. I won’t go into details here, not because they’re secret, but because they’re private, and not the focus of this blog. Let’s just leave it at nobody’s dying. Fair enough?

Anyway, while we’re there, we’ll also go ahead and get the last of the furniture, left behind for staging purposes, out of the house.

After that, it’s time to start selecting places we may want to live permanently, and go park there temporarily. We’re thinking of staying maybe 6-12 weeks at a time, to get a feel for the place, its neighborhoods, perks, and people. Some of our wants and needs, in no particular order:

  • Access within a couple of driving hours to forests, lakes, rivers and/or ocean
  • Longer summers than winters
  • Small house on large plot
  • Mid-sized town with small college or university
  • Military retiree friendly
  • Major airport within a 3-hour drive

Yes, we regularly review various online lists with exuberant titles like “Great Small Town Living!” or “15 Places You’ll Want to Retire!” or “America’s Best Beach Towns!” And those are helpful, in that we can focus on cities that appear on more than one list. But we are also open to personal endorsements of places you’ve lived or visited, and you are welcome to put a sales pitch in the comments below. In fact, we’d prefer recommendations from friends to those generated by editors who are merely compiling statistics, and who have likely never set foot in the cities they endorse.

And since I hate asking something of you, while giving you only one photo in return, here are two more. I just… well, I haven’t found another use for them yet, so you get them here. My pleasure.

We have an emergency exit in our bedroom. Jealous? I know what you're thinking. "If only these had been a thing back in college..."

We have an emergency exit window in our bedroom. Jealous?
I know what you’re thinking. “If only these had been a thing back in college…”

And every morning I wake up to this on my ceiling. I think it adjusts the TV antenna, but to me it's a friendly lion-elephant bidding me a silent good day, and I think everybody should have one.

And every day I wake up to this guy on my ceiling. I think it adjusts the TV antenna, but I see a friendly lion-elephant bidding me a silent yet cheerful good morning, and I think everybody should have one.

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  1. Well, you’re in WA, so I can’t probably tell you anything you don’t already know: it rains here. A. Lot. And when it’s not raining, it’s so cloudy you can barely see the tree tops. At least, this goes for east of the Cascades. But the summers are amazing and for all the rain in the winter, there is little ice and snow to deal with, unless you are at upper elevations (in which case, there is skiing and other winter sports available). I love it here from March through October: lots of nature, ocean nearby, mountains nearby, small cities with things to do sprinkled here and there. New England would be out for you if you want longer summers than winter, although, Burlington, VT is a great little city with lots of rural towns around it (lived there for college and a bit beyond). Southeast isn’t too bad, but the humidity in the summer (spring, summer, fall the further south you go) is something to contend with if you like to do things outside (spent 2 winters in FL). I loved living in San Diego, but then again, I wasn’t based on land; my home for 2 six month stints was a big gray ship with USNS on the back (UNREP tanker). Lots of retired Navy, great climate, but I don’t know about cost of living (could be $$). As for our country’s interior, I can’t help you there: I’ve lived at the four corners and that’s about it (with visits to VA, TN, NC area). Have safe and fun travels!