We are “supposed” to be in South Carolina right now, slowly making our way to Florida for a few months. There are several traveling friends we planned to see, and we were looking forward to some warm days and interesting exploring. Life has other plans for us these next few months, unfortunately.
Call it what you will …. Snag. Detour. Roadblock. Speedbump. Minor inconvenience. What it actually is … an unexpected diagnosis of lymphoma for me (Karen).
As you may know, Carl and I have been in our home state of North Carolina these past 11+ weeks to visit family and friends and catch up on various medical appointments. We first visited our daughter in Boone for a week, then spent the next four weeks in our hometown of Garner, two weeks with my mom near Bogue, then a week in my sister’s driveway in Swansboro before spending the last few weeks back in Garner moochdocking at my friend’s house (thank you, Chris!).
Spending quality time with our family and friends has been absolutely wonderful. It had been almost 18 months since we saw them, and we have definitely tried to make up for all that lost time. It will be bittersweet when we pull out on January 3 to begin our travels again. On the one hand, 11-12 weeks has not been enough time to be with everyone; on the other, our wanderlust needs to be satiated and we are ready to go.
The most popular question we’ve been asked is “what was your favorite place to visit?” This has been easy enough to answer—most of them—especially the national parks we visited. A couple of weeks ago, though, a friend asked me “what has been the most challenging?” Mmm. I didn’t have an immediate answer, and I have spent some time thinking about it since she asked. Now I have one.
After 17 months of being away, we have finally made it back to our hometown in NC. We plan to be here until January 7, then we’ll head south for a few months before going to the New England states for the summer. As wonderful as it has been so far seeing our daughters and meeting up with some friends, I packed this first week with a little more than I should have. Catching up on medical appointments, planning for a slightly new configuration in our Airstream, and coordinating Carl’s venture into a part-time, seasonal job with Home Depot with one vehicle between the two of us has kept us busy. And not knowing exactly how things will play out with our living situation from November 19 until January 7 has added to the stress.
There’s no doubt about it. Exploring and experiencing new places is the main reason why we decided to travel full-time with our Airstream. Our eyes feast on the natural beauty we seek. Our hands feel the life flowing through rivers and lakes and breezing through the trees. Our feet propel us toward tucked-away sites across deserts and in forests. Yet, it is the people we meet and the friends we make that keep us drawn to this grand adventure.
We are Karen and Carl Newton, full-time RVers!