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.
Although from Tennessee, we first met Kelli and Bobby in Arizona at the beginning of February 2021. We pulled into an RV park in Benson, Arizona, the day before they were scheduled to leave. Our Airstream attracted Kelli’s attention, and she took note of our website emblazoned on the back of our pickup truck. She found me on Instagram and sent me a direct message, and we discovered that we would soon be in the same RV park in Mesa, Arizona, where we would meet for the first time. Four hours of lively conversation led to keeping up with one another through social media, getting together again in Cathedral City, California, and camping side by side in Arley, Alabama this month. We plan to see each other again while in Florida in early 2022. Kelli has also introduced me to a couple of Facebook groups, one of which has led us to meet other people.
Dennis and Mickey, from Ohio and traveling with their 9-year-old and 3-year-old granddaughters, recently started on their full-time RV journey. One evening, Carl and I were walking around our RV park in Michigan when I noticed this couple who seemed to be having some issues getting their rig leveled. Carl is usually the one who easily meets new people, but it was me who approached them to ask if they needed assistance. They ended up moving to a more level site next to us, and we took advantage of their nightly campfires as we got to know them. Dennis and Carl hit it off immediately when they discovered their mutual interest in the stock market. Mickey and I are forging a new friendship. And the granddaughters are adorable. Since Michigan, we have seen them in Kentucky and in Tennessee, and we hope to see them again next March in Florida.
We first met Liz and Paul in Newport, Washington in September of 2020. Their site was right across the road from ours, and, as usual, Carl started conversing with Paul about trucks and rigs and whatnot. Later, the four of us got together around our campfire to get to know one another. Liz is from Kentucky, and Paul is from California. They both started full-time RVing in the Fall of 2018, met each other a year later, and began full-timing together soon after. Liz had already started a YouTube channel, Liz Amazing, and now Paul (the eye candy… haha!) participates in all of her videos. We have seen them several times since we first met them—in Palm Desert, California, again in Newport, Washington where Carl helped Paul install some security cameras on their rig, near Glacier National Park where we checked out Polebridge together, then outside of Terre Haute, Indiana where I accompanied Liz and her dog, Mango, to an after-hours emergency vet appointment because Mango had severe arthritic pain. (Mango has since crossed the rainbow bridge. ☹ ) Now we are talking about caravanning to Alaska together in 2023, and I’m sure we will run into them somewhere in the U.S. in 2022!
There are many more we have met and are keeping in touch with, hoping to meet up with them again in the future. Some include Trip and Natsuko (aka Chibimoku; met in WA and CA), Liam and Karen (WA), Manny and Mina (CA), Mike and Mary (CA), Georgette and John (CA), and fellow Airstreamers Patty and Bob (Moab, UT) and Aaron and Valerie (MT and MI).
Meeting people has made this full-time RV lifestyle sweeter and has given it more “staying” power. Not only do we look forward to exploring new areas, we are also anticipating who we might see again. Family and friends make life richer, and this is especially true when we are moving from place to place. The locations change frequently, but the friends we meet give us the “constant” we crave.