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.

When we don’t have the pressure of work and holidays, not knowing where we will land is not as stressful. However, we want to be close to family and friends this holiday season, and now that Carl will be working at the Home Depot in Garner, we want to stay in the Garner area with our Airstream. Not so fast, though, as the few RV parks that are convenient to everything and everyone we care about are overbooked with long-term residents – either those who are working nearby or those who are currently “homeless” as their houses are being built. Ideally, we would love to stay at the RV park where we currently reside – the trains going by right behind our site notwithstanding – but there is no availability in that timeframe. Right now, we plan to move the Airstream (and me with it) to the NC coast where my mother and sister live, which means that Carl will need to stay up here with family or friends while he works. We have asked our current location to keep us in mind if they have any cancellations, and we are in the process of talking with family and friends about other possibilities.

We are much better planners, but Carl’s desire to have a part-time job these next couple of months has made our movements less flexible and our planning more stressful. We have become accustomed to flexibility and being able to plan with a degree of certainty several months out. I know… Flexibility and planning seem to be at opposite ends of a spectrum, but for us in this current traveling lifestyle, they go hand in hand.

Anyway, we want to get the most out of our time here in our hometown. Our current plans don’t have us back here until the end of 2023. Anything can change, of course, but we have our sights on moving west at the end of next summer, southwest next winter, and Alaska in 2023. We have already put off our Alaska trip twice – mostly because of the pandemic. The summer of 2023, caravanning with some of our RVing friends, will be ideal for a long trip to Alaska.

Now that we are here and have gotten some of our appointments out of the way, we are beginning to ease into a nice flow of catching up with our loved ones and working. Once the unplanned timeframe of 11/19-1/7 is figured out, this will be an epic hometown/home state visit, ranking right up there with all of our other epic trips.

May you all enjoy your family, your friends, and your surroundings this holiday season and beyond.