Since 2009, Teresa and I realized we wanted to travel more in our RV. As you might know, our first was a 1999 Gas Class A Hurricane with little to no features, no leveling jacks or slides, just a simply motorhome.We knew one thing; we loved traveling in it. Over the years, we have been able to move through to our current motorcoach with many features that makes it a luxury home on wheels.
While that is very comfortable as we travel now, RVing has given us so much more. After my father was injured in a fall in 2012, we decided I would retire from my corporate role to be available to help him and be available for our aging parents if (and when) needed. We never realized how that decision would allow us to see family so much. Some of the family we saw in the first year, 2013, I had not seen for 40 years!
We visitedmy cousin David Herbert and aunt Nancy Herbert in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.
We visitedmy cousin Carl Portch and his wife, Suzi, in Memphis, even visiting his work, FedEx.
We saw his mother, my aunt Betty Lou and his sister, my cousin Kathy in Florida.
After we saw her, she celebrated her 80th birthday just before passing away.
We have seen friends from my high school. In Florida, on a few occasions we have seen Rob Greene, Mike and LuannConley, France Pace, all of whom were classmates from Williamsville North High School outside Buffalo, New York.
It could not have happened if we were not RVing in their areas which allowed us to catch up with them for memorable evenings.
Even more interesting, the new friends you meet as you RV. We have met new friends who have RVed for 30+ years, like Joe and Barb Vanacore of Ormond Beach, Florida.
Amazing couple I have written about and still very good friends. Royce and Amy Holm from Centreville, Maryland. Here was our white white rafting trip last year.
We call Royce “MacGyver” because we honestly think he can come up with a solution to fix just about anything. While in the 70s, they bike more than folks half their age and are great friends of ours today. We even meet new people who are just taking that leap of faith into RVing. One couple was Jerry and Kathy Lindamann.
Such a neat couple with an interesting history from yachting to owning schools to now…RVing? Met them at HHI when Kathy approached Teresa about seeing our motorcoach at the resort. Next thing we knew, they got a beautiful Class B unit and are traveling in it.
There are many more we have met through RVing or Southeast Publications, like the owners or managers of the many RV resorts with which we work each year. We have so many new friends out there in Southeast Publications too.
The CEO and his wife, Wally and Kim Warrick, make this such a great company to work in. To be the top team in their company is a blessing but we owe so much to so many for obtaining that recognition. They are so supportive and generous in their time and resources. Our general manager, Jim Kamidoi, our VP of Sales, Carlene Morris, our Business Development Manager, Brian McGuinn and the entire team in the home office make this venture a lot of fun but very lucrative as we travel and help RV resorts in their marketing and Guest Guide Program.Then there are the many Southeast reps who are willing to share their experience to help you in your venture. Tim and Jamie Adams, Herb and Becky Bivens, Rich and Wanda Townley and so many more. New friends we could not have met without RVing.
We have visited my siblings from my brother Kenny Herbert in his Brooklyn, New York home to my two sisters, Colleen Gibson and Chris Hoffman, when they joined us for my mom’s 80th birthday party in Fort Myers, Florida.
To have that time with them was incredible because while the years and miles have separated us, RVing has given us the chance to visit them.
We have seen more of Teresa’s brother, Richard and his wife Christina, on the road while RVing than we do at home. Here we were at a Polar Bear Plunge in December 2015.
We have traveled with and had my bonus son, Bill Shortt (Teresa’s son) to many places from Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, SC to New York City to various beaches in Florida to the mountainous East Tennessee.
We have been able to see my adult children in their homes, Katie Cook in Louisville, Kentucky and Eddie Herbert in Nashville, Tennessee. As we work in the Nashville area with RV resorts, we get to see more of Eddie and his wife, Leslie but when we see them, it is not a stressful time in that we have to rush back to work. Over the last 7 years, we have been blessed with two grandchildren from Katie and her husband Jacob Cook. Thanks to RVing, we have had to time to visit grandson Paxton and his little sister, Clara from the beginning of their lives to today.
We have time to visit, to experience their lives and really be in that moment. We really need Louisville to open a nice RV resort!
Two things have changed during lifestyle journey. Both of my parents have now passed. Dad died in June 2013 and Mom just died this month, May 2017. The leaders of our family unit are gone. My siblings and I are now the elders in the circle of life. But, thanks to RVing, my wife and I spent invaluable time with both parents before their deaths. In Dad’s case, his head injury left him incoherent at times but it was great to be there for his moments of clarity.
Before Mom’s COPD left her unable to participate in lengthy visits, we were able to visit her for memorable evenings, great meals and wonderful ice cream cake. In the early days, we were able to visit some of her favorite spots like Siesta Key Beach.
Still, we were able to visit them both a great deal before we would lose them. We had time to sit and be in the moment with each of them. Dad was with his wife Elaine (who was amazing helping him recover from his first head injury) in Ocean View, Delaware. Mom was with her spouse Linda further south in Port Charlotte, Florida. Just a wee 1,000+ miles apart. But in the motorcoach, a short 2-day drive to either place from our home in Piney Flats, Tennessee. We were able to cherish the time instead of worrying about getting back to work. This was a major reason we left our corporate roles – to spend time with loved ones.
Traveling together is a love of ours and doing it in our motorcoach is our favorite mode of doing it.
Having a home on wheels, with all of our necessities, is an incredible experience. But add to that the ability to see people who have been part of your family or a major part of your life growing up and it makes the entire lifestyle such a blessing. There is that leap of faith that you can succeed to leave the security (?) of a salary and benefits but we never doubted this could work because we are a team.
If you are wondering if there is more to life, you might consider RVing to connect with loved ones and your life story. We made the leap and it has been such a blessing to us and those with whom we connect in our travels.