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Before Willie…

We bought tickets for the Wizard of Oz event on The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for our children’s godparents for Christmas. About a month before the actual event, we started looking for a place to stay. Not a whole lot there, and I’m talking mostly campgrounds and bed and breakfasts. I thought it would be fun to tent camp, since we own a tent, sleeping bags, an air mattress, and a portable stovetop. How hard could it be? In all honesty, we had only used our tent twice, so why was it taking up space in my part of the shed? Joseph was having a very hard time picturing us tent camping in July when it’s hot, buggy, and most importantly no personal bathroom. This was about the time our neighbors camper came into the conversation. Tom raved about camping, about his camper, and told us about their amazing travels. At this point in time, my husband was hooked and there was no changing his mind. Thus beginning our journey into the wonderful world of camping. Before the actual purchase of our travel trailer, we watched YouTube. A lot of YouTube. We watched vlogs of full time traveling families, we watched companies giving RV reviews, and all the how to’s. We made a Pinterest page, called “Happy Camper,” where we found all the hacks to camping, organizing tips and tricks, and pinned future road trips. We went back and forth about whether or not purchase one. For me, it was a huge expense, another thing in our life that we may not use, and a vacation home that I would have to clean. To be completely honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of camping or having to learn all the technical stuff associated with a camper. However, Joseph saw it as a passport to nomadic freedom. He reasoned that since we always talked about how we want to travel more, if we spend the money for a camper we are going to do just that. After binge watching “Keep Your Daydream,” we were loving the idea of packing up and adventuring for a year. So, on July 4th weekend we bought a camper. We were excited, nervous, and terrified. Our first trip was less than two weeks away, and we didn’t even know how to put on the stinky slinky! Doing what I do best, I made a list. A list for what we needed inside. A list for what we needed outside. And a list for setup and break down. Thank you Pinterest. Our oldest daughter, Lillian and I went to the Dollar Tree and spent a lot of money buying stuff the camper. Mostly junk that we eventually replaced with clearances items from Target and miscellaneous items from our house. Thankfully our neighbors, Tom and Laura, gave us a list of what were necessities, good to haves, and what we could wait on. Once we finally brought the camper home, we spent the evening under the awning, listening to music, and dreaming about our adventures. The idea of running off to travel sounded intriguing and we toasted to the future.

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