Musings On Impermanence
One of the things I learned very early on in my life was the idea of impermanence. The fact that everything we are and do in life is transient, at least on a larger scale. Some happenings last years, possibly even decades while others are mere moments in time. From the folks we meet, the people we love, the heartbreaks and the exultation, to the activities that we spend our lifetimes doing. They are all but passings in the flow of life. Seen from the earth it’s a lifetime, seen from the point of view of the universe it all happens in the blink of the eye.
When I’m in Cape Blanco at one with nature (as it were), I sense this flow and transience more than almost anywhere else. I think it may be because everything is so raw and exposed out here. The weather hits with nary an obstacle to control it, days flow from brilliantly beautiful to dark and obscure with no sense of rhyme or reason and I can’t help but get caught up in the flow and move with it. It’s almost like I sense life from within, if that makes sense.
Why in the world am I writing about all this?
Well, for one thing I did warn you this would happen. This place brings out the philosophical and floppy side in me which inevitably leads to these kinds of deeper ramblings. On the other hand I also like to bring these musings back to our life and into some kind of context with our RVing adventures. You see I feel the idea of impermanence has a very real connection with what we’re doing now, and (perhaps) also why I value it so much.
When we decided to leave our fast-track careers and live on the road 5 years ago, many folks thought we were mad. I got the full gamut of reactions from those who thought we were throwing our lives away (some were even very adamant about trying to stop us), to those who dismissed it as a passing phase to those who were insanely jealous and wished they could do it themselves. I found it interesting how most people either abhored or idolized the idea with very, very few seeing it as just another way to live.
Fulltime RVing, like any other form of lifestyle is not all roses and unicorns. You still need money, you still need to wash laundry, your poop still stinks (and as I like to say, as a bonus you get to carry it with you) and you still endure personal day-to-day issues which never come at the right time. But fulltime RVing also has incredible benefits for those who adapt to the flow of the lifestyle.
For me this passage of 5 years has produced more memorable experiences and given me more enriching encounters than almost anything I’ve ever done. Perhaps it’s the transient in me, the part of my soul that connects so strongly to the road, but I loved RVing from the very first moment I moved into the rig and that feeling hasn’t left me since. This is not just a vacation, or a phase…it’s a lifestyle and the more I go with the flow, the more I enjoy it.
That said, I know this is just another passage in time. Don’t worry folks we have no plans to stop what we’re currently doing, but I also have no illusions this will go on forever. Time will pass, things will change and this will become another one of those memories that drifts away with the wind. This is the impermanence of life and it is inevitable. In the meantime I can only be deeply thankful for the choices we’ve made and the experience this passage of living has given me thus far. I’ve never felt more connected to the flow of life than I do right now, and in some very strange way it’s a comforting thing (who knew RVing could be so philosophical?).
This may be a passing moment, but what a fine moment it is….
- 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing
- The Darker Side Of FullTime RVing? 5 Thoughts To Ponder Before Making The Leap..
P.S. Although I don’t often write about it I want to thank everyone who has used and continues to use our Amazon links. Since I put the links on the blog we’ve received a nice, small but steady income. It’s surprised and delighted me, and inspires me to keep blogging and putting out the best quality content I can. I can’t see who’s bought what (Amazon hides that), but know that every purchase is deeply appreciated!SPONSORED LINK:
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Jenny Waters says
Lovely post, Nina. I have been thinking similarly lately, as we lost our cat a few weeks ago. We had her for 15 years, and though we knew we wouldn’t, we felt like we would have her forever. It kind of shocked me back to the reality that nothing is permanent.
I hope you are still full-timing when we get to start. It is a little way off yet, but when our business is established we will be able to run it from anywhere. I am living vicariously through your blog for now. I think it is a perfect mix of good pictures, lots of information about the lifestyle, and random musings which I enjoy.
That forest trail looks lovely. I think it would be hard to beat hikes in that forest and on the beach in the same day. (By the way, your link to the 10 Things I Wish I Knew post is actually going to The Darker Side of RVing post.)
So sorry to hear about your kitty 🙁 We had a recent passing too which is partly what prompted this post. It’s hard to lose the ones we love…furry or otherwise.
And thanks for the broken link info. I’ve fixed it now.
Jenny Waters says
Oh, I’m sorry to hear you lost someone. I was a bit afraid that was where it was headed when I was reading it. 🙁
Steven Dempsey says
It was nice to meet you the other night, Nina, at our get together with the Technomads. Looks like you and I are on the same page about Cape Blanco Beach. I wrote similar sentiments in my latest blog post: http://stevendempseyphotography.blogspot.com/2014/09/beachcombing.html
What a lovely post…and GORGEOUS photo’s Steven!! Cheers for sharing.
Box Canyon Mark from Lovely Ouray, Colorado says
I, for one, appreciate your blogging honesty… the good, the bad, and the ugly. You don’t candy coat the truth and I think your readers feel that and also appreciate it. Your enthusiasm, sense of humor and, as in today’s post, words for the heart make Wheeling It worth the read. You guys are exceptions to the “Phase” crowd, for sure (blush).
Box Canyon Mark from Lovely Ouray, Colorado…soon to be heading out for Utah’s Canyon Country…
Well cheers very much indeed for the lovely comment. High praise indeed from someone I respect as a fellow philosopher and writer. Looking forward to your blog posts traveling south!
Seems like Cape Blanco agrees with you. Perhaps there’s one of those government light houses in your future 🙂 That trail looks dreamy!
Well I’ve definitely thought about it! Decommissioned Lighthouses can be cheap to buy, but the renovation might be extensive (and expensive). It’s tempting though!
DeVora Clark says
I made it through my first year as a full timer and I can say that although I nearly lost my mind having to surrender most of my creature comforts that would not fit into my RV, I can say with certainty that I love this lifestyle and have no desire to go back to house living! It is not without its challenges, as we’ve read. I flunked driving the F250 Super Duty test. I dumped the truck in a culvert backing it up and I got rid of it b/c it was too much truck for me to handle a year ago. Even though I only had it a month brand new, the dealer wouldn’t take it back, so I ended up with negative equity on a car that I need to trade in now to try the truck scenario again. I’m looking at the new F150’s that have an aluminum body that are coming off the assembly line in Nov/Dec … gas mileage is the concern because I have to drive 30 miles to work every day. Another challenge I’ve had is that my travel trailer is not 4 season, so, when the cold wind blows, it can be felt breezing through inside. I hear we’re facing a very cold winter this year, so I will somehow need to insulate my home on wheels on a “beer budget”. It’s not cheap fixing these things up either. I’ve thought of moving to Florida, but the nice RV resorts are out of my price range. The cheaper ones are sometimes not safe for a single woman. And I do not like humidity, so I’m not sure where to go. Arizona air gives me nose bleeds. For now, I’m enjoying Georgia:)
Goodness you’ve definitely been through some rough road in your first year RVing. Kudos to you for sticking in there despite the challenges. Hope you manage to find your groove.
Great thoughts. Wonderful insights. Thanks for sharing.
I have to say that I love your musing posts almost more than any other you do. They are so from the heart. And they always speak to me. You say things I have thought or even said. I too have loved RVing from the first moment on the road and I’d never even been in one before I bought on to full time in. We’ve only been on the road since October of 2010 but I could do this forever. Unfortunately it appears that David’s health is not going to allow that. Talk about impermanence. Great post Nina Thanks! I can totally see why Cape Blanco would be a place that one would have deep thoughts and feel more connected to the natural world. That’s why I’d really love to be there.
Oh Sherry, I read your post today and I’m so very sorry to hear of David’s worsening numbers. Really hope the doc can modify his therapy so you’re able to get back out and continue doing what you both love. Impermanence is often easy to talk about, but tough to live especially through the more difficult times. We’ll be thinking of you both!
I hate to mention this, and maybe I’m late mentioning it. But I want you to continue to be perfect in your wonderful blog. So…there is a typo in your post title.
Ooops. Thanks. These are the kinds of things my dyslexia just doesn’t “see” and for some reason my spell-check didn’t catch it either. Caught it and fixed it.
So, speaking of typos, I have been working on our blog although it has not gone “Live” as yet. Today,just for fun with no purpose in mind, I typed our domain,or what I thought was our domain, into the address bar of the browser. Imagine my surprise when someone else’s website/blog came up. To make a long story short, our blog is entitled “Sunrises and Sunsets”. I thought the domain I purchased was “sunrisesandsunsets.com”. As it turns out, I actually purchased sunrisesandsunsets. Notice the double “n”. No wonder that domain was “available”.
I’ll bet my “0ops!” is bigger than yours. 🙂
Now back to our regular programing…Thank you for this topic. For me, your writing is a reminder that life is ever-changing and un-predictable. And as such, all we can do is plan for our Great Escape and “life” on the road for however long we are allowed.
Nina, you are a real talent. So is your driver:)
Jeesh! I hate this Kindle’s keyboard. It should be “sunnrisesandsunsets”. How’s this for stealing a thread? I apologize. I’m going back to my corner now.
Oh nooooo! This is totally the kind of mistake I could see myself making. Thanks for the giggle, even though I’m sure it wasn’t funny for you when you first realized it 🙂
Once again, you unknowingly have come to my rescue. I took a look at your domain and noticed it was “.us” versus “.com”. I did a domain search and we are now “sunrisesandsunsets.us”.
My husband and I were at Cape Blanco last Monday and Tuesday and I we just loved it. Saw your rig and mentioned to my hubby I thought you were the “wheelingit” couple. Guess I was right! Light house was closed on Tuesday and we were really disappointed. I guess we need another trip! Love your blog!
Oh bummer you missed the tour. The lighthouse is only closed on Tuesdays, but there’s no way you could know this. Glad you enjoyed the area though.
John and Pam Wright says
Loved your post, Nina:) Isn’t it wonderful to be flexible enough and comfortable with yourself to live this amazing lifestyle. We wake each day to pinch ourselves, and be thankful for this wonderful opportunity. I type this as we look out the window from the Jasper Brewing Company in gorgeous Jasper NP at the snow capped mountains. Mind you we are here because we have no television and John’s football team is playing their main rival:) The little inconveniences to being in the trees!
You two definitely encompass a couple who totally embrace this lifestyle. Part of the reason we get along so well 🙂
The title has a slight typo, so at first I thought it was Musings on Impertinence—and you were going to dish about all your rude readers! 🙂
I go with the flow by incorporating a cyclical, seasonal element to my RVing. During the winter, I spend 6-7 months in a single sedentary site of my own creation, camped amidst the volcanic chaos outside Yuma. As the sun swings the other way, summer is spent traveling—sometimes far and wide, but usually confined to the much cooler mountains of Arizona and New Mexico. Variety is the spice of life. Impermanence makes the world go ’round!
I think many long-term RVers embrace the seasonal idea. We certainly love to move to the coast in the summer & return to the desert in winter.
Nina, where did you take that fantastic sand and sun picture at the beginning of this current blog. It is great. We have been all along the coast of Oregon, but cant picture this location. Keep up the great blog. Joe & Diane.
That pic was taken on the south beach at Cape Blanco. It was right after a very windy day so we had lots of cool ridges in the sand. All the pics in this post were taken here in the last week. Glad you like them.
I too loved this post , it reminds me that all
Phases of our live are passing moments . I wish to start RVing full time But as of now am still in the working and saving phase hopefully it too will not be permanent.
Each phase has it’s time, so here’s hoping it won’t be too long before the RV one.
Ann Cabezas Creed says
One of the best articles you have written!
Regards, Ann C.
What a cool post Nina. I’ve always considered everything in life to be of impermanence. Nothing, and nobody, lasts forever. That’s just the way things are.
It’s so nice to see someone else actually take the ball and run with it, so to speak. Good musings indeed. 🙂
I’ve always had that same feeling too. It’s not always easy to “live” it, but it’s always been there.
Beautiful words spoken from the heart! Life, like everything in it, is temporary – so enjoy every moment. You and yours surely do. Enjoyed this posts and your photos.
Thanks Sheila. Glad this resonated with you.
Roman & Kathy says
Been reading your post for a while now, kudo’s to the both of you for your time and efforts of your website and the great info contained within.
Heading up from Arizona, to cruise the OR coast to whatever catches our interest. Going to be in Bandon Friday and Saturday, (going to check out that cranberry festival going on this weekend).
Would be nice to stop by and tour the lighthouse and say to also say hello. (maybe even leave a 6 pack near “the beast” of whatever your favorite “brewksi” might be, as a “material” compliment for your website dedication.
Roman and Kathy, AZ
We’ll be working at the lighthouse Fri and Sat (got PM shift on Fri and all-day shift on Sat) so if you come by for a tour you have a great chance of catching us. The Cranberry festival should be fun.
Roman and Kathy says
Clarification: “material” compliment = “tangible thanks”
Will try and make that 3:30 tour.
Roman and Kathy
Just FYI…last tour tickets are sold at 3:15pm.
Roman and Kathy says
Just got in to bandon at 4, lots to traffic issues from Portland. Would still like to stop by and say hello. Would like to treat you to brew, wonder if there are ant micro breweries nearby,
Roman and Kathy says
If you see a black ford focus, that is Kathy and I checking out the lighthouse area around 6 pm today. We are atarting out coastal “discoveries” this evening 🙂
John Audette says
When you’re in touch with your own heart and speak from it people hear with their hearts. Kind of rare in our age of irony. Your immersion in nature takes you there and your brave and honest sharing takes us there. As my 4-year granddaughter says, “You’re true.”.
Well thank you for the compliment (and by the way your granddaughter is very wise…sometimes I think kids see these things much better than us adults).
Awesome post Nina! You’ve put into words what seems to always be in the back of my mind. Some day I plan to visit this magical place called Cape Blanco. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Kudos to you for following your dream and living life to the fullest.
Hope you get out here someday and are able to breathe in the poetry here. Be forewarned though…you might never leave 🙂
Jodee Gravel says
Love those special places in nature that touch the special places in our hearts, and remind us in the very best of ways that nothing is forever (except maybe rock-and-roll). When you can look back and know you made the right choice for you – the view is pretty darn good!
I love this! Pelita and I are almost at our 1 yr anniversary; on Oct 24th 2013, we took the plunge and bought our 43ft ‘beast.’ We went from a 5,000sq ft house to a 3,200 sq ft house to a few hundred sq ft. Pelita and I have followed your blog since Nov last year and we feel that we know you and Paul. We have crisscrossed a few times: we are currently at FT Lewis/Mchord WA (I am retired military). You passed us on I5 when you were traveling south, we’ve also crisscrossed in AZ in the winter as well. We were planning on coming down to Cape Blanco next week to meet you two, but I ended up (we need $ to rv lol) picking up a contract in Dallas until 31st Dec, we need to leave and go directly to Dallas tomorrow without stopping by. Today, you wrote about something that’s always have been on my mind: Me, I often reflect back and ask the question, did we do the right thing by giving up everything (and I mean everything: career, nice cars, big house, no storage, nothing) for fulltime RVing?. When we first brought up the idea with family and friends last year, almost all of them thought we were mad as well. One of our close cousins thought we wouldn’t last 5 months. When we bought our rig, the owner of the RV dealer thought that we were mad in that we have never RVed a day in our life, except rent one for a weekend. The owner actually told us, that if it didn’t work out in 3 months, bring the rig back and he would sell it for us lol. It has been history ever since. We’ve stayed 5 months (I had a contract out at Thousand Oaks) at the naval air station at Point Mugu (north of Malibu and almost weird weather as Cape Blanco). Our rig was right on the beach. What a dream! We saw seals, dolphins ever day, and whales as they migrate north for the summer and of course the views were to die for. We could have never done that if we had been living in our sticks and bricks. We could never afford to live on the beach, period! We’ve been here at Ft Lewis WA for almost a month, and I am just itching to get back on the road, we’ve already logged 7k miles for 2014. I love driving my rig and I love being out in the country, there something about it as well besides just being at the parks. And like you mentioned, there are those who are insanely jealous, I quit Facebook (it was really bad) because of it. There are also those who we meet for the first time and we mention that we live in a RV, they think we are poor and have a rough life and they actually feel sorry for us lol. In CO Springs, one asked when were we going to buy a house lol. Pelita and I have been blessed our entire lives and have had great years. There has almost never been a ‘bad’ year, but this year (since rving), I think this one is going to be the best. I know we are still inexperienced rver’s compared to you, Paul and those who follow your blog, but living life off the grid is a beautiful thing I think. It’s crazy, but it’s beautiful and would we go back to bricks?. I hate to say never, but as of now, we are in a dream and please don’t wake us up. Until then, stay safe and one day we will meet up.
Well it sounds like you guys went through the whole cycle and definitely became “one” with the lifestyle. Very happy to hear you’re enjoying this phase of your life.
john H says
here is to many more passing moments…
Clarke Hockwald says
Nina, thank you for so eloquently putting into words what I have been thinking these past few days.
I see this same poetry coming through in your recent blog posts, Clark. Love it that the Cape is seeping into your soul 🙂
Tricia Neuzil says
Hi. I love reading about your adventures. We have two cats and I see Taggart is relaxing without a leash. How do you get yours to stay at your campsite?
Taggart is getting older now. She’s around 13 and really just likes to get out and lie in the sun next to the rig (we always sit with her, never leave her alone). She does also go for walks on occasion, and for that purpose we have a cat harness and a leash. Most of the time though she just likes to stay close to the rig.
I highly recommend leash-training. It takes a while, but gives the kitties so much more freedom. We leash-trained our cats at the age of 6 and they’ve loved going outdoors ever since.
Oh, how I love the “floppy side” of you. It reminds me of your whimsical floppy pink hat. 😉 So glad Cape Blanco is feeding your philosophical mind as well as your soul. We are all beneficiaries.
Nothing like the thought of impermanence to remind us right now is our only guarantee. Reason enough to keep rolling…
LOL…floppy side and floppy hat…I think you have me nailed 🙂
This post goes straight to the heart, Nina. Lovely. I find contemplating impermanence is highly motivating to live this beautiful life as richly and fully as possible. And it’s one of the reasons we took the leap into full timing just over a year ago. What a grand adventure it’s been so far! Thank you for sharing your philosophical musings.
I’m so glad we met in the San Juan’s and totally believe you are going to love fulltime RVing. You are already off to a fabulous start!
Wow, was this a timely topic for us! Nina, you write so beautifully, I really enjoy reading your blog. Best to you and Paul.
Mary Ann says
I don’t comment often, but I am a faithful reader of your post, and this one is special. We have full-timed in the past, and plan to again, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to live “in the moment”. Like all cliches, it is a cliche because it contains so much truth. The knowledge that someday your full-timing will probably have to end just makes your time now so precious. And I get to enjoy it with you! Thank you for your wonderful posts and especially the beautiful pictures.
So true and beautifully said. Thanks for the comment (and following the blog:)).
This certainly speaks to my heart. Thanks for saying it so beautifully…Lynda
Mike G says
Uncanny how your blog post was right under Wandering Dolphin’s blog post about having a rough time coming off a big adventure. I connected then with your blog, it seems to have helpe, see for yourself at http://wanderingdolphin.blogspot.com/?m=1
Transitions are never easy, even when they are welcomed and certainly more so when they are not. I hope things improve for Wondering Dolphin.
Kathy Webb says
Nina, we love the way you write and the photos in your blog! Especially the Sunset on the wavy sand!! Awesome! Always refreshing to “see” Cape Blanco through another’s eyes, after working there 2 summers. From the mist covered trails to the windswept beach, up the cliffs to the lighthouse, there is so my history and beauty to enjoy! You and Paul must be among the best tour guides they’ve ever had! Glad you did not listen to the “nay sayers”, it’s your life and you are happy!
As fellow lighthouse hosts and long-term RVers I know you understand this more than most. Now, you’re living the next phase of your life and embracing that too. We’ll see you soon!
Jim and Gayle says
Very well said, Nina. We have no idea what is in store for the next phase of our lives, but being full time RVers for the past six years has been our best “phase” so far.
Totally with you. You’re also one of the couples I know that totally embraces this lifestyle & have a great “go with the flow” attitude.
When you muse we all muse Nina, that’s what makes your blog posts interesting, variety!
I so agree with you. I embrace our ‘passing moments’ and am deeply grateful for each and every experience in our always changing life. Mike and I just go with the flow, knowing that everything can change in a heartbeat.
I love your musings Nina and although I cannot say I embraced this lifestyle from day one as avidly as you did, I do now and am so grateful for the experiences we are having.
Paul took a while to adapt too (around 6 months actually), but he also loves it now.
Great post, wonderful sentiments, sorry for your loss….I too embraced this lifestyle right from the beginning …but we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and know that our days in this lifestyle are numbered…we too heard many naysayers and ignored them…we have had some fabulous experiences in the places we have gone and through the people we have met….there will no regrets when it ends…
You were one of the first couples we met & connected with on the road, and I love that we’re still friends even all these years later. I know the next transition won’t be easy for you, but I also know you’ll do it with the same upbeat and determined attitude you take with everything. If there’s one thing I know about you Jil is that you’ll always find adventure in life!
thank you….I love that we are still friends and we are still connected too…I doubt that will ever go away…
As a longtime reader, I can’t tell you how many different cords this post hit! In one of my favorite movie quotes from ‘Meet Joe Black’ the main character just before blowing out his birthday cake candle says “And I’m going to break precedent and tell you my one candle wish: that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, “I don’t want anything more.” Sixty-five years. Don’t they go by in a blink?” Some get it, some never will. The Cape obviously agrees with you.
Ahhh…now you’re taking me back to some good movie moments.
This reminds me of another of my fav movies “Joe verus the Volcano”. There’s a point where Joe and Patricia are about to jump into the Volcano and she turns to him and says:
“Joe – nobody knows anything. We’ll take this leap, and we’ll see. We’ll jump, and we’ll see. That’s life.”
I try to remember this as I travel through this life. Sometimes you just gotta jump and see.
I have been Full-time RVing since February 2014, other than a few months at my new home in Montana. I’m traveling alone, other than my dog, so I have a lot of time to ponder my new lifestyle. Reading your wonderful post makes me think you are picking my brain, as I have many of those same experiences and thoughts. My new lifestyle is different than anything I spent during my entire working career that started at thirteen years old. What better way to spend my retirement. I learned within the first laundry cycle that this was different from vacation. Laundry, house cleaning and maintenance still need to be done. But I am loving the lifestyle and hopefully I will be able to do it for a long time.
Sounds like you’re getting into the groove of fulltiming, and starting to really love it. Totally agree about this not being a vacation. Many folks think it is, but fulltime RVing is definitely a lifestyle and those that treat it like a vacation tend to burn out of money/energy very fast. We almost did that ourselves our first year, but thankfully learned to slow down and enjoy the flow.
Greg G says
Absolutely amazing. I truly appreciate your insights to Full time RVing. It has been said that to discover yourself spend more time closer to Nature. Amen to that.
We too did the waay too much during our first excursion, just returning from a 90 Day, 6000 mile, 30 stop whirlwind.
We are not full timers, but we Loved our experiences full time.
We get enlightened every time we read your blog.