Coming Out Of Hibernation (And On The Road Again…)
It’s been 84 years…..
Well maybe not quite, but I know it’s been a long, loooong time since I last posted. This has been the longest gap I’ve had in my blog since I started writing ~9 years ago and for those of you who were worried I really do apologize. I don’t know if it’s years of constant blogging on the road that’s finally catching up to me (blog burn out, perhaps?), or because our life has changed SO MUCH since we moved. Either way, I really needed the time away to figure it all out and I’m still (in many ways) working on that and trying to find the “new me”.
Our Life Has Slowed Down (And Drifted Off Social Media)
Part of it is that our life has changed so dramatically from our nomadic years on the road in the USA. Here in France it’s become slower, more personal, more “fixed”. That’s been a good thing all-in-all, but it’s also fundamentally changed the way I interact with the world and I’m still trying to find the proper balance in it all.
While we were traveling around the USA we were 100% nomadic and interacted constantly through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the blog. It allowed us to create a community while we moved, keeping in touch with the world seamlessly, and reaching an audience I could never otherwise have connected with. I am SO thankful for that time.
But Social Media can also be a rather soul-sucking endeavor. It can take over your life and, if you let it, pull you into an artificial world of interaction that can somewhat overshadow the real one. Over 9 years of writing, my blog morphed from a simple way to share my travels with a few friends & family to something much, much bigger, along with all the good (and bad) that comes with that. I loved it, but I also lost a bit of myself in it.
When we moved to rural France that all changed in an instant.
The online world is not at all a focus here. Instead of internet interactions, things happen face-to-face. So, if you wanna meet folks you meet them in real life, and if you need to find a business or someone to fix your house, you ask around and find them through word of mouth. It’s all rather old-fashioned, and if you’re used to “instant online gratification” it can seem terribly frustrating and slow. But it can also be a refreshing and soul-enriching change.
So slowly but surely over the past months I’ve been on that path, disconnecting from Social Media, trying to re-find a balance in our new life and re-evaluating how I’m going to move forward with it all. Complicated “mind stuff” if you will…
So What Now? Will You Still Write?
Well, yes. Like an old bear I’m slowly coming out of hibernation and have decided to ease my way back into writing and sharing online to see how it feels. I love the creative process of what I do here, as well as the interactions I have with all of you, my readers, so I’m starting back up and will see how it goes. It’s going to be a process, and I may have to tweak a few things, but I really want to give it a try.
Plus it helps that we’re traveling again….
The Motorhome Is Finally On the Road…..in SPAIN!!
After MANY MONTHS of delay, LMB is finally on the road. Whoooo wheeeee! We’re currently on day 2 of a mini-trip abroad to Spain and so far, all is going well. It’s not going to be a huge journey (just a few weeks or so), but it’s been a looong time coming and should help me shake the cobwebs out of my blogging retreat.
Part of the reason for the delay was due to the fact that we waited more than 2 months for our permanent license plates to arrive.
Originally we were supposed to get the plates in mid-November (last year), then that got delayed until mid-Dec, then end Dec and so on. The wait was endless, and in typical French fashion, absolutely impossible to predict (“ils arrivent bientôt”, “they’ll come soon” was the only answer we could get). FINALLY a few weeks ago, our motorhome registration was approved in the French system, we got our “carte grise” (our official documents), and we were able to replace our temporary plates with permanent ones.
The latter actually happened ridiculously fast, once everything was approved. We simply showed up at the dealer with our finalized registration and they created new plates for us on-the-spot. They printed the plate number from a big paper printer, laminated it with with some hard plastic using a hand-roller, and gave us some rivets to attach it to the motorhome. Literally 10 minutes and they were done…..voila…!
It was a classic French story. It took absolutely AGES to get us “into the system” but once we were in, it all flowed like butter on a hot day. C’est comme ça!
Then We Spent A Few Weeks Getting LMB In “Ship Shape” To Roll…
Once we’d been “legalized” we started working to get the motorhome ready to leave for her mini-trip abroad.
An important part of that was figuring out how to “cat-ify” the interior for our two feline family members. That mean finding viable spots for cat litter, cat scratching pole, cat food etc. It’s all a bit of a jigsaw puzzle in a mini-rig, but we “think” we’ve got it figured out. Once these two weeks on the road are up, I’ll know if we did it right (or need to make adjustments) and I’ll report back on the blog with what worked and what didn’t. Should be interesting…
The other big prep was organizing our big rear storage area (the rear garage). We have a BIG space back there, but we also wanted to bring quite a bit of “stuff” including our bicycles, tools and various other bits and bobs, and it all had to be reasonably easy to access. So we bought an expensive (but very useful) pull-out bike-rack from FIAMMA, and then did LOTS of careful measuring before we drilled our very first holes into the floor. Terrifying to do, but ultimately very satisfying once we got it all set-up. So far, this is working out well very indeed.
Then we worked on our bedroom and closet. I made some fitted sheets for our crazy-shaped mattresses (first time I’ve ever done that, but I figured it out!) and then I spent several days playing with various hanging ideas, hooks & other stuff for our super-mini-itty-bitty closet. It took quite a bit of mental 3D organization to put it all together, but I think I made a good start. Again, we’ll need a few weeks on the road before I can report on how well we did with it all.
Our final prep was making about 10,000 trips back and forth to the motorhome to load her up. Since we’ve only ever full-timed before, this was a totally new experience for us, so it took WAY longer (and was much more exhausting) than it needed to. Now that we’ve done it once we have a list and I think we’ll do much, much better the next time around…we’ll see!
So, I’ll See You Down The Road, OK?
That’s the major update for now. Suffice to say I’m back and we’re on the road, so hopefully the blog will pick back up again as I shake out those cobwebs….À la prochaine!