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Carolyn AKA RVRebel Girl on YouTube
After experiencing so many loved ones crossing over too soon before having the chance to reap the benefits of their hard work, Carolyn decided to retire early from her law enforcement career. She wanted to enjoy life and spend time with her son, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren. One year into retired life, she downsized and bought an RV travel trailer to see God’s Glorious Lands, along with her 5-pound Morkie, RV Diva Danni. Since 2017, she has been a solo female senior nomad, visiting three quarters of the U. S. and documenting it on her YouTube channel RVRebelGirl. Her motto is to not put off till tomorrow what we’re healthy enough to do today.
Best and worst travel experiences
One of my best travel experiences was a stay I had through Boondockers Welcome, which is a membership of property owners volunteering to host travelers in self contained camping units to stay overnight at their properties. It was founded by a Canadian woman, had a minimal membership cost and provided a safe place to rest one’s head for a night or two. During my travels through Florida, I stayed at a palm tree farm on the island of Matlacha Florida. The hosts, a husband and wife, even provided complimentary use of water and electricity. I was able to watch the excavation of ten palm trees, which would later be transplanted to someone’s home. It was very interesting to watch. The greatest pleasure is that I made two lifelong friends and camping companions. Like the Boondocks Welcome bumper sticker motto, “I camp with friends I haven’t even met yet.” Additionally, I stayed with another couple in Ft. Myers, Florida and experienced a wonderful display of kindness, a safe place to stay, and continued friendship.
Both experiences were beyond my expectations. Today each of these families have relocated to different states and we have continued our friendships. I always have a place to park and call home for a day or two. As we say in our nomad / traveler lifestyle, “Home is where we park it.”
Being a member of Boondockers Welcome and Thousand Trails Campground organizations has given me opportunities to see breathtaking sites and meet many interesting and generous people all over the United States. A true blessing.
My worst travel experience was breaking down on the interstate in Tennessee on Father’s Day in 95 degree weather. Although I had all the coverages, I waited four hours for a tow truck that day. Most tow truck drivers are fathers, which explained the long response time for assistance. Fortunately, the repair shop owner allowed me to boondock (stay in my home on wheels) in his repair shop parking lot. A true blessing! Watching my home on wheels being towed on top of a flatbed tow truck was scary for me. Fortunately, my due diligence paid off. I had purchased an extended warranty which covered the repairs on my home—my bearings had burnt despite my maintenance and care. Whether living in a house on wheels or a sticks ‘n bricks stationary home, maintenance and repairs is a responsibility not to be neglected. Breakdowns occur in the best maintained homes.
Of all my travels my must-return-to place would be Niagara Falls, New York, one of my most memorable journeys. I rode on a boat tour under the falls and the sights were absolutely beautiful. My journey started in Chicago, Illinois and I drove to Niagara Falls, New York where I stayed in a campground. Due to the pandemic, the Canadian border was closed and I was unable to experience the Falls from Canada. I hope to return to see the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Additionally, I would like to return to the Ark Encounter located in Kentucky. I truly enjoyed my visit there. I thought the replica of Noah’s Ark was spectacular.
My journeys have taken me to many wonderful places and I have met many fabulous people. I look forward to returning to Quartzsite Arizona every year and reuniting with other nomads I have met along my journey. Quartzsite is where I learned to survive on the road as a nomad and live as a minimalist. The nomad community helps one another and we teach others about the lifestyle. Camping in the desert under the Arizona sky with a campfire is so relaxing. We cook, share meals, and help each other. It is truly a wonderful feeling and experience for which I am grateful.
As a traveler, I have learned the importance of traveling in a safe vehicle and vehicle maintenance. I found it is important to know your vehicle very well, do your research, and abide by a regular maintenance plan to avoid breakdowns. Roadside assistance, insurance and warranties are essential.
Advice to your younger self
I have learned through my life not to put off to tomorrow what you can accomplish today. As we have all learned, tomorrow is not promised. In my younger life, I believe I did my best, based on my knowledge and abilities at that time in my life. When I look back, I learned from my mistakes. I also learned that less is more. I can live with less stuff and get more from life through people and experiences.
Work hard to prepare for your golden years but don’t deprive yourself during your younger years. There is so much life has to offer not based on material things or money. After all, you can’t take it with you. I hope to always continue traveling, seeing beautiful places and meeting wonderful like-minded people.