Dan and I have to stifle a giggle when the priest announces that there is a pancake breakfast after mass.
Almost every Sunday of this trip, someone has either fed us a meal after mass, or there’s been a very reasonably priced option for a great brunch. The latter is the case today in Erie, Pennsylvania, where the Lion’s Club is having their fundraising brunch. For less than $30, the children, Dan, and I eat a delicious breakfast, and our payment goes to a good cause. The service is great, too, and we meet a lovely couple, Frank & Doris. They tell us that before leaving Erie, we should check out the peninsula. Since we’re in no hurry, we decide to follow their advice, and we don’t regret it.
“Unto the heavens I will soar with the water at my feet to gently float with the balance of nature as my guide,” reads the inscription on the wood of the lookout. And a more appropriate verse couldn’t have been chosen. Standing here on the edge of beautiful Lake Erie, feeling a part of the gorgeous nature around you, you really do feel like you could fly.
An empty sign frame offers a great opportunity for a photo-op, and we all have fun taking turns, pretending we’re part of a gorgeous painting, with the beautiful trees as our background.
One last look up before getting back into the RV reveals a sky that looks as if it was painted to perfection. We get back on our journey uplifted by our Sunday nature walk.
In Washginton, Pennsylvannia, an amazing view is free, from the Walmart parking lot where we spent the night.
Morganstown to Sommersville, West Virginia
The mountains are impressive against the backdrop of gorgeous blue skies. The fall colours have faded, but the wonder of these mountains never will. There’s no question that we need to stop here for photos, especially when the clouds are putting on this incredible performance.
As I take pictures, a couple leaves their car and the lady asks me if that’s our RV back there. A lengthy conversation ensues. When she asks me, with much ceremony about not having to answer if it’s too personal, about how we afford this trip, she nods her head when I say “not having debt helps.” As does having work that I can take on the road.
Sometimes I myself can’t believe that we’re doing this, and it’s sometimes hard to explain our lifestyle to others who only see one way to live a life. For some, having material goods is important, and if having a beautiful home is your dream, that’s fine.
But staying put in one place for the sake of having “something to show for myself” just isn’t for me. While “our house is not much to talk about,” being frugal with just about everything else has allowed us to fulfill dreams like these. We did in in 2008, and now we’re doing it again.
In both cases, we lived cheaply for a long while and saved for our adventures. And we try to travel inexpensively whenever possible, saving money for the experiences we value most. Sleeping at Walmarts is perfectly fine by us, if it means we can save the money to travel long-term and have special experiences with our kids.
For anyone who wants to travel long term, our advice is simple:
- Pay off all debt (but preferably, don’t make it in the first place).
- Live below your means and save money for what matters to you.
These simple suggestions have helped us to continue living life on our terms, making memories instead of collecting “stuff.”
What memories will you make next?