Monday, November 23, 2009

Square Feet

 pick a door - any door - and just walk through

   A dear friend recently asked how we were doing in our 32' trailer. We hadn't thought of our new life quantified in linear feet before, but after pondering the question for a few minutes our answer became clear.
   Our RV's exterior measurements are 32' long by 8' wide. That's approximately 256 square feet. In terms of net “moving around in” living space, it's less when you factor in the walls, cabinets and shelves, and the shower. Compared to the two-story home in Wisconsin we left behind (1800 square feet) one might conclude that we have severely cramped our lifestyle.

   If in fact we were confined to living in just the RV day in and day out, we in all likelihood would have killed or at least seriously maimed each other by now. But, the secret to living in an RV isn't measured in square feet. It's about life outside the RV where life is measured in experiences - exponentially, as it turns out. Forget about square feet. Think about square miles. Or counties. Or states.
   Case in point: We arrived in Mission, Texas three weeks ago. Since then we've visited three state parks (one on a near daily basis), two national wildlife refuges (one of them twice), two world birding center sites, and a local Hidalgo county park known for being very birdy (three times). We have barely scratched the surface. There are many more state parks, wildlife preserves and national wildlife refuges that we have yet to visit (and revisit), all within an hour and a half drive in either direction along the US-MX border. And that's just the flora and fauna. What about historical sites, cafes and restaurants, and people we've met (and continue to meet) along the way?
   Tally up the months we have spent traversing nine states to reach Mission, TX. We've experienced prairies, mountains, and deserts and the climates and vistas associated with each. From sunrise to sunset, we've witnessed myriads of clouds and stars in an endless array of patterns and shapes against the bluest of blue and blackest of black skies. Right out our windows. Location, location, location.
   I guess in a way we've become a bedroom community of one. On wheels. Yes, our RV lacks some of the conveniences of our former house: a washer and dryer, a dishwasher and multiple bathrooms. Yes, there are larger RV's that offer such conveniences. But the inconvenience of owning such conveniences is counter to our present lifestyle. Maybe in a few years we'll see things differently but for now, our 32' abode suits us nicely. Even when we occasionally try to occupy the same spot at the same time. 
   Mark Twain wrote, “Civilization is the limitless multiplication of necessities.” We're doing our best to reverse the tide and feel we haven't compromised a thing in our efforts.

Pavone Emperor (female)

Queen on Turk's Cap Hibiscus

1 comment:

  1. That was simply the most eloquent, thought-provoking and insightful blog post I've ever read...on the RVing lifestyle. I enjoy following your "migration." Happy Thanksgiving...wherever you are!
    -Cheryl Kraft (former Mudd-er)