Slow travelers bus, train, walk, and bicycle. We cruise along the roads on bikes, in camper vans, or RVs. Some others cross the high seas in ferries or sailboats….we make stops along the way to inhale and exhale. - Bhavana Gesota, The Art of Slow Travel: See the World and Savor the Journey on a Budget
Last Sunday, my husband and I bought tickets to the Atlanta RV Show.
We don’t need a camper – – we just purchased a 21 foot 2022 Little Guy Max Rough Rider to see if we can become more minimalist campers as we contemplate selling our 29 foot 2010 Keystone Outback. We love them both, but each offers a completely different approach to camping.
What we found out is that we can still keep all the things we love about camping while giving up the extra 8 feet that contains two recliners and a loveseat. We’ve learned a lot about appreciating a simpler way of life by giving up some of the extras. We’re doing this at home, too. Paring down. Lightening up. Enjoying the ride. There is much to be learned by not seeing more, but seeing more of it.
We’ve also learned a few things along the way about purpose and fit – which is what motivated us to go to the RV show. We’re looking with different eyes, thinking of the type of camper that we want to rent when we drive Route 66. It’s on our bucket list – not backpacking through Europe or camping in the Australian Outback, but seeing the United States from the road.
We want to rent an RV with a small kitchen, a wet bath, and sleeping accommodations for four adults who take shifts driving and who all know how to pack a wardrobe that works for two weeks in one small carry-on bag and who know how to savor coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich and chips for lunch, and eggs and bacon for supper. We want to watch sunrises, see the changing landscape, and search for the constellations as we stargaze.
We want to become schooled in the art of slow travel – – to breathe: inhale, exhale. To open our eyes with heightened sensory awareness and few possessions along the way and say, “Now this?? THIS is living.”
We took notes of the features we think we need on Route 66. A small kitchen is a definite, so that we can prepare at least two meals each day in the camper, eating out only once a day.
A table would be nice, but isn’t as necessary as the sign on the wall to remind us that the adventure is one to be enjoyed – – including the bumps in the road along the way.
Being able to stand up in the camper is a nice feature, too – – especially for the Johnson guys, who are all tall. Just these extra couple of feet at the top make a big difference.
If you’ve traveled Route 66 and have any words of wisdom for us, please add these in the comments. We’ll be traveling with two other adults when we make the trip. We need pointers, tips, and any landmarks and stops that are must-sees. Your experience and valuable insights are appreciated!