Monday, February 18, 2019

WRITER ON THE ROAD by @karilemor #RomanceGems


Last June, after 30 plus years of teaching, I retired and we sold the house we’d lived in for over 22 years. My husband had a great idea to get in an RV and travel for six months. Not having anywhere else to live at the moment, I said, “Sure!”

Even though I’ve retired, I’m still working every day on my writing. I gave myself a goal of a thousand words a day average and have been great about doing that. Well, until I finished the book I was working on. I’ve taken a few weeks off to do edits for an upcoming release (no publish date yet, unfortunately) and do more promotion.



In between all this writing and promoting and whatnot, we’ve been playing tourist. Tomorrow will be 100 days that we’ve been on the road. So many people have mentioned how envious they are that we can do this. It has been an experience, that’s for sure. Some good, some bad, but all details I can use in a book someday! (Oh, yeah, I am definitely doing a forced proximity story that takes place in an RV!!)

 I thought I’d give you some pros and cons of our trip so far. Especially if any of you are thinking of doing this. There’s lots to consider before you jump in and head out for months at a time.

The Pros are fairly easy to list:

See new things
Visit new places
Try new food (I don’t get to do much of this as hubby is very frugal!)
Experience life
Be spontaneous
Live life now
Better weather (especially since we headed south)

These are all fabulous things!  But as an FYI, you do need to be prepared for the reality of it.  

The Cons are stuff you need to be aware of too:

$$$$   Yes, this trip will cost you money. And lots of it. 

First, you need to buy or rent an RV. Not cheap.

RVs use gas. Lots and lots of gas. Ours gets like 6 miles a gallon. But it has a 75 gallon tank. Yup,  that’s an ouch when you hit the gas station.

RV Parks. These can be anywhere from $20 – over $100 a night. The more touristy area, the higher the price will be. Sure, you can boondock (use your generator and water tanks) but they only last so long and need to be refilled – and boy is it inconvenient.

Food. You still need to eat. If you dine out every night, you will be broke in weeks, unless you start the trip as a gazillionaire. But even grocery shopping and cooking in still costs the price of groceries.

Attractions. You want to go to Disney or do that swim with dolphins thing (and that crap is expensive) or even the smaller ones like touring a plantation or doing a Trolley tour around a historic city? It all adds up.

Itty Bitty Living Space – Even the largest (and most expensive) RVs don’t have much more than a few hundred square feet of living space. Be prepared to leave those thirty pair of shoes behind. Privacy when you need to use the bathroom or shower, nope, not much here. Sure, there’s a sliding door, but it’s still very close. Need to work or want to read, but your partner chews too loud or listens to talk radio and you hate it. Better get yourself a good pair of ear buds. I listen to classical piano far too often now.

Who? Along with living space, is who you’re sharing the space with. It better be someone you can really, really get along with. Sure, you’ve been living together in a big old house for many years. But you’ve been working or your partner has been at work for much of the day. But now you are together All. The. Time. There is such a thing as too much togetherness.

Mechanical problems. You are driving a huge piece of equipment (or pulling an RV using a huge vehicle) and that needs to be kept up. At any time, something could break, leak, or just stop working. And you are in the middle of nowhere with no one you trust to make it work again. That’s not just the moving vehicle. You have a microwave, toaster, fridge, A/C unit, heater, plumbing, etc. And that all needs to stay in working order.

Social. When you’re on the move all the time, you don’t get to socialize as much as you typically might. For the introvert, this is probably a definite plus. But I haven’t seen my children and grandchild in 100 days!! Many people say, oh, you meet new friends. But when you’re only staying at a place for a week or less, how friendly can you get? Personally, I’m what might be considered an introverted extrovert. Once I get to know people and trust them, I am quite social and don’t shut up. But I’m not the type to insert myself into an already established group and start chatting up a storm. So, for me, this trip has been difficult because my extroverted side isn’t getting fulfilled. Luckily, we have had the chance to stop and see friends and family who live along the way.

Hopefully I haven’t scared you. It certainly has been the adventure of a lifetime. Are there things I would do differently? Sure, but we still have about 70 days left before we head back to New England.  We’ll see what those days bring.

My book RUNNING TARGET is about a man who's also gotten around a bit. Unfortunately it's because he's on the run from a mob hit. Can he figure out a way to end his nightmare and get back to his family?
ONLY 99c right now!!




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31 comments:

  1. YOu need to write the forced proximity book now since it is so freshfreshfresh in your mind, darling girl!!! heehee. Miss you. Great post!

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  2. Hee hee, like I need one more book to start!! Believe me, I don't think I'll ever forget this trip!! Miss you, sweet girl!

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  3. Oh, I envy you! But I understand the cons, and I wouldn't be able to stand more than a month living on the road. I had no idea it'd be so expensive...

    I'm following you on Instagram! Your beanie baby Sly is SO cute!! I take pics with stuffed animals too, so i don't have to take selfies (i hate taking pics of myself).


    My contact info: adissidente [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Hi, Thanks for following my adventures. Sly is adorable. He belongs to my grandson. We had a little contest to see which of his stuffed animals would come with us and report back. Sly won.

      If you're thinking of a trip like this, sometimes a few shorter ones first can help you decide.

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  4. Hi Kari, Yes, it still wounds like a great time. Though I wonder if anyone got divorced because of a trip like yours. Enjoy. Soon you'll be back and in one place. Have you picked out a location for your new home yet?

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    1. I haven't filed for divorce...yet!! At this point, the top of our list is St. Augustine! We absolutely fell in love with it. Nothing else has topped it yet on this trip!

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  5. Great as it sounds, I can see it's not for everyone. But what memories you'll have. Need the 'would you do it again' update once you're back.

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    1. I will definitely share more when we finish up. And the memories are all useful in many ways. There are places I can recommend and some I would warn people away from. I can already answer the 'would I do it again?' question, but I won't tell you now!!

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  7. Thanks Kari for your blog today. I enjoyed reading of your RV adventures so far. Thank you for sharing the pros and cons list. There are some very good points to consider. I look forward to reading about the next 70 day adventures. Good luck!! (humbird4me at hotmail dot com).

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    1. Hi Brenda, thanks for checking in. I'm hoping the next 70 days will be amazing!

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  8. My grandparents did this. I always thought this was cool. But never gave a thought to the pros and cons. Thank you for sharing your story!

    MsRedK at aol dot com.

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    1. Hi Cindi, It has definitely been an experience. My grandparents had planned to do it once my grandfather retired. But he died of a heart attack a month before he retired. This is one reason I retired so early. No regrets!!

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  9. Lots of pros and cons, but still an amazing experience either way.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Mary! No denying it has been an experience I won't soon forget!!

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  10. Kari, this was fascinating. I like how you summed up the pros and cons because Hubby and I have toyed with this idea. Can't wait for a book with characters stuck in an RV. Write, girl, write!

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    1. Joan, Good luck deciding! If you ever have questions, feel free to ask! I'd be happy to give my 2 cents!! As for the book, who knows when I'll ever get around to writing that one. So many books already in the queue!

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  11. Friends of ours want us to buy an RV and I am just not sure that is for me.
    debby236 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi Debby,
      Getting and using an RV is definitely not for everyone. They are super expensive depending on what kind you get and how old it is. And you need to be very patient with the person you are living in it with! Thanks for checking in here!

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  12. I suppose if your hero really needs to hide from the mob, he could ride along in your RV! Loving the pictures from New Orleans! Don't forget to tour the condom factory while you're there. Great research. LOL

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    1. I already have that book. It's called Running Target. I've got another idea for the forced proximity. We'll see when I actually get to writing it.

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  13. I think we could do it, but for now, we’re snowbirds.

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    1. Actually that's what we're planning. Our kids and grandkids are in NH. So we'll get a place down south for the winter and do nicer weather up north.

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  14. We love going to RV shows and dreaming of the lifestyle. Of course at the shows there are never dishes or laundry to be done and everything is spotless.
    We have a 21 foot trailer and get along fine, even with 4 people and a few animals, for a week or so, but long term EVERYONE must be able to give and take. I do still have the dream though. My only concern is WIFI availability. That seems to get easier and less expensive as technology advances.

    LaurasReadingBlog (AT) gmail dot com

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    1. Wow, 4 people! That would be tough on days like today where it's pouring. And wifi can be hard to get. We've been to lots of RV parks and only a few have decent wifi. Most of them are being shared by too many campers so it takes forever to even get your e-mail. We have mobile hotspots which have helped in some cases but there are a few places in this country where the cell reception is non-existent. Then the hotspots go cold. And then you are left with no way of getting online or even calling someone.

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  15. LOL, I love your pros and cons of living in an RV for an extended period. They're all things that are obvious once you think about it, but have you ever thought about it? LOL

    AFNovice at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi Karin,
      Yeah, many of these I never thought about before agreeing to go. Wish someone had told me what to expect. But luckily I'm a patient person and have been able to deal with most of it.

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  16. I've had so much fun following your journey via social media, Kari!

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    1. I'm so glad people are enjoying my posts!! It's been a journey, for sure!

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  17. I'm with Satin and the others - SO much fun following along with your journey! The Biltmore posts were some of my favorites. But those sunny FL pics on our snowy New England days...? I don't know... hahahaha Keep em coming, "Writer On the Road!"

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  18. I still have more Biltmore pics. I took hundreds! The place was unbelievable! Now we've had cloudy/rainy/muggy weather the last few weeks. But it's better than shoveling snow I guess!

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