Somewhere over the Rainbow

Johns Pass on the west coast of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico between Madiera Beach and Treasure Island, one of my favorite places to have lunch in my hometown.

I became emotional while eating dinner my first night in Couer d’Alene Idaho. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I didn’t understand why I felt this way. First I thought maybe I was just exhausted from being on the road for over five weeks. I soon realized the feelings ran much deeper.

For several years I dreamed about finding a place to live in the summer to avoid the long hot Florida summers. I was finally at the town where I thought I might want to live for a summer. CDA is beautiful. CDA was everything I hoped the place would be. The weather is perfect, with temperatures ranging from 50 – 70 degrees. Suddenly I knew I would never move here. Then I thought my emotions were from the disappointment that I already knew my dream of moving to a town like this was not going to happen.

I was homesick. I now understood that I didn’t want to live away from my home in Florida for more than a few weeks. After years of dreaming of where else I might want to live, coming to the realization that I already live in the best of all possible places was an epiphany. Emotion overwhelmed me.

Retirement is a process, not a decision. This is a phase of life is where you have the time and freedom to try new things. Some endeavors work out, some don’t. The important point is to try activities, and not just sit home and watch TV. Now I am ready to try a 5 Star Luxury Suite for a while.

From CDA, I will start heading east and south towards home. I still have 3500 to 4000 miles to travel to make my way home. At least now I know each day I drive that I will be getting closer to home, not farther away.

I realized that I love Florida and that Florida is my home. I like the always green lush tropical landscape. Sometimes after returning to Florida after a trip, I think of the scene in the Wizard of OZ when the movie changes from black and white to color. Sometimes you just need to leave home to appreciate how wonderful your home is. I’m sure I will admire the three Queen Palm trees in my front yard when I arrive home. Most days, I take the palm trees for granted and don’t even notice them while I walk to the front door. Yes, you can go home again.

I remembered this long quotation I first read before my first RV trip. The words and thoughts are beautiful.

You’re packing up your sleeping bag, your lantern and your tent. And you’re off to find the life you lost, but you’re not sure where it went. And I hope those mountains teach you how to stand both tall and proud, that you see your life much clearer with your head above the cloud. I hope you swim through rivers with their currents swift and fast, that they show you must be careful when you wash away your past. I hope that you are humbled by the vastness of the sea, that the eagles high above you make you feel like you are free. I hope when night has fallen and your fire’s just a spark, that the stars shine to remind you that there’s beauty in the dark. But most of all I’m hoping that you’re learning while you roam, that no matter the distance, you can always come back home.” – e.h.

Somewhere over the Rainbow


Comments

Somewhere over the Rainbow — 17 Comments

  1. I hate tell you Rob, but your home sick..guess you need to just plan 4 weeks away because at week 5 it hits you…You really want to sleep in your old bed…lol The most I get away is 2 weeks at a time. No mater if I am camping or flying or visiting friends. Even if I’m in the Caribbean 2 weeks away is enough for me. I do like those two week to come every 2 months or so. The need to be at home base is a craving like no other and a sleep in your old bed, like you can’t remember. Too take on an adventure and cross the land in an RV can be fun and challenging but you know it is all about the journey…. Glad you decide home is where you need to be…take your time and enjoy the view and experiences. I bet the cats will be happy to be home too…take care

    • Thanks Sue, yea I know. I am fine. I’m having a prep day now, doing laundry etc, and preparing for the journey back. I’m very fortunate to be able to take this kind of trip.

  2. Indeed you are very fortunate, Rob. You picked up the gauntlet tossed at you by Life and you plunged into the journey. And with an open heart too! Good for you; you’re an inspiration.

  3. Rob,
    Selfishly, I am kinda glad you are now planning to remain based in Florida. I think all your Forida friends will feel that way. You are lucky to have a chance to take a journey of discovery like this has been, and even luckier to have found some answers to the question of where you want to be at this stage of life.

    It is also fortunate that you did not move, buy a house or sign a lease, or something that makes it hard to change your mind about what you always THOUGHT you wanted.

    Have a safe and enjoyable trip back. Look forward to seeing you back in the Sunshine State! Jim.

    • Thanks Jim. Florida has been very good to us. I was very fortunate to “retire” to Florida when I was only 22 years old. It just took 3 more decades to fully implement the plan.

  4. Rob, this is so funny to me, because I have been doing the same kind of trip, but in Florida in January I just had to fly home and spend some time in winter Alaska. I’m currently traveling north again after picking up the RV and will probably pass you in the next few days as I’m visiting in Denver at the moment before visiting in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Then onto home. I realized last year, that the RV is the best way at the moment. I can take my home with me, but “go home” whenever I feel the need.

    • Sally, we are living in parallel universes. I understand your need to go home to Alaska after being in Florida. I did a bicycle tour in Alaska back in 1999, and the trip changed my life. The bicycle ride from the Worthington Glacier down to Valdez was the most beautiful place I ever saw in the world. I am feeling very much at home this evening in my little RV. And I now ready to start the trek back home to Florida.

  5. I too am finding in my retirement how much I love Florida! I’ve been traveling alot this past year and a half but can’t wait to get home to the place where I’m so happy with the life David and I have together. We.ve been working very hard turning our back yard into a tropical oasis, it’s almost done and I hate to leave it! (front yard next!) We love our travels and adventures but home is truly where the heart is! Safe travels! See you when you get home!!!!

  6. I too am finding in my retirement how much I love Florida! I’ve been traveling alot this past year and a half but can’t wait to get home to the place where I’m so happy with the life David and I have together. We.ve been working very hard turning our back yard into a tropical oasis, it’s almost done and I hate to leave it! (front yard next!) We love our travels and adventures but home is truly where the heart is! Safe travels! See you when you get home!!!!

  7. Wow, thanks Rob. Very insightful. and makes me wonder if I’ll ever take that RV across country. So much I want to see, but so much that I would leave behind. I ended up in St Pete by the grace of God. I’m so thankful for that.

  8. Although painful but also awesome that you put yourself out there to follow your heart and dreams! Imagine you not even going there and not knowing how you truly felt? It’s true what they say sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think the process was well worth the discovery of where home really is for you. Congratulations on your journey!

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