Planes, Trailers & Automobiles

I recently made a quick visit back to Texas; a state that, with its vast acres of aridness, reminds me a lot of Australia. Even the Texans, with their outspoken, gregarious ways are in many ways similar to Australians so I always feel right at home in the Lone Star State.

Having driven over 30,000 miles criss-crossing around America in the Hudson, my little vintage trailer “Rosie the Riveted” in tow, I am constantly amazed at the diversity of scenery in this, my other homeland. Be it vast brown arid plains, rolling green hills, dense forests, majestic snow-capped mountain ranges or multi-colored deserts, the United States truly is a land of contrasts that I never tire of exploring. I read somewhere that the reason many Americans don’t travel as much overseas as other nationalities do, is because of the amazing variety of places to see and things to do right here and I can see why. You can feel like you are in a different world just by visiting a few states away and I often wonder if the state lines were created because someone said: “Oh look, the scenery just changed completely. Let’s put the state line here!”

But as awesome as it can be to indulge our gypsy wandering urges, we all need a break from the road sometimes. After having clocked up another 10,000 or so miles this year between March and August, I have to admit that even I, intrepid road tripping queen that I am, had hit a wall.

It happened after my last big road trip from Reno, Nevada to Vancouver, Canada. It was hot and smoky from vast forest fires engulfing the entire Pacific Northwest. I had been on the road non-stop all summer and I was tired.

I pretty much consistently had at least one mechanical issue to deal with on every outing, so two flat tires were all it took to completely deflate my enthusiasm.

It was time for some much-needed time out, so when an old friend invited me to come spend a few days in Texas, I agreed. As it was only a short trip and not worth the huge drive to go back there again having already done that trip in April, I flew.

It would be a nice break from my usual and a heck of lot less stressful…or so I thought!

Do any of you, my fellow road tripping RV’ers, ever feel this way too? Because if you do, let me tell you that after that one short trip away that involved four different planes and four different airports, I can assure you of this: Airline travel sucks! Next time I get frustrated with the pitfalls of life on the road, I will remember this trip and slap myself back to reality mighty quick!

I really enjoyed being back in Texas again. I loved the night time river boat cruise in San Antonio with our hilarious guide Mike.

I enjoyed the drive around the Hill Country revisiting the quaint historic towns of Fredericksburg and Boerne and Gruene.

I really enjoyed having a cold drink whilst listening to mellow acoustic music under the trees back at Luckenbach. If you ever get the chance and haven’t done so already these places are well worth a visit and are so different from what you think of when you typically think of Texas.

What I didn’t enjoy as much this time, was the journey there and back and usually that is my favorite part of traveling. Not this time. Roadside breakdowns and days of solitude will never bother me again in comparison to having to squish everything I needed into a small bag, dealing with TSA (take your shoes off, take your laptop out of your bag, make sure all of your toiletries are in miniature bottles and in a separate bin for the X-ray, then stuff it all back in again). Sitting around for hours waiting, then squishing yourself into a tiny seat where you will remain in direct contact with your new neighbor for several hours with no access to food or water until the steward decides you can.

And that sound! If the rushing from one terminal to the next, dealing with shuttles and hauling bags around doesn’t give you a thumping headache, that incessant roaring engine sure will! Oh, and don’t forget the inevitable stuffy nose and sore throat you will end up with from sharing a small space of air with hundreds of other people, many of them coughing and sneezing the whole way! Ah yes, the glamorous life of the frequent flyer!

My advice to anyone contemplating an interstate adventure is this: If you have to get from point A to point B and you’re not in any great hurry and you have the choice between making a road trip of it towing your rolling little trailer home behind you or flying there, DRIVE!

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I needed this realization right now. The RV road tripping life is still by far the best to travel.

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