Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Empty nest. It came fast

By Chuck Woodbury
Editor, RVtravel.com

Originally published in June, 2010

My daughter and only child Emily graduated from high school last week. Just yesterday, I believe, she was a baby. How did she grow up so fast? In September, she heads to New York to attend college. My best pal is fleeing the nest. I am happy and sad at the same time.Kids are such a blessing. Oh, how lucky I am to have a spectacular child (yes, I know, all parents say that, as they should)! Before she was born, I was a free spirit, roving writer/publisher, exploring the back roads of the West in my roving newsroom, a 24-foot motorhome. Then, after a year or so of Out West, I met a woman with as much wanderlust as me, and we set off together on wonderful adventures. Before long, our sweet Emily came along.

My writing suffered. I struggled to write creatively while the baby played or slept. At first, I was irritated at the interruption of my previously free-form life. But then, as weeks passed, I fell head-over-heels in love with my little girl. My life was suddenly fuller, richer.

During the next decade, our family traveled often in our RV as I gathered material for my next quarterly issue of Out West. My wife Rodica wrote alongside me, and wide-eyed Emily had a grand time exploring the nooks and crannies of America. Alas, five years ago Rodica and I divorced. Our life goals, we agreed, were different. Yet, through these recent years we have lived only a half-mile from each other and remained best friends. She, Emily and I have spent countless hours together as a family.

Now, as I look toward September, when my child leaves home and I’m “single” again, I begin to dream all over again of traveling and writing — when I can again meander the back roads at my leisure, camp in beautiful campgrounds, and settle in with good coffee and my laptop computer — writing for hours on end with breaks for hiking, exploring, maybe a little fishing. I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

Of course, whatever happens, I will write about much of it here. About 100,000 RVers read this newsletter every week. I love being able to communicate with so many people. Through the last nine years I have met many of you and corresponded with thousands of others. I hope, as my travels take me across the USA and Canada, I will bump into many more of you.

Keep reading, my friends.



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