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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