RV Life in a Coronavirus World: A free bicycle in Florida

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EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Richard’s story: 

On May 9, 2006, upon retirement, we left Kansas City, MO, as full-timers on our way to Alaska. We’ve spent the ensuing years exploring as much of North America as possible. Struggling sometimes to move on from some wonderful locations we stumbled upon, which called us to settle down again. We have found some favorites to which we keep returning: Alaska 3 times; Baja Mexico most winters since 2007; Yellowstone N.P. – just to name a few.

We’ve had a remarkable, entertaining, educational journey to date. Constantly espousing our luck and gratitude for such a life. Seeing such wonderful sights. Meeting so many great people, from so many countries! Constantly amazed how many folks from abroad love, and keep returning to North America.

This season we decided to try Florida for the winter. The extreme Southeast has been one section of the country we haven’t explored. We chose the Tampa area to have access to Gulf water and reasonable drives to Orlando attractions, Cape Canaveral, and more. My wife, JJ, who is the “Planner/Navigator Extraordinaire,” found a very nice RV park in Zephyrhills, FL, and here we are.

The onset of COVID-19 set all these plans into chaos. Although we have become adept at adjusting to changing conditions, this has been a new realm.

When things started going south, I gradually started increasing our stores, even though at any given time we can most likely exist for a couple of weeks on usual stockpiles. Thus we avoided any rush on the markets. I have only gone to the grocery store every three weeks. At that, we still have a week’s worth on board without getting down to “bread and water.” Thus we were able to wait until stores contrived “senior times,” which makes the process much easier.

Thankfully our park has paved roads and is adjacent to a “sister” park of greater size. I started walking, which I do a lot, within both parks to keep up some level of exercise. At one point we found a bicycle at the curb for FREE (my favorite word)! After some T.L.C., the bike has greatly increased our enthusiasm for exercise. I ride early, JJ rides late. Seeing more, meeting different people – from a distance!

As with most folks, electronics have been a great source of communicating and entertainment for us. We carry all types onboard, remaining independent of “shore” sources. Then there is JJ’s favorite of various card games, as well as building my cooking skills – trying new things to stretch supplies.

As is said, “This too shall pass.” When safer to travel we shall resume the adventure of life and North America. I look to the brightness of our future, pushing behind the anguish of this one event.

Richard West


Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

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Brent R.
5 months ago

Richard,
Enjoyed your article, but am interested in your wintering in Baja. My wife and I and 3 kids went down to Ensenada for a couple of weeks back in 1978. It was a very enjoyable vacation. It was a whole different world back then. How is safety, and where do you cross the border, and where do you spend your time in Baja?

Thanks, Brent R.

Rey L.
5 months ago

Thanks Richard. A pleasant read. All the best to you & JJ.

Alvin
5 months ago

Exercise! absolutely most important.
At home we are noticing folks we’ve never seen before from our community passing the house. Most seem much more likely to turn a head our way and say “hi” than in the past when they seemed to look the other way, or straight ahead and say nothing as if another human wasn’t there. Always thought that sad.
Folks with animals which seems to me to be included in a bit over half of the traffic, are a great source of joy for many. A lady who stopped on the sidewalk a few days ago, with a small dog in tow, told me if it wasn’t for the dog she’d be ready to be taken away in the white van. She lives a block away and I’ve never seen her before.
I’ve always been the “hi how are ya” type so I didn’t need a pandemic to change me in this way. But I’m plenty pleased to notice if there’s a positive in this, it’s that people are getting out from behind the big screen (a metaphor for off their duffs) and out interacting with others and nature.

www.livingboondockingmexico.blogspot.com
5 months ago

The gym I have gone to for years closed a month ago. I started running on the road (we live in the countryside in northern Mexico) where we live. The police sent me home. I started exercising just on our street that measures half a mile. You can’t give up exercise. Common sense prevails and I believe that is where this current issue of “stay at home” lies. If we were on the road now, I would still find ways to get exercise. BTW, I grew up in Kansas City blocks from the Country Club Plaza.