Thursday, October 6, 2022

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Think you’ve been there, done that? Find new perspective by going back again

One of the gifts we received after bringing home our very first RV was a United States sticker map. I’m sure you’ve seen the kind of map I’m talking about. You may even have one of your own. The map includes stickers for every state. The idea is to place a sticker on every state you visit. It’s a “bucket list” of sorts. It’s an unspoken challenge to see how many states you can visit in your RV.

Jealous of other sticker maps?

As we’ve traveled over the past five years of RVing, we’ve seen many, many sticker maps on various RVs. I look at other RVers’ maps with awe and, yes, just a twinge of jealousy. One gal recently explained, “We only have two states left to visit: Hawaii and Rhode Island.” Wow! Her U.S. map looked so complete! Colorful stickers filled her map with all but the final two states happily filled in. (I wanted to ask about her plans for Hawaii, but I didn’t.)

Our new motto

Our sticker map looks nearly the same as it did a month after I fastened it to the RV’s wall. I’m coming to realize that we must not be “bucket list” people. Instead, we seem to have adopted a new motto: “Been there, done that. Go back again!” Yes, we travel. But we tend to return to our favorite spots, time and time again.

Comfort spots

Certain places and campgrounds just seem to hold a special place in our hearts. As much as we enjoy traveling to different places and seeing new things, we really love revisiting some of the places where we’ve already been. (I discussed this with other RVers in a previous article here.) I had a difficult time reconciling this in my own mind until recently, when I read a quote from Heraclitus (500 B.C.)

Here’s a little background about this ancient philosopher: Born into a very wealthy family, Heraclitus might well have enjoyed an easy life. His family’s wealth undoubtedly offered Heraclitus a luxurious lifestyle along the Greek coastal city of Ionia. But Heraclitus abandoned his wealth and chose instead to live in the woods. (A fellow camper!)

Here’s what Heraclitus said:

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Change is constant

Our world is constantly changing. What’s more, so are we! When we go back to favorite places, it reminds me of past events, good times, and wonderful people. It also somehow opens my eyes as to how I’ve changed since our previous visit. Going back makes me feel grateful. Grateful for time, health, and opportunities. It also opens the possibility of making new memories, as well.

Your favorites?

Do you have favorite places or campgrounds you like to revisit, time and time again? Do you have a sticker map that’s not quite full (or a full one)? Please share and give your reasons in the comments below.

##RVT1068

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tom
1 month ago

We have a very favorite campground. It is on the way to most rallies that we go to. It is very reasonable in price and has everything a normal person could want. Older design, spread out amongst the trees, concrete sites, FHU and cable. Swimming pool, clubhouse, laundry.
Did I miss anything? Walk to restaurants for meals.

L Beal
1 month ago

We have a map. Camping World sells two kinds, cling on and glue on, most of the ones stuck on exterior walls are glue on.
We love our map, it’s a constant reminder of where we’ve been and where we haven’t. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states so the map acts like a reference. If people want to be jealous of it that’s their choice, I personally love to see where people have been to, and I feel happy for them to have that experience.
We full time so we can do exactly this, go all over, see new things, try new parks and restaurants, meet new people.
We seldom stay at the same park, except when we’re visiting the kids and there are no other options.
I guess if we had a home base we might visit the same parks more often, as our local friends would probably be there too, but with the full time traveling lifestyle that doesn’t quite work for us.
Instead of spending more time with the same friends we have been able to visit friends from long ago that we wouldn’t otherwise 😃

Neal Davis
1 month ago

We have no sticker map. I have often wondered how they stay in place as the slide on which they are placed opens and closes with the seals passing so closely over the surface of the slide side walls. (If we had a map, there would be a lot of open space on it.) We often go to new places when we travel, but also do return visits. We usually stay at a metro-Washington, DC campground for 10-12 days twice yearly to visit friends in our old neighborhood and attend our church from the 25 years we lived near Mt. Vernon. We also see a few former work colleagues, which was much easier prior to the virus stuff. We have a few other campgrounds that are frequent overnighting stops for us en-route somewhere.

Stephanie
1 month ago

In my opinion, sticker maps should be for internal/family gratification and not to compare to others. Being somewhat jealous of others’ filled sticker map is like adopting a “keeping up with the Joneses'” mentality and dilutes the better goal of “it’s the journey, not the destination” mindset. I do not have a sticker map for that very reason.

Ron L
1 month ago

Nothing more than just a bragging map.

Ray
1 month ago

Having camped in almost all of the lower 48, I think you hit the nail on the head. Our goal has been fun, but finding and revisiting those sites with fond memories, and growing more such memories, is just as rewarding, possibly more.

Tom H.
1 month ago

We also have a map. Had it for 4 years now and the lower East and Gulf coasts look great but the rest is a waste land. It’s not because we don’t want to travel further or see new things. It’s more because our full-time lifestyle supplemented by workkamping keeps us in an area for an extended period of time. Sometimes I’m healers of the maps that are full and I wonder about the adventures they experienced. But I also see a lot of posts where people state 18 states in 2 months and I wonder what adventures did they miss. If it takes a lifetime to fill the map or if we never do, I’ll not trade a full map for adventure.