Home. It's usually not the first thing you think of when you see a 30 foot RV. But that's what it had to become for me. After selling our house 2 months before school ended, we were forced to make a home out of this RV. After school ended, we left to go on this epic journey that we planned months in advance. We planned to go to Seattle, then to Yellowstone National Park, then to Laramie Wyoming, then to Reinbeck Iowa. After Iowa there were 2 options. Go back to wherever it was that we wanted to live, ergo the ‘nomadic’ expedition, or leave the RV in Iowa and continue driving in our car to D.C. and South Carolina and back to Iowa.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
There were quite a few lessons to be learned from this trip. I learned that home is not always a house with nice things, but it’s where you surround yourself with the people you love and the small amount of personal belongings. I learned that life can change its path as easily as one can say it will. I learned that you can plan all you want, but nothing is for sure until you are doing what you set out to do. And I learned how much I take for granted and that I don’t really need all the things I had in my house.
This nomadic expedition changed my life. And for once, because I’ve had a lot of, let’s say rotten luck, with life’s experiences, this change was good. It made me grow up and realize how much more of this country I have to explore. It gave me time away from the usual and let me open my mind to the vastness of this life. It also gave me the opportunity to physically see all the colleges that I had on my list, which I know a lot of kids don’t get to experience that before going to college. Everyone has this feeling when they just know they’re where they’re supposed to be in life, and I experienced that when I first visited Laramie, Wyoming. It is where I live and will hopefully go to college.
The thing that made this trip less of a ‘let’s-just-drive-from-place-to-place’ type trip was a piece of advice from a counselor at school. She told me to make this trip more for me. So I told my dad that I wanted to visit the colleges on my list to get a feel for what it’s like on campus. And it worked. It gave us a goal. It also got my dad more into the mindset that I will be the first of his 4 kids, also the youngest, that he has to put through college. All my other siblings went into the military. My dad’s eyes were finally opened to the reality of me going to college, which is one of the best things that happened on this trip.
Even though we had a lot of breakdowns and unexpected twists happen during our month long trip, the experience of being able to travel and visit places within our own country is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I could write a book about my summer, which I sort of did by writing a daily blog. I hope every kid gets to experience traveling somewhere significant within our country sometime within their lives.
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