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Filed under: Holidays on the Road, Preparation & Readiness, Traveling Tips

A Happy New Year!

December 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

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I have never been a fan of the word “resolution”—sounds too much like a requirement, someone telling me what to do—which I traditionally have not handled well (just ask my husband!). But in our family a New Year’s tradition has evolved which is similar to the traditional resolution but for us, it has a more positive connotation. Over the last day or two of each year, which we are traditionally spending together up at our little cabin in the woods, each family member writes down things they have each accomplished over the past year, then adds several goals for the year ahead.

Our little cabin in the woodsFor the student, accomplishments might include being named captain of the dance team, being cast in a play, making A honor roll and the like. Terry’s and mine tend to be more focused on the wonderful RV trips we have taken through the year, as well as working out 5 times a week and keeping off that extra five pounds (if that is, in fact, the case!).

Goals tend to focus on the school year and extracurricular activities for the kids; on travel and keeping spending under control and health maintenance for ourselves. Then, after we make a dinner (or several dinners, actually) in which each family member gets to choose what they want to eat, we sit around in a circle and each reads the accomplishments of the next oldest family member. For the children, we believe this can inspire them to achieve some new things in the future. Then we do the same with the goals. It is always a pleasant experience and provides a nice closing touch to the old year and a hopeful start to the new one.

Our struggling Durango

Our struggling Durango

In this post I thought it would be fun to list a few of our RVing accomplishments for 2010 and set some goals for 2011. In terms of accomplishments, here is a brief list:

  • Took one wonderful 12 day trip across the west and southwest with our camper
  • Took one shorter trip over a long weekend, closer to home
  • Survived 110 degree heat driving through Iowa when the engine and transmission kept overheating on our Durango trying to pull our very “lite” camper. Also managed to proceed with our trip (carefully) in spite of being told by our hometown Dodge dealer when we called him from a corn field “You gotta get to a dealer!”–though we had had him check the vehicle out just before leaving home.
  • Avoided tragedy after hitting a large rock that bounced into the road and our path with minimal damage. While we did hit it, it was mainly our camper steps that took the brunt of the blow which we have tried unsuccessfully to repair.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed our too-brief times on the road and made memories which we will treasure forever!
Our wounded warrior

Our "wounded warrior"

For our goals, we plan to:

  • Replace those darn camper steps because at 5’4”, I really need them to get up into the vehicle!
  • Continue to learn to pace ourselves more moderately on our RV trips. As tent campers, it was not unusual for us to do a 14-16 hour driving day at the beginning or end of our trip to cover a lot of ground in a short time. As the chief planner, I need to continually remind myself to that it is much safer and more enjoyable to travel at a slower pace when pulling a camper. I have slowed down a bit but still have some work to do. This is all on me as I am usually the one doing the planning. While Terry will provide consultation regarding a particular destination or campground, the mapquesting, navigating and deciding where to stop for each night is usually strictly my doing.
  • Try to have one trip that both of our two children at home can join us on. Last summer, only Ryan was able to accompany us on our long journey. I hope this year Meghan can join us as well. Meg, are you listening?
  • Plan a trip for just the two of us after we drop Ryan and then our baby off at their respective colleges in late August, so that we don’t have to head immediately home to an empty house.
  • To view more incredible vistas and see more of this beautiful country.

One of our incredible vistas!Hopefully we will be able to accomplish these things. If not, I know we will have fun trying! Happy New Year and Happy Camping to all!

Check out Woodall’s main site for more camping information.

Comments

One Response to “A Happy New Year!”
  1. What a great tradition sharing your accomplishments and goals for the New Year. This is something that my family could do as well to appreciate the time going by and each other.
    Happy RVing!
    Beata

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