WTH was I thinking? The Backwards Snowbird

Rainy day inside

As we traveled north on I-95 from Florida to Myrtle Beach, I watched a dozen RVs headed south towards Florida. Here it is January, the first of the year, winter season — and we are heading north.

Away from Florida.

WTH was I thinking when I planned where to stay during winter?

A friend recently asked me on Facebook how I choose where we are going? How do I determine where we stay? I wished I had a solid answer for her, but there isn’t one. We pick a place we want to visit and head in that direction. Often the weather and the season direct us to a location, though the way the weather has been this past year, nowhere seems safe.

When we left Anacortes, WA, in August of 2021, our “original” plan was to visit the northeast for Fall colors. But we changed course for many reasons, mainly because we did not feel confident enough to deal with northeast traffic, the highways, and tolls. Also, it was getting late in the season, and we did not want to get caught in winter weather. The Great Smoky Mountains, at the end of October, seemed a safer location to enjoy Fall colors.

This close to winter, we decided to give Florida a try. I had read in RV groups that finding a site in the winter months, especially January and February can be difficult, and it was. I decided not to even try for January in Florida. Instead, I chose Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Why? I don’t know, seemed like a nice place to visit.

We left Florida at the beginning of January and headed to Myrtle Beach as our last long winter stop. I asked people familiar with the area what January was like? The answer was mainly in the ’50s and predominantly sunny. Sounded fine to me, it wasn’t Florida warm, but it was better than cold. I should have done the reverse and did November in Myrtle Beach and then Florida in December and January, but I didn’t. Live and learn, as they say.

I often have to remind myself there is no rush — we don’t have to see everything at once. Even at our young age of early sixties, life is not a guarantee. And if Covid and the blood clot in my lung have taught us anything — it is live now because there is not always a tomorrow.

It has been almost one year since we bought Betty Jo (the Airstream). It is hard to believe we have been living in such a small space for a year and have been the places we have been.

As I sit here on a stormy winter day, the rain pelting hard against Betty Jo’s aluminum shell and the wind rocking her to and fro, I think to myself, “What the hell was I thinking?” But then I read online Florida was being bombarded by rain, and a tornado (in January) tore its way through Fort Meyers. I see the images of snow and ice on the roads around us, and I remind myself to be grateful we are warm and safe, this too will pass.

What was I thinking? I did not want to be on the road during the winter months. To find somewhere at least semi-warm with decent weather. To enjoy the moments. To walk the beach. To slow down for the time we have. And, to take it one day at a time.

We must have the courage to live. Accept that we don’t know all the answers, the strength and the willingness to listen to our inner wisdom. And, the ability to change when needed.

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My creative self needs an outlet, I do this with writing and photography and the occasional thought and opinion.

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Karla Locke

Karla Locke

My creative self needs an outlet, I do this with writing and photography and the occasional thought and opinion.

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