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Monday, February 15, 2021

If You Are Just Starting Out....

 I was thinking about some things I’m glad we did when we were starting out living the dream* in our motorhome.

There were three things I found especially useful:  

      • This blog, 
      • A spreadsheet, and 
      •  Pictures.  

    The first thing I tinkered with is this.  The blog.  I had never written a blog.  I didn’t know if I could figure it out.  But I fiddled with it before a couple of weeks and got the hang of it. It took me a while to come up with “The Roadrunner Chronicles” and I got stuck with my initial experiment, “warnerrvnews.blogspot.com”.  So I still have the same URL though it became the Roadrunner Chronicles after a few months giving it a go.  I wondered if I could do it - write something each day.  I tried doing that daily and had pretty good success a couple of years before it became work and I trailed off and did it more occasionally.

I’m so glad I challenged myself and noted our travels.  It because a daily quest to try to find something interesting to say, plus I wanted to become a better writer.  Early on, I wished I had taken Creative Writing in high school.  It would have been very useful.

Writing was fun before it became a chore and I think all bloggers come to the point where it gets burdensome.  I gave myself to back off my softly goal of daily writing and then it was every couple of days, then once a week and now not so much.  Since I am writing more, it interests me once again.  

    The other important piece of documenting our new life was keeping a spreadsheet the enabled us to track our spending.  I was very aware of the fact that we might need additional income to make the full-time RV life style affordable.  The last thing we wanted to do was to ravage our savings and be forced back into working again.  

Our spreadsheet helped us see where our money was going and how we could manage.  It also double as a diary/journal because I set it up so that I had columns set up for every day of the month.  I would highlight our campground stays by using different colors.  It made it easy to tell how long we stayed in different camping spots.

Now -- 12 years later our memory isn’t so good as to when we were where, and I can refer to my spreadsheets for every year to figure out wear we were.  It has really been invaluable.  

    The other best thing we did was taking a lot of pictures.  Lots.  Our minds could not keep up with all the wonderful places we saw and people we met and we are so glad we took pictures.  Starting out it was a bit of a hassle but now with the smart phones its great.  

One thing better would have been to organize the photos and tag them for quick reference.  The way my mind works that sounded like a lot of work.  Real work.  It would have been great but it was too much for me.  I can go back and look around and find what I need for the most part so I’m glad we did it.  

For a while I signed up with GeeksonTour.com (Chris and Jim Guld) who teach technology to RVers.  They are the best at what they do (unsolicited or compensated plug). If you have any questions and some time, they can help you learn what you need.

So if I were starting out again, I would really try to think about a way to remember all the experiences by using a blog, and a spreadsheet and taking lots of pictures.

I’d be interested in what some of our readers use in their travels to remember the highlight? 

Some of our readers might try something else.  Today a video log (vlog) aka a YouTube channel is all the rage for serious journalists.  But there are plenty of blogs out there still of RV travelers and their tales.  Some shoot video of their travels for their records.  Don’t believe we did that much.

Others rely on calendars and just keep their yearly calendar which showed where they went.  We did that too but I relied more on my spreadsheet.  I wonder what happened to all those calendars I had?

Instead of a blog we had friends who would keep an email list of the people they wanted to update and would send them periodic accounts of where they were and what they were doing.  

What has worked for you?

Whatever you decide, I think you too will be glad you took the time and effort to document your adventures!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

* The RV dream.  There are many dreams.

11 comments:

  1. Can't imagine what I'd do without my blog to look back at and refresh my memory of places and people.

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  2. As our travels increased and the length of each trip grew in leaps and bounds, writing a blog eventually became a burden. It was hard to give up writing, but eventually I did. Instead, I started writing a private journal, which was easier because I didn't have to worry about the niceties of a "writing for the public." Now, I am trying out FindPenguins, an app that has a much simpler format. We'll see if writing short snippets while maintaining details in a private journal helps me to stay on top of our trip stories.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback. I loved your blog. I think I found it before we started our travels and I remember seeing how you went back and wrote about your travels from years past. It was fun to read all that. Thanks for the heads up on the FindPenguins app. I’ll have to check it out.

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  3. A great blog today! I also use many spreadsheets, tons of pictures, and of course a blog to document where we have been and what we have done. And I learned to do these things from reading your blog before we sold off most everything and went full time!

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