The following is just a small sampling of the various books we’ve read that provided motivation and encouragement when we first started planning for the full-time RVing lifestyle.
We highly recommend them for pure reading enjoyment if not for help in planning your own road trip adventure.
by Ted Simon
We feel very fortunate to have met Ted and consider him both a dear friend and wonderful human being. For 25 years Jupiters Travels has been a favorite for travelers of all kinds, but in the world of motorcycle travel it has become a true phenomenon. This enlightening and entertaining read documents Ted’s first solo journey around the world on a Triumph motorcycle. All the tales of this four-year adventure, which ended in 1977, couldn’t fit in one book so Ted also penned Riding High which tells the rest of the story, and also why it was so difficult, afterwards, to come home. Now – more than 25 years later, after retracing his original route and completing his second motorcycle trip around the world at the ripe young age of 70 – Ted has recently published Dreaming of Jupiter. Find out more about Ted Simon and read the latest News from Jupiter at www.jupitalia.com.
It was going to be the journey of a lifetime, a journey that millions dream of and never make, and I wanted to do justice to all those dreams. — Ted Simon
When William Least Heat Moon, whose tribal name is translated deep in his mixed blood, lost his job after separating from his wife, he decided that a man who couldn’t make things go right could at least go. And go he did. Least Heat Moon (AKA William Trogdon) spent nearly the next year of his life traveling solo along the back roads and byways of America in a half ton Ford van packed with the bare necessities. Doing his best to steer clear of the interstate highway system, he stuck to the Blue Highways – smaller roads named such for the color they were on the maps of old. Along the way he traced the steps of various ancestors, interviewed numerous amusing characters, and delved deep into the history of what makes America. The people he meets along the way and the pictures he paints of small town USA are a treat not to be missed.
I hunched over the steering wheel as if to peer under the clouds, to see beyond. I couldn’t shake the sense I was driving in another era. Maybe it was the place or maybe a slow turning in the mind about how a man cannot entirely disconnect from the past. To try is the American impulse, but to look at the steady continuance of the past is to watch time get emptied of its bluster because time bears down less on the continuum than on the components. To be only a nub in the eternal temporary is still to have a chance to see, a chance to pry at the mystery. What is the blue road anyway but an opportunity to poke at the unseen anda hoping the unseenwill poke back? — William Least Heat Moon
Don’t miss our report and photos from the Columbia, MO museum we toured to see William Least Heat Moon’s Ghost Dancer Van!
For anyone seriously considering time off for personal discovery, the full title oft his book says it all… Six Months Off: How To Plan, Negotiate, & Take The Break You Need Without Burning Bridges Or Going Broke. According to the publishers of this book, a recent national poll indicates that nearly seven in ten people who make $40,000 or more a year fantasize about taking time off from work. Six Months Off is a complete guide to planning and taking the break you’ve been dreaming of, without losing your job or your nest egg or alienating your family and friends. Since we chose to sell the business we owned in order to take make our road trip possible we didn’t have to “get the time off” or worry about losing our jobs. Nevertheless we found the information and exercises in this book essential in planning and budgeting our sabbatical.
Is there a way to take the break you long for–the archaeological dig in Costa Rica, the film-making course in Los Angeles, the six-month hike along the coast of Newfoundland–without sacrificing your home, family, career, and savings? You bet. For every excuse you’ve ever harbored as to why you can’t fulfill your heart’s desires, the authors have a solution. This is a take-action, how-to book for any grown-up who still believes in summer vacations. — Amazon.com
The one book that really got us moving in the right direction to stop talking about a trip, and start planning was Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a Year for the Cost of Staying Home. Phil and Carol’s book is part inspirational, part organizational, and part travel journal; the perfect combination to demonstrate that yes, you can do a trip like this, here’s how, and look how much fun you can have! Not sure how to set up a budget for a trip like this? The book has sample templates, and shows what Phil and Carol’s before and after budget looked like. Need guidance about selecting a vehicle to take it in? They’ve got you covered. Have no idea about what to take with you? Fear not, you can see exactly what they took along. We found ourselves coming back to this book repeatedly when planning our trip. Even two days before leaving, we were referring to their packing lists and comparing it to our gear. They have so much practical advice that has come in handy and made our trip a whole lot easier.
Work life has a way of putting people in niches. Retirement gives us a way to climb out of those holes and go another direction. This is what my husband Phil and I discovered when we retired in our early 50s. No longer stuck with who we had become over the years, and not yet ready to yield to being “seniors,” we decided to live our long-held dream of seeing the United States – not just a series of short trips here and there, not just a surface glance at a few important places, but a real, life-changing experience. Along the way, we found much more than we could ever have envisioned. — Carol White, A Travel Dream Becomes a Life-Changing Opportunity
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While we haven’t personally read this book, it has special meaning for us. When we first decided to take the gamble and go our road trip of a lifetime, we put the following passage from Voyage inside our bathroom medicine cabinet. It remains there today, for daily inspiration…
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest . . . ‘I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it.’ What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security, we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine. And before we know it, our lives are gone.
What does a man need, really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in — and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?” — Sterling Hayden