One of the things we’re learning about a traveling lifestyle is pacing. When you’re on vacation, you usually want to see and do as much as you can before you head back to everyday life. The days are fun but intense and often we talk about needing to recover after a vacation. Even on our big trip in 2012, our time was limited to about 3 months and we moved on to a new place every 2-3 days. We had a lot of ground to cover and couldn’t afford to stay in one place for very long.
This is different. We want to be able to maintain this pace indefinitely. There is no other “everyday life” to go back to, so we have to build in time to rest, and to do “normal” things like laundry and grocery shopping and house cleaning. We have to take time to pay our bills and file our taxes. While much of our homeschooling happens organically as a part of our travels, there is still a time and place for flashcards and workbooks. We want time to call our families, update our blog, or just have a simple movie night. Part of the goal of this lifestyle was for us to slow things down, so we wouldn’t feel like we were rushing through life just trying to puzzle all the pieces together. We’re seeking adventure and new experiences, yes, but also space, presence… peace.
It’s mostly coincidence that our first longer stop (two weeks compared to two days) was at a place called Peace River in Wauchula, Florida. Peace River is a part of our Thousand Trails membership (which you can read more about in this previous post) so we don’t pay anything additional to stay there. During those two weeks, we settled into a pretty comfortable routine of “school and pool” days. The campground organized crafts and activities for kids a few times each week, a weekly ice cream social, campfires, and even a day trip to a nearby state park. We participated in some things and ignored others. We took stargazing walks in the evening between dinner and bedtime, sometimes with the help of a telescope that a fellow camper gave us.
The river that forms the campground boundary and from which it gets its name is narrow, shallow, and slow-moving. It’s full of fossils and shark teeth that can easily be found by wading in and sifting the pebbly sediment. As with any body of water in Florida, we were on the lookout for alligators, but we never saw any signs of them.
Thousand Trails memberships are popular with other full-time families, and Florida is a popular place to spend the winter, so the kids were never without playmates when they wanted them and we got to know plenty of other like-minded parents on those poolside afternoons. And there was space for all the small necessities that keep life flowing smoothly, whether or not your house is on wheels.
We took a couple of day trips to Myakka State Park (together with a group from the campground) and the Mote Aquarium. You can read about that here. But mostly we allowed the warm Florida breezes to lull us into a leisurely, summer-like pace as we caught up on life and just enjoyed being together.
Posted in Campground Reviews, Explore, Simplify and tagged Florida, florida rv park, fulltime families, Peace River, thousand trails by Christine with 1 comment.