Friday, June 14, 2013

The Thinking

The thought of our European sabbatical appeared when we were camping in old landshark.  It wasn't a great camping trip.  Heck, it wasn't even a good camping trip.  But like sailing, a bad day camping is better than the best day in the office.  At least in an RV.  I hate tents in the rain.  Even a mediocre day in the office is better than being soaking wet in a tent in the rain.  But I digress.

I woke up that beautiful Sunday morning, and I was feeling somewhat melancholy that my dream of sailing around the world with my kids while they were still of a certain age (ie, not teens) was over.  25000+ miles at 7 knots takes several years.  Heck, I wasn't sure we could pull off a decent trip back and forth from the Caribbean to Europe.  I didn't even think a tour of the Mediterranean was reasonable in that time frame.

Not in a boat.

Ah, but at 100km/hr, one can see a lot.  A lot more than at 7 knots.  And one can get inland.  True, going to downtown Rome isn't going to happen, but it wasn't going to happen in a cruising catamaran either.  Anchoring isn't that much pricier on land, and there often are more options.  And if anyone gets really annoying, there is the option to pull off the road and take a walk rather than put someone adrift in the dingy.

Over coffee that morning I casually mentioned homeschooling the kids for a year living in an RV to Martha.  There was a combined look of horror, mixed with a smattering of panic but yet a tiny sparkle in her eye.  At first I suggested touring the US, Canada and Mexico (we've already been to all of them in Landshark the former).  Some doubt began to cloud the sparkle.  Then I hit her with the big one, "I bet we could even ship an RV to Europe."  As I pointed out to her, when we were in Spain a few years ago, there was a Class A RV near the ferry to Morocco.  (Admittedly I did not remind her that it it was the smallest Class A I have ever seen -- 26' at most.  One doesn't make an omlette w/o breaking some eggs.)  The continued spark in her eye showed me this was a caper worthy of followup.  Or at least some research.

Within 20 minutes after getting home from the camping trip, we both met in the kitchen and declared that the Scherer Family / some family in Washington did it.  And not only did they do it, they did it in a Sightseer 35J which is exactly the RV I had been thinking would be perfect for our family.  We've been Winnebago fans, have been to the factory.  We haven't joined the club or done a rally, but we certainly have done 6 of the proverbial 9 yards.  The next several hours filled in much more research and gave us the broad strokes of a plan.

  • Buy an RV
  • Outfit it
  • Rent out the house
  • Go

The details could be filled in later.

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