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 Give me the Real Stuff
We love doing seminars on full-time RVing. We especially love seeing folks in the audience get that special gleam in their eye when we tell them of all we have seen and done; we can see that they too want to play as we have done. Sometimes we see a certain amount of sadness in someone's eyes; they want so badly to full-time, but there is something in their life stopping them. SometimesOften it is commitment to a family member or lack of medical insurance that would keep someone from living their dream. Max and Idola wanted badly to travel full-time in their RV but Idola was an only child and her elderly mother was in a nursing home. The longest she felt she could leave their home was one month and they delighted in that special time on the road. One day, Idola was diagnosed with cancer and it took her very fast. Her mother was still alive and in the nursing home. Max died within two years with lung cancer and still the mother lived on. One never knows the future and sometimes it just isn't possible to live the dream. Although sad, their committment was understandable. But the next story is one I couldn't understand.

This past January I was particularly puzzled by a question from a woman in the audience. Her husband really wanted to travel full-time but she wouldn't go unless she could be on line all the time. She said that she spends 4-6 hours on line each evening and wasn't willing to give that up. Yes, she could get a satellite and be online all the time, but think of what she would be missing. I was really saddened by her addiction. 

RVers are generally an outgoing, friendly lot and for my money I would much rather interact with people one on one rather than just typing on a key board as in a chat room on the web. I like to feel the presence of those I communicate with. I find it hard to believe that someone would chose to communicate with a screen over a living breathing soul. 

Times may have changed and maybe I am not totally tuned in. We have RVer friends who generally get cranky and hostile if they can't get on line to get their email and news groups mailings and check a half dozen web sites twice a day. Get a life, I say. Maybe it is because we didn't have a chance to get hooked on the internet before we went on the road. Heavens, personal computers were still sort of new when we started full-timing in 1989. The internet was truly a baby. It wasn't something we got used to.

We are in a house now and have a land line. I like that so that I can go on line any time, but I find I only need a few minutes a day to get email and look at the news on one home page. Well, that is a little bit of a fib. I did use the computer to do a lot of on line shopping, but that is done now so I really don't need to be on all that long. Am I weird?

I wonder if this internet chat room thing is one step backward from television. One step farther from interacting with real people. Let me explain. When Ron and I were play acting in Yosemite National Park, our visitors were instructed to play along---pretend they were back in time with the characters in each building they visited. We found that the visitors couldn't do that; they didn't know how. From years of just observing TV they forgot how to relate to other people. They just stood there while we performed. It took a while for us to figure out what was happening. 

And going back farther in time, I remember that in the 70's when my former husband and I would go camping in our little 19 foot motorhome no one even had a TV in their camper so we counted on each other for fun and conversation often over campfires. Many friendships were formed between perfect strangers. Pay attention to the RVs in campgrounds now. Instead of seeing people gather at the club house for games you can see the ultra violet glow of the TV through RV windows. Everyone is cozy in their little cocoon watching life played out on that small screen. 

Don't count on me to ever do a chat room. In fact I swear I am going to watch less TV. And when we meet I promise I will look you in the eye when we talk. And we can laugh or cry together or reach out and really touch each other. You can't do that through a computer, TV or even on the phone. Give me the real stuff!!! 

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