GO RVING WITH JENNIE GARTH
RVing has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. My father loved his RV and as a child we took family trips all over the country. Those vacations are some of my fondest childhood memories: my dad at the wheel, my mom riding shotgun and my sisters and I generally raising hell in the back.
Years later as a wife and mother I wanted my children to experience the same wonderful family bonding time that RVing could bring so we bought a 35-foot motorhome and the five of us hit the road on a regular basis. My kids loved these trips just as much as I did when I was their age, maybe more. Living in this era of cell phones, email, social media and both parents managing busy careers, these trips were a time when, by design, mom and dad were focused on family fun and much of the outside world was kept outside of our little home away from home as we rolled down the highway. Unlike flying to a hotel somewhere, we could bring along all our gear: bikes, paddle boards, skateboards, and toys. And taking an RV trip costs a lot less for a family of our size than traditional travel with airfare, hotels, and restaurants. All of us loved grilling and cooking outdoors, and with more than 16,000 campgrounds to choose from, many with cable, Wi-Fi, pools and dog parks, we wanted for nothing!
Then, somewhat unexpectedly, in 2011, I suddenly found myself living life as a single mom. As any of you who have been through this know, beyond the obvious pain and sadness of a relationship ending, there is the feeling that so many of the things you once enjoyed, but that your partner may have handled (like wheeling around a 35-foot motorhome), may be gone from your life forever.
It was important to me to keep as much continuity and normalcy in my girls’ lives as I could during this time. I also wanted my girls to know that as strong women, they should not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone and try things that might be a little intimidating. One of the greatest lessons that my father taught me was that I shouldn’t be afraid to tackle something myself, whether that meant fixing a leaky faucet, putting in a fence, or driving a huge motorhome cross country.
So, when my sister invited my girls and me to come visit her 2,500 miles away in Champagne Illinois, I hosed off the motorhome, packed up the girls, my nephew, two dogs, and a miniature pig and fired her up. My friends were horrified I was undertaking this excursion, particularly at this time but you know what? It was an amazing experience both for me and my girls. All things being equal, the pig would probably rather have stayed home, but I digress…RVing is a blast. And you don’t have to buy one right away, RVs can be rented easily including new light weight trailers that can even be towed by a family car. For me RVing provides a connection to my past and excitement about planning family trips in the future, and I hope to be doing it for years to come.
I’m planning our next RV adventure for July and look forward to sharing the trip with all of you here! If you have suggestions, advice or want to share some of your favorite RV memories, please leave a comment below. See you on the road!