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How Does A Girl Become A Gypsy?

I love my life. It’s been more than five years now since we sold the house and started traveling full-time in the motorhome – and every day I wake up grateful that I get to live this way. It’s feels as though something at the very core of me has been longing for this all my life … and sometimes I wonder, “What makes me a wanderer?”

When I was a little kid we started going “on vacation” to my grandparents farm. Each of us grandkids spent a week over the summer helping out around the house, in the garden, and milking the cows. It was a blast! We rode the tractors, played in the hay mow, and ate Grandma’s good cooking for seven beautiful days.

For a kid in elementary school, daring to move away from home and get a taste of independence was a thrill – and certainly those weeks on the farm fed my budding gypsy spirit.

Spending time on my grandparents farm fed my gypsy spirit.

Before long, I was pleading to join my other grandma on a bus trip to visit family, and begging my parents to let me jump in with my aunt when her job took her on calls around the midwest. To their credit, they never said no.

My parents understood my love of travel, because they had it too! When we were three and four, Mom and Dad took my sister and me to one of their favorite places – the Black Hills in South Dakota. I only have flashes of memories from that trip, but the effect it had on me must have run deep, because the Black Hills are still one of my favorite places in the country.

Amy and Molly

After my two younger sisters came along, we got a pull-behind camper, and family vacations meant loading up the minivan for a road trip. We went to the Great Smoky Mountains, to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, explored our home state of Wisconsin, and made another trip out to the Black Hills.

There was wonder around every corner, and my Dad’s enthusiasm was especially contagious. He looked forward to those two-week trips all year, and he was always pointing out interesting things to look at along the way. Dad never considered taking us to Disney – he wanted us to see the real places that make this country beautiful. There is no question that I learned to appreciate the subtle and exquisite joy of exploring new places from watching him.

So, is it nature or nurture? In my case, the way I was raised certainly contributed to my love of travel … and something in my nature latched on to this gypsy lifestyle and just couldn’t let go.

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  • Thanks so much, Lisa! Hugs right back at you.

  • I’ve benefited pretty spectacularly, too, Edie. =)

  • Lisa Taron says:

    You are so darn cool. Hugs from The Pet Blog Lady!

  • I’m so glad that you and Jack are having such a great time, Dawn. It’s amazing how fast the time files by, isn’t it? Traveling full time certainly isn’t for everyone – which is a good thing, because we’d never find space in the RV parks, right?! =D That pull toward home is something I don’t have, and wondering why that is generated this post.

  • No doubt your Mom’s advice had a big impact on who you are today, Jessica! Since I’ve known you, you’ve followed her suggestions will determination. I agree that our natures have to play a significant part in this, because my three sisters all life in houses (without wheels) and are perfectly happy there. If it were all nurture, my parents would have raised four vagabonds!

  • funny that you wrote this today because I am on my 8th week traveling with Jack and I keep wondering if I could continue to do this. I am loving it and it has been fun but I do miss my life a little in San Diego. But I agree, it is so fun to meet all of the new people, see what is around the bend, experience the weather and enjoying this beautiful country. I still have 2.5 weeks left and my head it already spinning on how and when we are going to do our next Jacks Journey USA :) Thanks for all that you do!

  • LOL! I don’t know about “superhero” Pamela – it just feels like something I have to do. Maybe Wonder Woman felt the same way?

  • It’s definitely something that gets in your blood, Mary. Now I’d describe myself as addicted to seeing what’s around the next bend and over the hill! I can’t imagine not living without that excitement in my life every day. I know you get it! ;-)

  • My gypsy life started when I was a kid. First moving from England as a baby. I then went to 5 different elementary schools, 3 junior high, and 1 high school. I have lived in 5 different states, all those before I was 30. I just want to see what’s around the next bend, or over that hill. I love it!

  • I loved reading the Go Pet Friendly superhero origin story!

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