His & Hers: What We’ve Learned Out on the Road (Part 3)
This is part 3 of a 4 part series about what we’ve learned out on the road. The first section (Link here) focused on what we’ve learned while living in an RV. The second section (Link here) focused on how the RV lifestyle changed us personally. In this segment, we will talk more about how we have changed culturally.
Integrating into society after full-time RV living on the road was a bit shocking to us. We knew that we have changed from our road experiences, but never realized that our change is so deeply rooted in us that merging back into what we used to consider normal was a challenge.
We learned so much about ourselves and the United States, that we are in the process of mapping out our travels based on the desires and needs to learn more.
Lance: I always thought that the US was a bland country. Ohhh man was I wrong! This trip has opened my eyes to the many subcultures within the US that flourish in small areas.
I was able to learn about the subcultures just by experiencing them for the short time I was there.
Many of those sub-cultures have encouraged me to learn more about them and made me plan our future travels based on the places that I feel have a very rich subculture.
I was also able to experience local food. Many of the cuisines are the same, but in one area they add one ingredient that would make a similar dish taste absolutely different.
We noticed most of that in New Mexico. Many of the restaurants have a different flavor by adding green chile to their recipes, or it might be the way they add the chile.
Either way, the food in New Mexico tasted differently from other parts of the country.
Living off the grid also allowed me to learn more about myself. It allowed me and forced me at the same time, to expand my knowledge, experiences, and learning.
If we look at America, it is not really all big cities where the people are congested, all crammed into a small space to accomplish desk jobs, I believe that America is where the farms are, the ranches are, the wineries, etc.
Those are the areas we enjoyed experiencing and met some amazing people on this journey.
Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoyed big cities and their luxuries such as full hookup RV parks, convenient grocery stores, and different activities to enjoy.
Kate: Not leading a “normal” life has taken me away from many of the things I found “normal.”
I don’t watch TV anymore. When you have ever-changing breathtaking views outside your front door, you spend your time outside.
I don’t listen to the radio anymore. Since I am not stuck in a car commuting for 2 hours a day, I have conversations with my partner and meet other travelers camped near us.
I love getting to meet people whom I never would have had the chance to previously.
Because I am not a captive audience in front of a tv or radio, I am not inundated with advertisements. I am not being told what I need to buy, how I need to look, or what I need to drive.
I didn’t realize that I was “missing out” on advertising until we were in Billings, Montana.
Billings isn’t known as a booming metropolis, but it was the biggest city we had been in for at least six months. As we were driving down the street, I was looking out the window at all of the businesses and their signage.
A car audio store stood out to me the most. I had not been told that my truck needed to have new speakers, an amp, and a video system. But somehow, I have been living without those things and never knew I “needed” them because I wasn’t being overwhelmed with messages telling me I do.
I don’t go to a job where people are talking about the latest designers and showing off their new shoes or purses. There isn’t any talk about the latest makeup trends and the newest palette Tarte has come out with.
I am also “missing out” on this peer-to-peer advertising.
I elaborated more on what I’ve learned out on the road in my blog titled, “What is the American Dream?”
Stay tuned for part 4 where we talk about coming home for the first time after living on the road.