A Dream Comes to Life

Living life as a tourist isn’t such a bad thing. The fact that I’ve never really put down roots anywhere has shaped my mindset to always be wondering about what lies ahead, further down the road.

A few years ago the reality of growing older began to really settle in. I wondered what retirement would look like for my husband and me. Maybe, I thought, we’d move to a retirement friendly state. Maybe, we’d buy a small house, a tiny house, even. Or, maybe, we could sell our home and RV full-time. Yes, that would be exciting! I wondered if I could get my husband interested in such a venture.

He wasn’t opposed to it, as it turned out. That was enough for me to get to planning, because I love to plan things and plan ahead, way ahead.

So I looked into large Class A RVs. Their value depreciates so quickly that you can pick up a used one for fairly cheap. I figured if we live life on the road in the future I’d want all the comforts of home, most especially a washer and dryer.

But then again, maybe Class A is too large. So I looked at Class C RVs. No way you would fit a washer and dryer in one of those, but it would be smaller and easier to manuever.

What about Class B? No way!! A cramped little van? Uh-uh, no thanks!

Well, what about a fifth wheel, because a few of those even have a washer and dryer. You can detach your truck and drive it to see the sights.  No, many things I read on that said full-time RVing with a fifth wheel is just not favorable for many reasons.

Okay, so Class C seems to be the only viable option, or maybe a B+, but not B, no, not B.

Flash forward a couple of years later to present day. We will probably never be full-time RVers. We’ll always have a home base somewhere. And as for waiting to RV when we hit retirement, well, we’ve decided to start that on the earlier side. Because, who knows what will happen when we finally reach that time in our life. We might be going strong in great health. But when I look around, I see many people retire and suddenly lose their health or just die soon thereafter.

So we decided to get our dream RV early. And what did we decide on? A Class B van.FB_IMG_1537038174595

The MT travelogue

“No matter where you go, there you are.” ~ unknown (but my dad always said it, so as far as I’m concerned, he coined the phrase.)

I started off life like many other children. I was born in a hospital, in my case a Roman Catholic hospital. My parents were Baptists. So that might be one indication that things might have started off a little weird.

My parents let my brother pick out a name for me. He told them he liked the name Sharon. They either forgot or didn’t like that name and pretended that they forgot. I was named, Sherri. I like that name. It suits me better than Sharon. Not that I have anything against the name Sharon. I’ve known several Sharons who are lovely people. But no, I am a Sherri for certain. A derivative of the name Sherry taken from the word sherry which is, in essence, a dry white wine. But not always! Sometimes sherry can be very sweet! Very dry or very sweet. Yes, that name suits me.

So my parents brought me home to a non-descript, red-brick house when I was days old. I might have grown up in that house, gone to the same school my whole life, graduated with the kids in that school, etc. The kind of life many kids have. Of course, I didn’t have that kind of life. That’s what makes me the misplaced tourist.

I’ve made a sort of travelogue to commemorate my touristy life so far. It all began in the small town of Carlsbad, New Mexico. (I briefly toyed with the idea of calling this lifestyle blog: The Misplaced New Mexican, but Tourist finally won out.)

MT’s Travelogue

  • Carlsbad, New Mexico: duration – 2 years, abode – red-brick house, scenery – typical family dwelling, normal American family life
  • Alpine, Texas: duration – 7 years, abode – the back of the fast food restaurant my parents owned, scenery – industrial restaurant (lots and lots of grease everywhere), hot, West Texas desert, family restaurant life.
  • Fort Stockton, Texas: duration – not even a year and it was sandwiched between the 7 Alpine, Texas years, abode – a rental house where we only went to sleep, otherwise we lived in another fast food restaurant my parents briefly owned, scenery – abysmal, industrial restaurant, nasty tasting tap water, general feeling of misery day in and day out. Hence, the move back to Alpine.
  • Carlsbad, New Mexico (2nd time): duration – 1.5 years, abodes – 1. Nice rental in a retirement neighborhood. 2. My uncle’s vacant house, scenery – nice, normal family life returns briefly.
  • Farmington, New Mexico: duration – 4 years, abodes – 1. We lived with my cousin in a small 2 bedroom apartment. 2. We rented a nice house with gray siding. The lawn was clover instead of grass. 3 We were thinking of buying a nice, normal family dwelling, but suddenly my mom bought this strange, funny smelling house that sat sideways on the lot. The front door was located in the back., scenery – Farmington is pretty, but my time there was not. I hated it, quite literally.
  • Carlsbad, New Mexico (3rd time): duration – 5 years, abodes – 1. We lived with my cranky, grandmother. 2. So, we escaped to a small, flat-roofed adobe house rental. 3 Then, my mom secured us another rental just a few blocks away in a larger house. 4. Finally, she bought another odd house just down the street from that rental.
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: Time to branch out on my own, first as a college student, and then as a married woman, and then as a parent of 3 kids.  Duration – 8 years, Abodes – 1. roach infested girl’s dormitory 2. cricket infested student apartment 3. a ground-level apartment in a questionable part of town 4. same apartment complex but upstairs this time 5. a mobile home rental 6. a mobile my husband and I bought and placed in a mobile home park 7. an acre of land we purchased in a desert subdivision where we moved our mobile home to 8. a mobile home rental sitting waaaaay out in the desert. It was infested with no less than 3 different kinds of crickets., scenery – college life town, lush valleys, dry desert mesas.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: Duration – 4 years, abodes – 1. our friend’s generously shared their house with us while we waited for housing to open up on seminary campus 2. mold infested seminary housing 3. old but nice (no mold!) apartment near downtown Fort Worth, scenery – big city Texas life, seminary life, homeschool life
  • Shelby, Montana: Duration – 18 years and counting, abodes – 1. a  parsonage 2. a quirky little cottage on a hill (a.k.a. my desert island), scenery – frontier county, ranches, lots and lots of farmland, homeschool life, small town life

To date, I’ve lived in Montana longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. Nevertheless, I’m still just a tourist. You have to be born here to be considered a bonafide local resident. That’s okay though. I’m happy to be a loyal, local tourist in the Big Sky State. There’s no other place I’d rather live.

Where to begin

Welcome to The Misplaced Tourist! It’s a lifestyle blog with a touristy flavor. Tourists are curious folks, exploring new places and cultures that are different from their own. That’s me! I’ve been a tourist from birth.

I never had the chance to grow up in the small town I was born in. I never had the chance to make lifelong friends. Those things take time. Tourists don’t have time for that. They sample, take pictures, and move on.

I guess that’s my own unique experience in life. I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to stay in one place for one’s whole life, assimilating local culture, knowing everyone in the town you were born in, living in the same house your parents brought you home to after you were born. That’s not my story though.

The first few posts then will be a sort of “get to know you” kind of thing. I’ll share a little bit about my touristy life. Then, as I go on, I plan on sharing my current touristy findings as I continue on my journey through this life.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton