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Old 12-24-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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The importance of daydreaming and a room of your own...

I wanted to say something about why we perhaps choose Airstreams and what drives us, or at least in both cases, my wife and me. I recently was given a book as a gift - A Place of My Own, by Michael Pollan. I was struck by a passage in his preface: “How do we humans fit into the natural world, and in what ways is that different from other creatures? Are our buildings the pure products of culture, like poems, or are they more like adaptations, akin to a pattern of camouflage in an animal? In what ways are our buildings like nest or burrows, the outcome of a kind of evolutionary process fitting our bodies and desires to the facts of our environment, and in what way are they free to be anything we like?”

Pollan later cites a French writer, Gaston Bachelard, who talked about daydreaming: “If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” Pollan then points out daydreaming “…does not enjoy tremendous prestige in our culture, which tends to regard it as unproductive thought. Unlike any other form of thought, daydreaming is its own reward. For regardless of the result (if any) the very process of daydreaming is pleasurable. And, I would guess, is probably a psychological necessity. For isn’t it in our daydreams that we acquire some sense of what we are about? Daydreaming is where we go to cultivate the self, or, more likely, selves, out of the view and earshot of other people. Without its daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others.”

I was lucky as a kid that my parents took me on summer and winter vacations/trips every year from birth to my college years - fishing and skiing. The trips were always to great locations: the eastern Sierras, the ski resorts in the Wasatch range, Yellowstone, Idaho, Alberta, and Oregon. But the thing I remember was that my favorite time of those vacations were the days just leading up to hitting the road - everything still lied ahead and the sense of something new was about to take place. I hung onto those moments like gold because I knew the saddest times of the trips were the last days of the trips.

When I first posted from the road as newly minted full-timers, there were some who stated some envy and wished they, too, were on the road as full-timers. I could empathize with them completely as we were fresh from breaking away from the paradigm that was the typical life in Orange County, California: struggle to make enough money to pay the bills, deal with too much traffic, trash, and people, find ways to re-energize every weekend before re-engaging the rat race the following Monday. What struck me while reading the passages about daydreaming though was while my wife and I are now enjoying some kind of adventure or new experience almost daily, the energy applied is different from that expended during the months of realizing the dream. What I’m saying is that while there may be some that wish mightily that they were already on the road, it’s important to remember the process of getting to that point - relish it in spite of the many hurdles. Yes, I admit it’s perhaps easier to point this out while sitting in a campground in southern Utah, away from the excesses of southern California, but I can say that the daydreaming we do now is not the same, and can never be quite the same as those dreams we dreamt every day, from that first day we walked onto an Airstream lot to the day we passed our apartment departure inspection, turned in our cable box, drove to the Airstream storage lot and hitched our International for real this time. There is a fine line between daydreaming and planning as they overlap as more information is collected (much of it here on the forum). The Airstream itself gave purpose to our daydreams so that they took on a certain focus, a focus unlike any we possessed during the years that preceded and precipitated our life-changing decision. I was just recalling with my wife those days where it was just a struggle to perform my daily work before turing my attention back to the details of full-tiiming. I, perhaps like many others, did not fully enjoy my career but rather only enjoyed my friendships/partnerships while making a living. Our daydreams provided new energy for our brains and resolve; I can’t remember how many times my wife told me we could do this when I would voice my doubts and fears. In some ways, she wanted it more than I. (I’ve been told several times that the best indication we have for future success is that we are 50-50 as far as individual investment into making the jump.) The gray areas soon became very clear as the target date for departure came and went, and even a desperation set in as we pushed ourselves those additional final three days. We will never have quite the same joy, relief, and nervous sense of anticipation with a tinge of fear as we did in our stomachs when we knowingly drove down the streets of our old neighborhood for the last time and onto the ramp of the freeway heading out of Orange County. So I suggest enjoy and relish the struggle to those still making their way… it will some day all be worth it.

As for what our daydreams were made of, we were and are driven to have a window with a view. There is very good movie of that title and in it an English father and son offer to give up their room with a view to a young woman and her chaperone. The father suggests his window is in his heart and it’s there where “ ..the birds sing and the sky is blue." Now I don’t pretend to be poetic but I would agree that most of my dreams did reside in my heart prior to hitting the road in an Airstream. I knew I would never accumulate the kind of money needed to buy a beautiful house in southern California with a view. Our window views during our life together was that of the neighboring apartment building, or at best a distant ridge where more expensive and expansive houses stood among the last remaining natural vegetation. I thought of those memories when I read Pollan’s ideas of how important a building, or even a room, can be to us as individuals. And then I realized what really gave my wife and me happiness was the view out of a building or room. We agree that we would much rather own a small, modest house with a room with a view than an expensive and large one with a view of a neighboring house a mere 25 feet (or less) away, which is more often the case in southern California living. As all you Airstream owners and fans well know, one of the biggest attractions to the Airstream is the number and quality of windows inherent to each model. The idea of moving the building and window to the desired view was like a lightbulb in both our heads - YES, it was attainable and we could have that view, and perhaps in short time a view beyond anything we could find in developed southern California. I remember being struck by one of the members here on this forum who posted a photo of Mt. Hood and an adjacent river just outside his or her bedroom window - that was EXACTLY what we wanted... The Room With A View.

So I am grateful and awed by all the handy men and women, all the craftspeople here on the forum. But while our talents and experience will range from one end of the spectrum to the other, I think we can agree that the strongest trait we share is that we all strive to make our daydreams of living in the great outdoors come true and feel our Airstreams to be capable of doing just that.

Merry Christmas everybody and we wish you a Happy New Year!
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Beautiful, I enjoyed your post so much. When we r out, I will say to my husband, I just can't get enough of the beauty around me, my eyes need more room. We are not full timers, but go enough, and you r right, the daydreaming keeps me going, i am like a kid waiting for Christmas as I prepare for our trips. I have traveled via of hotels, vacation rentals, tours and B& B's, but nothing compares to my lovely cottage on wheels. To be out with trees, water, nature and more is such a gift. Thank you....
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:13 PM   #3
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that's how i got to memphis…..

or Orcas Island in this case…...:

a daydream…sitting in from of a computer is a house in elgin , texas... sweltering in late June, early july….looking at real estate in port angles and or sequin….where we thought we might want to relocate….port townsend…port ludlo…..

and like magic this house appeared…a house on cormorant bay….on orcas island…where the heck was that????

i wantd to buy that house……so we turned the daydream in to a trip to Orcas via the airstream express….in late july spent a week on orcas…drove directly back to texas sold the house in a week…packed up…headed to orcas…found the dream home …trying to buy it for christmas…….

so if the dream is big enough
you'll go where it goes….

and that's how i got to memphis
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:46 PM   #4
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The importance of daydreaming and a room of your own...

Merry Christmas Westcoastas,
I have been enjoying your well written "snapshots" of your new adventures.
I had just added Michael Pollan’s updated edition of "A Place of My Own" to my ebook Wishlist. We are newbies with only 6 trips completed June-October thus far and we have been planning an extended airstream adventure to southwest right after the holidays. Weather permitting- Jan 2, 2015!

We will take our time heading to southern Arizona for Jan/Feb and hopefully be able to visit southern Utah in early March before heading back east returning home.

Pollan has unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences—whether eating, gardening, or building—and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the genre-defining bestsellers, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I enjoy his well written and often hilarious story of Pollan’s realization of a room of his own—a small, wooden hut, his “shelter for daydreams” — built with his admittedly unhandy hands. Inspired by Thoreau. Reading great literature adds another depth to the Airstreaming Adventure.

Since we plan to camp a primarily state parks and BLM land, not likely we will have many opportunities to access "downloadable good reads" after we are on the road. Happy Christmas in beautiful Utah and maybe we'll run into you both sometime camping!
Kind regards,
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:14 AM   #5
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What a great post....well said...
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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we do full time .... albeit now for 2 months. Both of us enjoyed your post and the energy expended to write it down and send it to all of us. thx
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:29 PM   #7
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Nice.
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Very nice......and Merry Christmas.


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Old 12-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #9
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Beautiful.

Thank you.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #10
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Wonderful post. Thank you. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #11
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best. post. ever.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:34 PM   #12
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Cool picture of your Airstream!!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:13 PM   #13
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I still want a magic wand. Got 4 months left though. This is a roller coaster ride.

But, I haven't won the lottery yet (probably because I don't play?) so I guess no magic wands for me.

BTW, I like the idea of reframing ones perspective in relation to your dreams. It's said what you earn in your earlier 30's is generally an indication of your life maximum earning potential. (Funny because wifey and I both are taking pay cuts soon)

I didn't become a millionaire, and realized that by reducing our lifestyle, I could still live a life of financial freedom and lifestyle freedom.

I just don't want to wait or put off life any longer. I have a dear friend, whose still chasing and chasing and delaying. For what, the hopes that eventually he's going to be rich. We have another friend who did that and ended up dying at a young age. And for me, I said, no thanks. Going to live now. My friend said, I'm going to work harder.

I just don't want to get to 50 and have 5 18 yr olds (yes we want a big family, no we are not religious ) and wonder where all my life went. Living for the weekends as I put it.

Time being relative and all, I feel as though it passes faster when I'm at a job/trapped in a building where I don't want to be.

Anyways, sorry to hijack your thread with my ramblings.
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
I still want a magic wand. Got 4 months left though. This is a roller coaster ride.

But, I haven't won the lottery yet (probably because I don't play?) so I guess no magic wands for me.

BTW, I like the idea of reframing ones perspective in relation to your dreams. It's said what you earn in your earlier 30's is generally an indication of your life maximum earning potential. (Funny because wifey and I both are taking pay cuts soon)

I didn't become a millionaire, and realized that by reducing our lifestyle, I could still live a life of financial freedom and lifestyle freedom.

I just don't want to wait or put off life any longer. I have a dear friend, whose still chasing and chasing and delaying. For what, the hopes that eventually he's going to be rich. We have another friend who did that and ended up dying at a young age. And for me, I said, no thanks. Going to live now. My friend said, I'm going to work harder.

I just don't want to get to 50 and have 5 18 yr olds (yes we want a big family, no we are not religious ) and wonder where all my life went. Living for the weekends as I put it.

Time being relative and all, I feel as though it passes faster when I'm at a job/trapped in a building where I don't want to be.

Anyways, sorry to hijack your thread with my ramblings.
I get what you are saying. We live a happy comfortable life. And that's exactly why I purchased our Bambi. Life is too short not to enjoy it.


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