A colleague at work said ahh forget Glastonbury & go with her to The Burning Man Event. Totally gabbed by this wild idea but unsure if a wind up I sounded her out when we were next on shift together.
Turns out she wasn’t joking which triggered a set of actions in motion that resulted in the booking of a motorhome & flights. Ahgast at the prospect of shelling out $1600 upfront for tickets we decided to play the official ‘lottery system’ where they would be around $500. Given the event is in Nevada it seemed sort of appropriate to take a gamble but we sadly played & lost due impart to a shaky internet connection. So with Plan A dead in the water so to speak we needed an alternative. Armed with my faithful Google maps I scuttled back to the virtual drawing board & came up with Plan B.
Colleagues at work were watched & listened somewhat agog at the unfolding plans possibly a little sceptical that we would actually carry them out. We ran the gauntlet of jibes re Thema & Louise etc but we just smiled enigmatically & firmed up the details of our oddessy.
Given we had never been on vacation together it may have seemed to some a little mental to sign up for the best part of 3 weeks in a camper van but we were game to give it a go. Turns out we were really on the same page for road tripping & as we made our way airport we found much to chat and laugh about that set the tone for the whole journey.
One of the random challenges that I was set included me finally making the powers that be connect our rural bit of England to the world wide web with fibre rather than copper cable. I may live in a 17th century house but this does not mean I wish to live the same lifestyle as I have online bills to pay! The Apple shop staff used to recoil with disbelief when I told them we could only get about 1 meg of download speed (& then only when it wasn’t raining).
I had lobbied via Twitter which did produce engineers & sympathy but not a lot really happened until this week. About a fortnight ago I got chatting to a man with a van on the village green who implied that it was indeed the plan to make fibre connections live.
Seems my incessant moaning finally had bore fruit as sure enough the internet provider was now able to offer me 100meg minimum download. I almost wept with the sheer joy of the prospect of using more than one device at a time & minimal buffering on catch up tv. I could have hugged the salesperson who talked me through the contract – it was like he was singing a love song to me!
So the connection is now arranged and I could let my neighbour who set the challenge know that they too could now connect. Not sure I should really claim it but I won’t tell if you don’t.
The last leg of the 3079 mile road trip involved driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles which involved a lot of driving mainly along the Highway 5.
I had planned the route using Google maps which had been calculated as 3000 miles the difference as it turned out was the unscheduled trips to the ferry terminal in San Francisco. I was duly impressed with the fact that this was incredibly accurate essential if keeping to a daily milage limit & an indication that we had not got lost en route!
Until this point we had many avoided the main roads preferring the more scenic routes but time & distance dictated the need to use the most direct means of returning to the camper & getting the flight home.
My daughter drove the first part leaving me to take over and navigate the intense traffic in LA. While she was at the wheel it allowed me to watch the world go by & mull over whether I had learned anything on our sojourn.
As it happened quite a lot of things had crossed my mind as we had roamed around. I had come to the conclusion that whilst it was fun to hang out with those much younger than me. However whilst it was immensely flattering when a young guy at the festival started dancing with me having told me he ‘loved my dance moves’ it merely reaffirmed my desire to remain young at heart not turn the clock back.
I admit to being a little taken aback at my new capacity to scrutinise some long held beliefs & revise my view point of view. It requires a degree of strength to tap into your inner self, hold your hands up & then admit to yourself that you may have been wrong or misguided. This is however a very liberating experience perhaps should be something that wider society would do well to embrace from time to time?
Personally I found the less judgemental approach of the ‘Millennials’ to be refreshing. Especially as facing impending early retirement I was finding the prospect of being ghettoised into the role of ‘pensioner’ or ‘senior’ or indeed any other of such similar terms to be deeply troubling. However it was on the second road trip of 2018 that the kernel of the idea to set up this blog started to formulate.
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