Life has its stages, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and finally, the mature years. Doesn't mature years not only sound better, but also better describe what was referred to as old age? And in each of those stages we had, have, or will have someone we look up to. Each of us may use a different word or phrase to refer to whom this person, or these persons may be, but looking back to the memories of childhood, I sense they not only serve us best, they also provide the words we are looking for. Hence we shall simply call these nebulous entities "Hero's", not in the mythic Greek sense but in the sense that our lives have been made better for having looked up to them.
Realizing many of us were much closer to our Hero's when we were younger, and though it may be presumptuous to think so, I believe many of us long in some unknown way for those childhood Hero's to once again come into our lives. Maybe it is because when we were younger everything was new to us and our Hero's gave us a new perspective. Then as we grew both in years and experience, those really special times no longer occurred so often. And do we dare admit it, maybe at some point in our lives our need for Hero's actually began to disappear, maybe briefly flickering a few times, only to be extinguished one last time, never again to reappear, our Hero's nothing more than fleeting memories.
That does not mean that Linda and I don't have Hero's, we certainly do, it's just that they are far less numerous than they were when we were children. If we were asked what makes a Hero we would have trouble putting it into words. If on the other hand we were asked who are your Hero's we would have no trouble answering. They are the people that inspired us to live the life that we do.
We would have to include each of our fathers, and yes we know that can seem trite, but for us it was more than just the fact that they were our fathers. They both had dreams of retirement and the "Someday I'll..." life they wanted to live. In both cases they did not get to live their dreams, Bob's father because he died six months before we was to retire, Linda's father because of an RV accident that radically changed the walitteralyy he and Linda's mother lived their retirement years. They were Hero's because they did have dreams and they gave us the best gift of all, the ability dream our own dreams.
Four other Hero's, or sets of Hero's come readily to mind, the people who inspired us to live the life we live. They were once just people like all us, going about life as George, Ron and Terry, Kirk and Pam, and Norm and Linda. They are not people who planned on being Hero's, don't consider themselves as Hero's, but who we are proud to call them our Hero's. They served, and continue to serve us in many ways, as an inspiration that no matter what your circumstances "you can do it". As a window into the world of fulltime RVing, or the perspective there is more than just travel to living in an RV. Or by showing us not only what the life of a fulltimer was like, but also serving as an inspiration for our website.
All of these Hero's appeared to us in the same way, one day they just appeared in front of us. It was the magic of the Internet, that unbelievable window on the world that will change our lives in far more ways than we could ever imagine. I don't recall the order in which they appeared to us, though I do recall it was not all at once, but rather a period of years, I believe, first it was Norm and Linda, followed by George, then Ron and Terry, and at last Kirk and Pam. And don't think these are Johnny come lately's onto the RV scene, they are anything but that for we have looked both at them, and up to them, for years. They are not newly arrived wannabes wanting to make a quick buck off other wannabes (one couple particularly comes to mind, hummingbird feeders anyone?), George, Ron, Terry, Kirk, Pam, Norm, and Linda are the real deal, or as real as Hero's can be.
You can find a link to each of their websites on our RV Links page, if you do not already check in on them, but that is not the purpose of this article. Rather it is to relate something which recently happened to us during a two week period. A special time when we got to actually visit with some of our Hero's, first George (and Ms Tioga) of the Adventures of Tioga and George website, then Ron and Terry of the Hitchitch group of websites.
It was our first time to meet George, while we had visited with Ron and Terry the last two years in Quartzsite, but with Hero's, it does not matter whether it is your first visit or one of many, each is just as exciting as the other. And you know what is so great about Hero's, when they are talking to you they act like just ordinary folks, in fact them seem to be just as excited to see you as you are to see them.
We drove down to Coos Bay to see George, who wrote in his blog about our visit, noting how two people with huge smiles drove up behind Ms Tioga. Funny thing was we could say the same thing about George, about how he literally leaped out of Ms Tioga when we arrived, a huge grin on his face.
Twelve days later, Ron and Terry, who were boondocking nearby stopped by the Umpqua River Lighthouse and went on one of my tours. What they write about are what they experience, the stories they share are real and their lives truly do mirror the words on their website: The restless urge to see new territory, and find what is beyond the curve in the road ahead. People sharing with People... What the Internet does Best! (And as would like to note should you have the opportunity to meet them: they are also fantastic in person!!)
Hero's, we all need them in our lives. We hope you get to touch some of your Hero's just as we got to touch some of ours.