Welcome to Sue and Joe's Tavelsite
Retirement - what now?
- Written by Joe Rickenbacher
What does the Future hold?
Towards the end of 2009 it hit me that I had only one more year to work and then I would be sent into retirement. While a lot of people might be looking forward to that moment, I got worried about what I wanted to do afterwards. My wife and I had taken up golf but we had to admit we didn't have the fire in us to spend the whole days and entire weeks on the golf course. For us it was more of an opportunity to be in the fresh air and spend time together and the score was not of any particular importance. Probably not the right attitude do become a good senior golfer.
One thing I knew for sure, I did't want to hang around at home and get on my wife's nerves but I also didn't want to go back to work right away.
There had to be something else. Then I had the "brilliant" idea to travel for 9 to 12 month through the USA and Canada. But because my wife is an American and I have also seen most of the cities during my professional career, we decided that a camper would be the ideal means to travel but it had to be something special which allowed us to go to any place we wanted to go. Hence, we needed a special vehicle: an off-road camper.
I started to search the internet and found campers like this:
These models didn't really appeal to me. The jeep with the tent on the roof didn't really look very stable. The others (closed or open) reminded me of a shoe box on an ordinary pick-up - didn't seem to be really comfortable for being on road for months. And last one (and others of a similar make) would probably require a truck license which I didn't have and didn't intend to obtain (and, in my humble opinion, doesn't look good).
There had to be something else! And finally I stumbled on to it:
All the details about this fabulous home-away-from-home, capable of climbing mountains and wading through rivers and still providing the comfort I didn't want to do without (like bathroom with toilet and shower, full-fledged kitchen, comfortable ready-made queen size bed, stereo and hi-definition tv, etc.), you'll find more details on the manufacturer's homepage under the menu item "EarthRoamer Home". The company improves the models every year and the ones available now are even bigger and more comfortable (and also a little bit more pricey!)
I contacted EarthRoamer to investigate about the availability of these trucks and had to learn that they are only produced to the customer's specifications and that the production time would be about one year! So, we decided to travel to Denver, CO, to visit the company, discuss the details and, if we were still convinced, add our own wishes (like two foldable electric mountain bikes, installed behind the driver) and then order our own EarthRoamer.
On May 14, 2010, we flew to Chicago and took the Amtrak to Denver. Obviously, the founder and CEO, Bill Swails and his team convinced us completely. We ordered our truck with a delivery date of end of April 2011. The rest is history!
You'll find the first reports under menu item "Reconnaissance Trip".