Driveways and Boundaries

One of the alternatives to full-hookup, RV parks ($50 per night, on average) is staying in a friend’s driveway for a period, instead. This has pluses and minuses.

The pluses include saving money, trying something different than the RV park and spending some quality time with friends. The minuses are losing some or all of the services that the RV park provides (city water, electricity, septic and internet), risking, like three-day-old fish, that the relationship between the RVer and the homeowner might get a little stinky and, lastly, that some of the independence one gets from in an RV park transforms into a more collaborative one while camping on someone else’s property.

As in business, marriage or friendship, communication becomes vitally important while one is using another person’s driveway – and, quite likely, their bathroom, kitchen or other living spaces. Even with the best of friends, I’ve found it to be challenging. This makes complete sense. After all, we moved away from Mom and Dad’s home or the college frat house a long time ago in favor of an independent residence.

It’s my experience that “routine” is part of what adults and even kids love. And that works both ways when we land in someone’s home. Our routine of self-reliance is interrupted when we arrive and the friends’ lives that we join are likely affected, too. As I said above, it’s a challenge – or at the very least, a change.

After dependence comes independence, but after that comes interdependence. Each transformation requires new skills. In some cases, we relearn the cliche “fences make good neighbors.” In therapeutic speak, it’s about “setting reasonable boundaries.” It’s all part of Adulting, the Masters Course!

When we were in Weaverville, NC, we stayed at the home of our friend, Eric. We slept in his master bedroom, rearranged furniture for yoga classes and caused him some work to level our camper in his driveway. Eric generously allowed us to stay for three weeks and we got to see a lot of Weaverville, Asheville, and many surrounding towns while decamping at his place. Our relationship with Eric was easy-peasy namely because he’s super easygoing and he wasn’t there! Even so, I was sometimes afraid of scratching his favorite cooking pan – a rare and beautiful item that required special handling.

Since then, we’ve stayed with Kevin and Suzie in Lexington, NC, twice with Bill in Bryn Mawr, PA, and Holly and Bixby in Long Island, NY. Currently, we’re parked in Sandi and Paul’s driveway in Katonah, NY and later next month we’ll move to Sharon and Blake’s place in Ossining, NY. Mixed in with this will be RV campsites in Sullivan County and Croton and the Finger Lakes later in the summer. Hopefully, it will be a good mix.

It’s not a definite decision (yet) but we seem to be leaning towards spending more time in RV parks. A stay in someone’s driveway for about a week (or less) seems ideal because, frankly, we get itchy to travel. I love the road – discovering new places, talking to colorful strangers and continuing to absorb the beauty offered by different locales. We love our little 22′ camper, cooking for ourselves and cuddling up on own mattress with the sounds of birds outside the window.

We are very grateful to our friends for providing a place for us to stay and to get to know them better. This is a treasure. However, there is an even greater need than the comfort of a home or a friend’s shower – the call of the open road and the freedom that comes with being in that everchanging flow.

The Adventure must continue!

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