We watched baby boomers for decades, as they changed rules, moved to suburbia, drove SUV's, made shopping a sport. They knew quality, demanded respect, were bold in their lifestyle choices.
None of them anticipated a major recession just before retiring. Yet, their spirit and creativity are breaking ground again, in the way many of them choose to spend their retirement years.
We are meeting many new retirees who choose to be full time RV residents, moving around, volunteering a few months at campgrounds or at State Parks, visiting relatives and friends they might not otherwise see often. Their goal is to the see the fifty states or as many of the fifty states while their health is good.
Just yesterday, as we were hiking along the Elk River, we met a couple from Iowa volunteering at the Elk River Hatchery. They described the work they do and how much they enjoy staying in different places, learning the lay of the land, the history of the people they meet, trying new skills and new hobbies and how they could continue this lifestyle for many more years.
They have few possessions except for the RV. They do not shop at Nordstrom or any other name store. They have stopped shopping altogether. They now collect stories and hints of what's beyond the horizon for their next adventure. They are not afraid to stop and talk to strangers, to share their background and lifestyle with anyone who is willing to listen.
We exchanged phone numbers and facebook info; should they need to evacuate in a hurry, they know a friendly face a few miles from their campground.
The funny thing is we were all strangers before this conversation.