American travel writer Nealson (New Mexico’s Sanctuaries, Retreats, and Sacred Places, 2014, etc.) shares her tales of life on the road in North America and Mexico.
The author and her husband decided to chuck it all and “trade real estate for wheel estate.” So they sold their home, bought a recreational vehicle that they dubbed “Tortuga,” and set out for parts (mostly) unknown. Traveling up and down the West Coast, from British Columbia to Mexico, they visited various friends along the way and made occasional side trips to famous places, such as the Grand Canyon. They also made new friends, buried a pet, had RV trouble, took hikes, and learned that life on the road is not without occasional bumps. The author was soon reminded of some early advice that she received in a chat room when she was first considering the RV life: “You’d better darned well like the person you’re with because you’re going to sit across a small table and look at him every day.” Nealson is a colorful writer, particularly when describing some bit of nature that’s caught her eye or ear, as when she tells of one peaceful morning having “Meadowlark surround-sound.” She can also be quite funny: at one campground in the Southwest, she notes that watching the other RV-ers is like watching her own “personal episode from The Beverly Hillbillies.” She quotes witticisms from George Carlin and Oscar Wilde, as well. However, she’s also prone to using New Age-y jargon, including many references to the “Creatrix,” which may not appeal to every reader. Still, there’s a lot of wisdom here: “Why,” she wonders, “was it some pushed back and others pushed over, content with the status quo?” And she’s certainly no pushover herself: whether she’s facing a mother bear and her cubs or the painful reality that her marriage may be in trouble, she always jumps in with an adventurous spirit and an open heart.
A soulful account of Western vistas and New Age mantras.