Ready for our Next Adventure!

26905816_10213455022263615_411289703_oHi!  This is Leigh.  I don’t usually write the blogs but I felt inspired.  I just finished reading a blog by A Girl and Her Commander.  She made me want to really get out into nature like we had originally planned. We were so excited when we first began a year ago. We have lost our way a bit.

How did this happen?  I’ll tell you. The reason I think we lost our way is because we lost our focus. We forgot why we decided to do this in the first place. It didn’t happen quickly. It was gradual. It started with the number of repairs we had to make.  Before we left North Carolina, we had to put a new set of tires on the RV. That was over $2,000.  Ouch!!!!  When we got to California, we had some steering issues. We paid to have it fixed. It is still not completely fixed which makes Tim not really want to drive it because it pulls a lot and when you are dealing with high winds, it can get downright scary!  We paid to have the awning fixed; the refrigerator, the generator, the icemaker too. We had the flooring replaced…just to name a few.  Of those items, only the refrigerator is still working. I think the generator is working but we don’t know because we had a problem with our propane tank (It would not fill) and of course, the generator runs off propane.  We had planned to get solar added so we could boondock more, but no luck yet. We knew that we would encounter some repairs with an older coach. We just didn’t know how many.

I am still working full-time and going to school and working on a dissertation so I haven’t been as focused on the repairs but without the repairs, we don’t get to roam like we had dreamed of doing.

We are heading back to California next month with a dose of reality pie.  We will be staying at an RV Park to be close to work and friends.  However, I am hoping we can get the repairs done and hit the road soon for some adventure….even if it’s just short weekend outings.  If Stevie J won’t make it, I am buying a tent!pexels-photo-176381.jpeg

Thank you for sticking with us and supporting our dreams with your positives vibes and love.  Hope to see you soon!

NubianNomads

Til Next Time,

Peace & Blessings!

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We Survived the Winter

The RVing lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Adjustments have to be made for limited space and conservation of water and other resources (Hi! Leigh here. Not everyone who RVs is a conservationist, but it is important to us to reduce our footprint on the planet.) 

Winter, however, brings a new set of challenges. First being the COLD. (It was colder than a witch’s teet!  Brrrrr) Now cold to me is not so bad (He’s broken, ya’ll). I don’t love it or hate it. Just prefer not to be cold and if I am, it’s a minor inconvenience. Leigh, on the other hand, detests cold weather and goes to great lengths to avoid it. (You can say that again!  I am a Cali girl to my bone. Cold, to me, is the low 60’s.) So it was an exercise in preparation and quick learning to get through a North Carolina winter and keep Leigh comfortable! (Epic Fail, but he tried)

The first line of defense was ” Shrinkable window film.” It was amazing to feel the immediate temperature difference after the window film was installed! Thin adhesive strips are applied around the circumference of your window. Then the film is cut to fit and applied to the adhesive. Once its all done you take a blow dryer and heat the film and it shrinks to an airtight seal. (It helped a little bit. No cigar though.)
Condensation…will be the bane of your existence in winter time RV’ing. (We only saw one video on youtube on this and they were in Canada so we didn’t think we’d have to deal with this.  Boy, were we wrong!) I should mention here that we have an older rig, a 1990 Foretravel Grandvilla U225. I say this because I understand some of the newer rigs have “R” values on them and ours does not. Nevertheless, we love it and are willing to take these extra steps to stay warm in colder climates (Yep, like move to warmer weather, dat’s right). When we are all grown up we may have the finances and the want to upgrade to a newer unit but for now, we are golden! (He lying!  We already want the IH45 or the Realm but they are for the Uber rich and we are just not there yet!) Anyhow one should have lots of…paper towels or just plain towels to soak up all the water that will be produced from condensation. Also, a dehumidifier may prove valuable in this situation. (Thanks to my sister, Sherri, for the recommendation. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it after living in a basement flat in Iowa one year. Now that is REAL cold also known as hell. You know…so cold it’s hot!  Well, that’s Iowa, but I digress….) I know we have used ours quite a bit. The amount of water with and without one is noticeable. To further assist in the war of moisture, we used a product called “damprid”. It was some beads placed into a container that also pulled moisture out of the air. (Thanks to our wonderful RV friends, Judy & Fast Eddie for that recommendation, but don’t spill it. The liquid is weird and must be washed off.) We placed a few in the cabinetry and other hard to reach places. They performed well so be sure to check on them often should you decide to go this route.


With condensation comes mold and mildew. (Ewwwww…not only did it look gross, but It made my throat scratchy and made me feel like I was getting sick. We didn’t see it growing because other things stored here.) Get yourself some spray-on bleach or its equivalent. Be prepared to look in some pretty strange places for mold if you can’t get to all the water from condensation. I don’t think I have to tell you about all the health concerns that can come from unattended mold and mildew. I think I actually caught a cold/flu. We are talking a good scrubbing and new mattress and bedding to be sure we got it all! So leave no stone unturned when tracking moisture!
Space heaters are your friend. At least they were ours! The on-board propane heaters put out plenty of heat. On a rig as old as ours, however, the direction or flow of the heat can be an issue for you. Having the space heater as a back up to fill in the gaps has been a tremendous help for us. It is weird to have the left side of your body be warm and toasty and then your side be cool to cold (Or your whole body cold. Welcome to my world.) A space heater on that side can be all the difference in being both warm and toasty or just annoyed!
Electric blankets… enough said! Get one or two for that matter, don’t ask questions … and you’re welcome! (This kept me from running screaming into the night!)
Freezing pipes… We didn’t really experience this. (Thank goodness!) Our rig has a pretty hefty holding tank and our solution was just to fill the tank ahead of a below freezing stretch so there was more water than could freeze in one night. Also, we removed the water hose so there was nothing left in it to freeze. Our heating vents sat directly above the holding tank, thank you Foretravel, so no worries about freeze ups and we got down into the teens on quite a few nights. (You already know!)
Pets … Brini, our precocious mixed breed dog,  got her very own space heater right next to her crate. Morning walks were fun. Who knew dogs like to eat snow! Or was that just Brini. She is a bit strange but so are we so it’s a good fit! (Remember he said that!)
All in all, we stayed pretty comfy through a pretty decent winter (Speak for yourself…I might not thaw out til April!). The biggest thing is to stay as warm and dry as possible. We hope this will be helpful to someone considering the full-time RV lifestyle. There are tons more information out there on Youtube and the like. So study up and I think you will be just fine.

I will say this…If you must spend the winter in a cold climate, make sure you have some good dark beer….Trust me, it helps!Guiness 2018

Til Next time

Peace and Blessings

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What we miss…

We have been back home for some time now and are fully immersed in our life as full-time RV’ers. We absolutely loved living in South Africa. We had such a great time visiting the various historical places we got to see and tasting the traditional South Cuisine cuisine. (Leigh here – Can anyone say, Peri Peri sauce?) We loved seeing Soweto and the capture site at Howick Falls. We loved seeing all the animals in their natural habitat in Kruger National Park. The best thing, however, was the relationships formed and the many people we got to meet during our time there.
I miss the morning walks. The times I got to see the city of Johannesburg come to life. I miss the driving beat that the city possessed all its own. I miss the free and open debates that were part of a regular rotation of discussions by the Consciousness Cafe on post-apartheid South Africa and how best to move forward as a unified country. I would love to get involved in something like it here in the USA. We need it just as much as they do.

 


We miss the many fun times we shared with Charlene, Mpume, Tiseke, and Cmba at clubs and fine dining establishments. Our Thanksgiving crew, the Johannesburg Couchsurfers. Dez, Prisca, Elliot, Weng, Merushka, Naill, Sanele, Rejoice, Paulina, Freddy, & Ayuk…Plus, many others.

To that end, we also miss the frequent meetings with the lovely couple Sam and Thato… Wish we could have still been there for the birth of their first child.

 


We miss Leigh’s Pen-pal from childhood Thato (I have known him since high school. I got to meet my pen pal!) and his sister, Josephine, who’s hospitality on short notice was amazing.

We miss Yuniya who was so gracious to show us around to make our acclimation to South African life as smooth as could be.
We miss all of the lovely faces and the spirit of all the students & staff at Maharishi Institute that brightened so many days for us by simply being. Way too many folks there to name. I can’t mention the school without mentioning Meghan and her lovely mother.
We miss our adopted South African daughter, Zandile, (She gives the absolute best hugs) whose name we couldn’t pronounce right until just before time for us to leave. Lol, We miss your smile!
There are many, many more that we could name and I am certain we will get to them in future posts. Just know that we carry you all with us and treasure every moment we shared with our brothers and sisters across the water! Now come on over to the U.S. for a visit. We miss ya!

 

Til next time

Peace and Blessings

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Connected: Our visit to Kruger

20170318_072137I am my mother’s oldest. She is no longer here with us and I am not about to tell you she was some kind of saint or romanticize her existence. She was just as flawed as every other human walking this planet. She was, however, my mom and she was awesome! (Leigh here-wifey, I can attest to that. His mother was awesome. I miss her so much) Her words, via my memories, still inform me to this day. They set my feet upon this path whether it is the popular choice or not. She gave me the freedom to explore who and what I was to be without being judgemental. The thing I miss most about her is our many talks. We would dream big dreams together and one such dream was a trip to Africa!
We have been here for just over six months now and there are days we are still blown away by the beauty and grandeur of this place. It has been all that we have imagined it to be and then some. While it is stocked with precious metals, stones, and many other valuable resources, to us…the truest and most wonderful resource is the nature and hospitality of its people. There is an abundance of warmth and welcoming everywhere you look here, in our experience. We are very grateful each time we think of the lifetime friendships formed with those we have met (Some we met before we arrived. Couchsurfers ROCK!).
We were planning to take a trip at some point to Kruger National Park and Wildlife Game Reserve. As fortune would have it another couch surfing friend, Prisca and her sister, Lydie, were going around the same time frame so we combined our trips. We would like to thank them again for the invite and having them there made an already awesome trip even more special!P1010110
Kruger… I have run out of superlatives for this place. The well is dry so-to-speak. It is difficult to convey properly what you feel inside when there is an animal as majestic as an elephant ten feet from your vehicle with calf in tow, not to mention an entire herd! How do you describe the wow factor of a Blue Wildebeest standing in the road with coat shimmering in the mid-afternoon sun as he grazes with absolutely no regard for traffic whatsoever? We were amazed at the sheer enormity of the giraffe in the wild as they gracefully strolled alongside, then in front of us. Almost as if they were floating on air instead of earthbound with cloven hooves.

I can only describe to you the giddiness we felt as we photographed and filmed Hippos as they playfully frolicked in the river. Happy to just catch them surface from time to time rewarding our patience and determination to see more than just the eyes and ears at the tops of their heads peaking just above the water’s edge. P1010207    It is maybe possible through pictures to see the soulfulness in the eyes of the Impala. They look as though they want to walk up to your car door but think better of it as they know big cats are lurking and a moment’s distraction could be their last.

PSA: Should you decide to take this safari trek please keep your windows up and for goodness sake stay in your vehicle at all times.

We would much rather talk to you than about you!

     I guess the best way I can relay the feelings of the day to you is the word connected. That is how I felt. I have visited many Zoos and while they do a decent job of displaying the animals I can’t help but feel a bit awkward (I feel more than awkward. As a child I enjoyed a zoo. As an adult, I don’t much care for putting animals in cages solely for the benefit of humans voyeurism…ijs). I mean those animals, while cared for, are still essentially in cages for our viewing pleasure (Exactly!). I fully understand that most do a good job and it is for the greater good (Not to me). It all plays a part in the preservation of wildlife and such (And money). I have to tell you now that I will probably never visit a zoo again, though (Me neither!). I prefer this feeling that we are the ones on display in our little metal boxes at the mercy of the animals. It becomes readily apparent should an elephant decide to charge that there are limited options for your escape. You are simply tolerated in their world … as it should be in my humble opinion (I love you, Boo). Also, should you decide to ignore the PSA, the risk of becoming a victim of natural selection somehow added to the experience? This became clear with the excited echoes of “you are too close” that could be heard while I was driving…I won’t tell who you are lol! Just know the car was in first gear, the road in front of me was clear and I raced manual transmissions a lot in my youth! #nofear #8000rpmredline #Icouldgetaway .


Africa has had a profound effect on me. It connected me to my mother and our dreams of this place. I have no idea of what happens in the afterlife (If there is one). Suffice to say that I hope that in some way through our visit that she has seen through the eyes of her oldest child, a portion of this magnificent continent and all the wonders it possesses. There have been times I feel like she was there right beside us taking in all its glory (She was, honey). I wish with all that I am for this to be true. There is a place that I felt this more strongly than others, but that is another blog. For now, this feeling is more than enough.

Yes, that is the word … Connected!

We are on the serious countdown! Twenty (19 baby, 19) days left til we depart for home…Bittersweet. Love this place but missing home. Very anxious to get our life as full-time RV’ers going!

Till next time

Peace and Blessings!

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T minus 21 Days….

We just had an amazing weekend.  One of the best since our arrival. Part of me thinks it is partially because we know that we are leaving soon.  Regardless,  it was a very special time. We were invited to go to Kruger National Park with our couch surfer friend, Prisca, and her sister visiting from Reunion Island, Lydie. We are so glad they did. Firstly,  Prisca made all the arrangements, which was nice as I am the planner in our family, so I didn’t have to do it.

We left on Friday morning.  We stopped at Billy’s for lunch. Outside of the service, this was a good place to stop. We stopped in Sabie and got dinner and food for breakfast.  Then we rested for the night. Tim and Prisca took turns driving.  He did quite well. The next morning, we headed to Kruger.  It was amazing. We drove and drove and drove. It was so nice to see a Mama and baby elephant walk across the street. The park was massive. There were people everywhere.

Tim will write more later. I am just overwhelmed by the experience and had to put pen to paper.Hubby and I and Three Rondavels near Kruger National Park - Mapumalenga South Africa