Many of us dream of retiring early to follow other paths, but few do. J. Dawg is one of the lucky ones. Leaving a promising career in technology for a Fortune 500 company, he squirreled away enough savings to pursue RV travel around North America. Starting this odyssey while he was in his 50s, he plans to have many years to devote to this avocation.
Under normal circumstances, J. Dawg travels around half the year in a 2014 Winnebago View Profile 24V motor home. His focus is on historical locations but this is not necessarily a restriction. Enjoying the seasons, he will winter in Florida, summer in New England, and travel during the spring and autumn months.
Whether you are a dreamer or a doer, you can follow his adventures through his blogs or through YouTube.
J. Dawg’s Vlogs
The videos are short, over 5 but under 10 minutes, and they give you a good overview of a particular location and why he enjoys the place. He is articulate and doesn’t try to be silly or force humor. He offers low key narration and some of the spots are more interesting than others.
It is not all scenic overlooks or hiking trails. J. Dawg will take you to some music festivals and show you the stage set up, vendors, and neighbors. Check out his account of the 2017 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Durham, NY.
While his trips usually center around the U.S. East Coastal areas, you can find a few dealing with other states (click for the videos).
- The Million Dollar Highway
- The Ulysses S. Grant historic home where the former President lived just prior to his election
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
- Oregon Trail in Western Oregon
Don’t expect a travelogue; he just provides us a homey commentary of his observations and a bit of history.
J. Dawg’s Blogs
J. Dawg is more than just a journal of his travels. His website has a section on travel tips. This includes some good ideas about having a “go bag” This is sort of an emergency preparedness kit in case of some emergency that means you need to leave in a hurry. He outlines what he packs but you may have other ideas.
He’s got some good points about checklists and practical advice about traveling, such as focusing on the journey and not the destination, avoid peak seasons, and be reasonable about your expectations. Briefly, don’t try to do everything or see everything. If you miss something plan a return visit.
He also offers perspective about the difference between taking a vacation and actually living on the road.
Some significant points include:
- Establish your banking with a nationwide financial institution with outlets everywhere so that you have access to cash when you need it.
- Keep in contact with family and friends. Not only is this important from a personal standpoint, but it means there is someone who knows if you go missing.
- Establish a relationship with a physician that can handle long-distance and electronic communications. That gives you some leeway for medical conditions, issues, and glitches.
- Keep separate copies of critical documents and other materials like credit cards, driver’s license, power of attorney/advanced directives. In case of loss or damage, you have some backups.
He also details a lot of information about essentials for long-term RV-ing. Other things you will pick up by reading and watching his posts. Some of the more interesting items include solar power cells as an energy source, electrical connectors, and surge protectors, and spare fuses.
He’s posted an entire article on photographic gear, including dashcam, still cameras and lenses, selfie stick, tripod, and editing software. He also laundry lists the hard and software he uses like laptops and cell phones, as well as travel apps he has found handy or beneficial.
This is a nice, quiet journal from someone who found what he likes and doesn’t mind sharing with others. It is good quality and congenial but it will never win an Oscar. He is someone who wants to inspire other travelers and provide any tips he has learned along the way. For someone just starting out in extensive RV-ing, it is a good primer. Over the long term, it is something you will want to catch on occasion, but probably not look for on a daily basis.