My parents lived in an RV for a while, shortly after they retired. The one thing I feel safe to say that I learned from them is that there’s a lot to know about RVs before one complacently heads off into the universe in one. So I’ve been looking for blogs about them. First thought: learning is such a different process today than it was twenty years ago. I know we all know that, most of us probably appreciate it on a regular basis, but seriously, so much knowledge exists at my fingertips about so many things. It’s mind-blowing.
But I found a site that’s been helpful, Hitch Up and Go, a huge list of all the blogs on RVs that have been submitted to the creators. By huge, I mean huge, at least several hundred of them. I’ve been slowly but steadily working my way though, looking at each one and then sometimes following links to other places, and it’s fascinating.
The list is like a microcosm of the blogging universe. It includes a tiny smattering of professional blogs, people who are clearly making a living via their online presence and maybe even a pretty good living. It includes a larger group of people who clearly wanted to earn money online, maybe even do, but their blogs don’t look professional and the money they’re making is probably only from sidebar ads. Then there are the active blogs, people who are writing about their lives on the road. Some of them are fascinating, some of them not so much, and some are both on consecutive days.
A fair number are very dry: listing every road they went on, every place they stopped, the people they met, without telling much in the way of stories about their experiences. But those are personal blogs, so maybe they’re saving information for themselves. Still, for a reader there’s such a difference between “We went out for dinner with Tom and Mary. The food was okay.” and “We had dinner with Tom and Mary, old friends from our days in Poughkeepsie. Tom’s retired now from his job at the bottle-cap factory but his collection of bottle caps is impressively weird. For dinner, we ate Mexican at a little place down the street. It looked like a dive, but their chips were delicious. Not so much the refried beans.” Details! Not only important details, but details that give context & meaning. I’ll try to remember this if and when I start to write about traveling — no lists of roads taken without at least trying to say why it matters.
The interesting ones, though, are the dead ones. Plenty end with an ending post, a good-bye as the former travelers settle down. Sometimes it’s sad. One woman ended her blog with the story of her husband’s death and it was heart-wrenching even though it was the first thing I’d ever read about them. But so many just sort of stop. Some day in some month, some year, they wrote a post and then… never again. Sometimes that last post is “I’m sorry it’s been so long, here’s what’s going on.” You get the idea with those that the author has gotten bored with blogging and can assume that they didn’t pick it up again. Other times, though, the post is just another day in the life and then… nothing more. I’ll never get to know what happened to that person. Since I never knew them anyway, it obviously doesn’t matter — but it’s still just an interesting experience. Blogs become books with no endings, stories that never finish. Ghost blogs.
Poor Zelda keeps sticking her cold, wet nose under my arm saying please, can’t we get up, and it’s 8:30, so she’s been incredibly patient with me. So off I go! But reading random blogs has been fun. Maybe tomorrow — or someday soon — I’ll link to the good ones that I’ve found, because there are some people having great adventures and writing entertaining tales about them out there on the internets!