The Traveling Wilburys were a favorite group of mine – Jeff Lynn, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and George Harrison. One of their best and most iconic songs is End of the Line. It speaks volumes to a nomad like me. Don’t wait for tomorrow, because it’s all right, going to the end of the line.
After nearly 20,000 miles and 5 years, I have decided it is the end of the line for my Airstream travel life. I didn’t see this coming, but the time is right. I have had adventures, marveled at beautiful places, and met hundreds of people in campgrounds as a camp host and as a camper. I’ve had the privilege of going to dozens of National, State, County, and City parks and even a few commercial campgrounds. I’ve been a member of the Wally Byam International Airstream Club (Big Red Number 11080) and met up with solo women members, attended rallies, met many other Airstream travelers in campgrounds around the country, and of course, flashed my lights at hundreds of Airstreamers on the highways and byways of this country. I posted the final map of my 2022-23 destinations. Click on the Destinations tab at the top of the page.
Traveling alone is a profound experience. I learned to be present and keep my wits about me. I learned to be by myself having to make my own itinerary, select my destinations, and travel those 20,000 miles with Inky as my copilot. I learned a great deal about myself and am the better for it. Somewhere in California last winter I realized I had achieved what I set out to do. I was getting ready to publish my third novel, I had written over 50 travel articles for Travel Awaits magazine, and I had come to find myself in a place of great personal joy and gratitude. I knew this was the right time to make a change. Fortunately, an opportunity has presented itself and I am going home to Chicago. The urban professor turned nomadic writer will find the best of both worlds in my favorite city and hometown.
I’m in the midst of selling the Airstream. I hope its next owner has as much fun as I have had. I’ll rebrand and restart this blog when I get settled. Coast to Chicago – how a nomad finds life in the big city – something like that. I’m planning my next novel – a story of a woman who travels to find America. Hmm…
I have enjoyed writing every post on this blog and sharing my travels with all of you. Yes, it is a bittersweet time, but change is like that. Leave the past behind and find a new adventure, reinventing myself. That’s been the life I love and I live it powerfully. I have immense gratitude for all the kind words, comments, donations, and support you’ve given me on this wild ride. I hope you’ll return when I continue the journey in Chicago.
Until we meet again, safe travels and happy trails. Here are a few of my favorite Airstream pics over the years. Enjoy and THANK YOU!! I included one more song after the pictures – Simon and Garfunkle’s America. I set out 5 years ago to look for America, and that’s what I did. A tip of the pen to Jack Kerouac, my writer-on-the-road inspiration. He served me well.
We enjoyed meeting you in Big Rock Il and following your journey. Raising a glass to you and Inky and your next chapter in life.
Mark and Karin Vilmin
I’ll be close by in downtown Chi. Thanks for following my adventures 💕😊
Best wishes to you in your future endeavors! Looking forward to seeing you when you get to Chicago!
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I’m happy I will be among family and friends!