New Year, New Plans…let’s try this again

I would like to state that today, I am feeling inspired.

That does sound jolly, doesn’t it? The word inspired makes me think of other words such as passion, gusto, lifted, and motivated.

However, I also need to state that today, I just told a fib. I’m not feeling inspired, but rather a little bit grey, a tad like the weather outside – overcast with a wavering breeze.

But I would like to feel inspired and be carried atop a wave of excitement and inner peace and joy, so that’s what I’m telling my brain today, and hoping that the rest of my body will catch up soon.

No need to worry too much though folks, it’s just those New Year doldrums, blowing out the cobwebs of last year and trying to find my feet in the coming one; for as we all know, last year was a bit of a bugger. And if you didn’t know it, all you have to do is read my previous post to find out why.

However, despite our broken axle furore of 2019, we did manage to salvage some of the year and here now is our end of year tally:

Loops got the bus fixed. We now have a beautiful shiny new tag axle, along with a couple new wheels, air bags, shocks, and tyres.

Belle being taken away for repairs
Shiny new axle!

Belle got back on the road in around August and we managed to tot up around 2500 miles travelling north to Delaware before meandering back south via Tennessee and Kentucky, finally landing solidly again in Florida.

On the road – Belle visiting another Bluebird buddy

We visited with family and friends. Loops got to help his dad build a new fire pit in his garden; we got to see Bunny and Phil with their new baby, Walter; Loops and I stayed a wonderful week in Virginia with our Bluebird friends Randy and Linda, and we both got to fly a plane; I was able to spend part of the summer at home in England and fill my heart to the brim, spending time with my mum and sister, revelling in the company of my friends whenever I so chose, and very excitingly getting to celebrate the birth of my honorary nephew Rory.

I was lucky in the fact that I managed to find work wherever I landed. In 2019 I have worked in a call centre, an alcohol bonded warehouse, as a gardener, a leaflet deliverer, a transcriptionist, a cashier, a barista, and rounded the year off as picker for a 3rd Amazon season. Jack of all trades, me.

Drink, anyone?

I also found time to pass a Humanities CLEP test, take two online college courses in Biological Science and Ethics – and passed both with A grades (which I am super psyched about), and record weekly stories for Rory to listen to so he won’t forget me.

My celebratory pie from Loops after passing my courses 🙂

For me, the beginning of 2019 feels almost a lifetime ago, and I have to say that is most unusual. For the majority of our travels, time seems to whip by at 70mph. Not this year. And while certainly not at all as we planned, and despite the back-breaking cost of this year’s repairs, I feel this year has somehow been a success and not at all a loss.

And so now we turn our minds to 2020.

Loops and I already have a framework for the year. We are serving out our Florida time as usual, filled with Loops’ family and any admin or medical tasks that must be completed. Right now, I should be studying Maths in the hope to take a CLEP test later this month, thereby completing all of my prerequisite courses for entry onto my degree. As you can see by my blogging, that plan is coming along nicely.

It is almost time for my annual pilgrimage home. This year I have almost two months in which to cram a whole year’s worth of UK-ness. I can’t wait. I really can’t wait. And I’m sure my family and friends will be sick of me by the time I have to leave; my mum won’t have to step over me in the flat any more, AJ won’t have to worry about my practically camping out on her doorstep to see her and Rory, and Flea will save a fortune in tea bags.

Upon my return from the land of darkness and rain, it will be time for Loops and I to rev up the engine and start out on our planned long haul trip. Of which I will save details until we have more finalised plans, hopefully in the next two weeks.

Once we have had our fill of the sights and sounds, we plan to end our year in the happiest place on earth, as a special treat for Loops having made a certain number of trips around the sun and survived.

So as always, there is a plan.

Now it’s just a case of damage limitation to make it a reality….because let’s face facts….this is life, and something always comes up. Let’s just hope it’s us, and we are smelling of roses.

Here’s to more happy travels ahead!

6 thoughts on “New Year, New Plans…let’s try this again

  1. Joseph

    I’m glad things are going well. I’m following on YouTube. Thanks for posting and I’ll continue to follow you and Loops on your adventures. Happy motoring😊


  2. Allen and Elaine

    My wife and I really enjoy the YouTube videos you do! I thought you did a great job on the Fort Wilderness Disney video I think in 2019 . We stayed there many times some 25 + years ago with the kids and family when we were motorhoming. I am thinking about buying another motorhome (grandkids now) and have always loved bluebirds. I have found a couple of them for sale but a little nervous purchasing one . I have been away from motorhomes for some years now at at my age 61yo very curious if blue bird parts are hard to come by? Every time we watch your videos I tell my wife how magnificent your bluebird is. They don’t make them like that anymore and never will again. I love prevost to nothing is like a bluebird!
    Anyway we really enjoy your videos!!
    A&E in North Carolina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for watching and following along in our journey, I’m glad you are enjoying the videos 🙂
      I know right now a number of people are selling their birds, it seems to be the season! You are right, the build quality of them is fantastic and there are plenty of well looked after buses that would make a great travelling home even though they are a little older.
      As for parts, yes, sometimes it can be tricky to get hold of certain fittings and fixtures, especially if you are looking to replace something on the inside i.e. not mechanical but more decoration. Interior fittings I believe can be found if you search the forums and speak to other owners (and potentially salvage yards as there are a few birds scattered in them). As for mechanical parts, our experience has been that there is usually a part to be found somewhere mostly because the engines and mechanical parts are fairly standard on buses/trucks/ RVs etc. You might have to do a little research with some other owners to find a corresponding part number from Bluebird to whatever company might now produce the part, but so far we’ve done OK in this area. If you have seen our videos you may know about our axle issues from last year, even with that as a custom made part, we were able to get it replaced.
      If you aren’t already familiar with them, pop up to the links section on this blog and click over to the Wanderlodge Owners Group Forum. The people on their are a wealth of knowledge and can certainly answer any detailed questions you may have.
      Good luck and I hope you might consider joining the bird community! 🙂


  3. I’d say you made the best of 2019! You crammed a lot into that year and reached success, financially by working so many different jobs and intellectually by obtaining degrees, if nothing else. Upward and onward now. Enjoy your visit to the UK and the implementation of your plans. 🙂 It was nice to meet both of you in Campbellsville. We will be following your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
      I do try to keep in mind everything that we pack in to our travels so that it feels less like we are just floundering without purpose and more that we are making the most of our travelling lifestyle. I still think we have a lot of work to do though!
      All the best for your 2020 plans too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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