This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links. All opinions are my own.
And so far, the response from friends and family has been underwhelming with its lack of enthusiasm. People are wondering of all the places to go to first when we’re coming from San Francisco, why Redding?
While we’re not making commitments too far in advance, it’s inherent to my nature to research, plan and research some more.
I have a spreadsheet going of RV parks that fit certain criteria. If, for any reason, we try to make reservations somewhere and they are full, I will have a backup plan (or 2, or 3) ready. While I love my freedom, I’m also a big fan of not being stressed out or having to do last-minute fire-extinguishing tactics. This keeps my stress level low and still allows us to have many options that would suit our needs.
So why Redding?
Redding, and specifically the park we chose, fit a lot of our criteria for a first stop where we can spend some time doing fun things and also relax. Redding may not be many people’s dream destination, but we don’t have (or haven’t found) one of those. What we have is a desire to travel around, living like a local in many different places.
It’s vacation time. It’s Memorial Day, and many schools will be done for the year soon, if they haven’t finished up already. Choosing popular, touristy places might be fun for someone on vacation, but we prefer to avoid crowds and overpriced amenities if at all possible. Also, you can’t really get to know a place as it truly is when it’s all dolled up for a special celebration.
We’ve been to Redding once before for a long weekend. We found it to be very bike-friendly, ate some tasty food, and enjoyed visiting the Sundial Bridge and the botanical gardens. We stayed at Win River Casino that time. They have full hook-ups there and you get access to hotel amenities like the pool and spa. It isn’t very quiet, though.
We found a small, quiet park to stay this time and booked a month. They usually only allow RVs 10 years or newer, but they made an exception for us thanks to Ryan’s hard work on the exterior. We’ve gotten numerous compliments from people who saw us working on it about how great it looks. And this is why we did all that work–so that hopefully we’ll be allowed to stay places that typically wouldn’t let us in.
Redding actually has a lot to offer. With a population of over 90,000, it’s a decent-sized town. It’s close to Lake Shasta (and several other lakes), Mt. Lassen, and the Sacramento River runs right through it. In town there is kayaking, paddle-boarding, a water park, hiking, a women’s “rollergirls” team, an amateur hockey team, summer concerts, art galleries, archery, batting cages…the list goes on. They also have an outdoor farmer’s market during the summer, and other typical things like movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants, about 10 different grocery stores…the weather will be very nice in the morning and evening for exercise, and if it gets too hot to bike we can use the on-site pool.
There will be plenty for us to do and see. After all, we’re only here a month, and I have a full-time job. This is the point of travelling indefinitely, and what makes it different from a full-time vacation. When you’re on vacation, maybe you give yourself a big budget and spend more on some things than you might normally spend because you only have a few days or a week, and you have to cram all the activities you can into that time. This is not a vacation, this is our lifestyle. This is about us exploring places we’ve never lived, and trying things we haven’t tried. When you have a month, you can try places to eat without eating out every day. You can see the sights without doing 10-hour days and being exhausted when you come home, only to have to return to work right away.
We left yesterday morning at about 9:00. We stopped along the way for gas, to eat lunch (food from our fridge) and to switch drivers. We arrived in Redding at about 1:30, which gave us plenty of time to get settled in, get the pets all settled and take a bike ride yesterday evening to get some yummy vegan Mexican food. Today I put in a full day of working, as I normally do on a Tuesday, and it wasn’t a hardship because I didn’t exhaust myself yesterday. That’s what I love about what we’re doing. I don’t have to wait until I retire to do it, and I don’t have to use my vacation time to do it either. I can both work for money and travel for fun, and I’m truly grateful that I can.