Tag Archives: RV Lifestyle

I have written many blog posts about the activities that we have been doing in each place but not much about what we do when we are not visiting places. In the RV we are doing a lot of work but when we have free time reading, playing computer games, and watching TV are some of my favorites.

Reading Books: I have read lots of books on this trip. Some of these my parents assign but some I choose to read for pleasure. These are some of my most recent favorites.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.31.03 PMUglies series
By: Scott Westerfeld
The Uglies series is about America after a huge catastrophe that wiped out most of the population. Now, hundreds of years later, civilizations have rebuilt themselves and in the new world everyone over the age of fifteen is made to look pretty. In the book, the main character is a girl named Tally. Her friend runs away to live with a group of people in the wild without being made pretty and when a mysterious group of people, called Specials, threaten to keep Tally ugly forever she is thrown into the wild to track down her friend and lead the Specials to the smoke, a place for run aways to live. These books (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras) make a really great series about a place that seems to be perfect but actually has many secrets.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.26.41 PMLorien Legacies
By: Pittacus Lore
This is a series about a group of nine human-looking aliens who were sent to earth from their planet, Lorien, which has been destroyed by a different group of aliens called the Mogadorians. At age fifteen only six of them are left; the first three have already been killed by the Mogadorians. Soon the six aliens left start to get their legacies, superpower-like gifts that are given to them by their planet. As the six meet each other and one extra alien no one knew about, they start to battle the Mogadorians to help save the Earth and Lorien. I really like this series because it is incredibly interesting and has action, superpowers, and adventure. The first book in the series was also made into a movie in 2011.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.29.08 PMThe Academy
By: Chad Leito
The Academy takes place in a world that is being destroyed by an infection known as the Wolf Flu. One day Asa, the main character, is kidnapped by mysterious men working for the biggest company in the world. The company that kidnaps him is the only people that can manufacture a cure for the wolf flu because they are also the people making it. Asa then ends up in a training facility somewhere in a snow-coated landscape.When he arrives Asa and other kids who have been kidnapped are told that they are going to be turned into soldiers who will make sure that the secret of who makes the infection is never found out. I really liked this story it is a great dystopian book that is like a cross between Harry Potter and a prison camp story

Playing Computer Games: I don’t usually play many computer games, but this is one of my favorites to play in the RV.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.39.56 PMSid Meier’s Civilization V: A Brave New World
Civilization is a game that you can buy on Steam for $29.99 . It is a strategy game where the object is to take over the world in one of four ways: military victory, diplomatic victory, scientific victory, or cultural victory. This game is also loosely related to world history, for example the leaders are all great historical figures. One of my favorite features of this game are the simulations. Simulations are specially made mini-games that are based on historical events, like the Civil War, American Revolution, the Fall of Rome, and many others.

Watching TV Shows: One of my favorite things to do in the RV when we have Wi-Fi is to watch TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I especially like to watch these four.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.33.21 PM
Sherlock (Netflix):
This show is based on the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but it takes place in modern London. It has the Sherlock Holmes character, but with all the modern technology and language. This is one of my favorite shows because it has lot of funny dialogue and quick-paced action.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.34.55 PM
Elementary (Amazon Prime): 
Also based on the Sherlock Holmes stories, Elementary takes place in New York City where Sherlock and his partner, Joan Watson, solve homicides that are too complicated for the regular police. I also like Elementary because it is shorter than Sherlock and has many twists and turns.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.38.45 PMScorpion (Amazon Prime): Based on a true story, Scorpion is about a group of geniuses working with the Department of Homeland Security to solve problems with their minds. Scorpion is very interesting because it is not only about crimes but sometimes rescuing people or saving people from disasters.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.53.06 PM

Psych (Netflix): 
Psych is about the son of a police officer who tricks the Santa Barbara Police Department into thinking that he has psychic powers. To do this, he uses his incredible observational skills. I really like this show because it is really funny and still interesting at the same time.

I really hope you liked this blog post and will try some of my recommendations. If you have any suggestions about other TV shows, books, or games please tell me. I’m always looking for new things to do.

A Lesson from the Nomads

Outside our Mongolian "ger".

Outside our Mongolian “ger”.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about boxes. In particular, the ones that we used to pack up all of our belongings and ship to United States before leaving Beijing. Somehow, we accumulated a lot of “stuff” during our seven years of living there. And now, we’re so attached to these things that we feel the need to pack them all up, put them on a boat, send them halfway around the world, and add them to the collection of other stuff that is already in our small Connecticut home. One hundred and seventy boxes are on their way, and we’ve got to find a place for them.

What’s in them? you might ask… a fair and logical question. But, it’s funny, the further away I get from these things, the less I can recall. I know there’s a lot of clothing, some of which will be needed when the weather get cold. There’s also a bunch of books which, in our home of four Kindles, seems increasingly nostalgic and unnecessary. We also have a lot of decorative items from our travels in Asia… all good, if it weren’t for the decorative items from our travel in india that already fill our house. And finally there’s the furniture. Yes, we told ourselves that we’d really try to limit what we’d buy in China, but one or two pieces a year really add up when you’re gone for seven. So much for keeping it light.

My feelings of what may be called “movers remorse” intensified last week during our family trip to Mongolia. Here, we did a two night homestay with a nomadic family on the grasslands outside of Ulaan Bataar. The family moves four times a year in order to provide food and shelter for its herds of sheep, goats, cattle, and horses. Home is comprised of two gers, or yurts, and their belongings include just the bare essentials (though in the past five years they’ve added a solar array for electricity, satellite television, and a couple of cell phones!). We were told that the entire ger could be packed up and loaded onto one camel in about an hour. I would estimate that all of their possessions could have fit into the large duffle bags and backpacks that we brought for our 5 days in Mongolia.

To be fair, there’s plenty about the nomadic lifestyle that doesn’t appeal: subsistence diet due to intense isolation, infrequent bathing due to limited access to water, and a difficult, routinized lifestyle due to the harsh environment and reliance on animal herds. That said, I also think there is something to be learned from the nomads… something about resourcefulness, simplicity, and living close to the land. I’m hoping that our year in the RV will help us appreciate these lessons and get better at making due with less.

Until then, I guess we’ll start planning for our shipment to arrive. I’m thinking big yard sale!