When I lived in a sticks and bricks, I lived alone. I joked that if I died at home on a Friday, no one would know until Monday morning, when I did not report for work. But hey, at least someone would miss me before the domesticated critters started feeding on my carcass!
Now, traveling North America, I have no set schedule, except the one I make. I am accountable to no one. While my Facebook page and the map on the blog give a general idea of where I am at any given time, no one knows specifics, like the names of RV parks, or a detailed schedule. On only one occasion, when I was taking a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, I called my friend Rhonda, gave her information about the whereabouts of the RV, and told her I would call her at a designated time to let her know that everything turned out okay.
Truth be told, I like it this way. I don’t need an overseer or a keeper, and I don’t want to burden anyone with the minutiae of my travels.
Inherent to this lifestyle is the risk of injury or death, like in the motorhome. Recently an RV in North Carolina burned beyond recognition, and authorities asked for help in determining the identity of the solo driver. How terrible!
What if I was in an accident in the RV? I added emergency contact information to the iPhone, where first responders are trained to look on the lock screen, under “Emergency” and “Medical ID.” (If you would like to do this too, go to the “Health” app on your iPhone, choose “Medical ID” in the lower right-hand corner, scroll to the bottom and click “Edit.”)
But what if injury or accident occurred away from the RV? Who would take care of the pets? In the medical information I added a section about the animals and the location of the RV:
As for a Good Samaritan getting into the RV, I haven’t figured that part out yet if I get separated from my keys and I am unconscious or dead. I don’t want to put information about the whereabouts of a hidden key in the non-password-protected area of the phone, in case the phone is stolen. A friend who is also a solo traveler keeps a key in a lock box on the exterior of her RV, similar to boxes used by realtors for homes for sale. Still, one would need to know the combination.
I would love to hear how other people on the road, especially solo travelers, and those traveling with pets, manage this issue. Is there someone on the planet who knows your whereabouts at all times? Are there any specific apps you use to check in? Where in your RV, your toad, and/or on your person do you keep emergency information?