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Bruce and Beverly Patacairk have been
hitting the road for the past decade; in
the first few years, they travelled through-
out North America from Ontario to British
Columbia, down the Pacific coast of the
U.S., across the southern U.S. to Florida
then back up through the Carolinas and
Virginia. “Ten thousand wonderful miles
over six months and memories to last
a lifetime,” recalls Beverly. “The journey
is as important as the destination. One
must make the most of everything that
comes along in their travels.”During their
first year as RVers, they experienced a tire
blowout while driving in a rain storm.
Then they lost their brakes on a major
interstate. Yet Bruce and Beverly “made
the most” of their nerve-wracking experi-
ence; they remained sane and wanted to
start all over again the following season.
Living in an RV year-round is ideal for
Bruce and Beverly, but challenges still
present themselves. “You really have to
be certain you like the person you’re
with, as you are never more than 35 feet
apart in your home!” Entertaining can
also be problematic. With the RV con-
sisting of one bedroom, one bathroom
and one dining/living area, there’s not
much space for guests. “Sleepovers with
the grandchildren are limited due to
space restrictions,” explains Beverly. “We
tend to invite families over one at a time
rather than everyone at once. Bruce says
that we only have room for six for cock-
tails, four for supper and two to sleep!”
When they’re not down south, they
set up house at the Recreationland
Campground in Ottawa, which is nor-
mally open from April to October each
year. They pay a monthly rental fee for
their site, as well as for metered elec-
tricity. Water is free and there are no
taxes, as they do not own the property.
Their site overlooks a farmer’s field; in
the distance, they have a scenic view
of the Ottawa River and the province
of Quebec. According to Beverly, there
are 30 snowbirds living in the camp-
ground for six months of the year. During
the snowbird season, they travel to
Reflections on Silver Lake in Avon Park,
Florida; this year will mark their second
year in Avon Park. “We spent time travel-
ling central Florida searching for a park
that felt like home to us,” recalls Beverly.
“When we arrived at Reflections, we were
greeted warmly by friendly staff and by
park residents waving at us as we drove
by. We later found out that many resi-
dents have been there for more than 15
years. The park is well maintained, has
lots of activities and is very affordable.”
They keep themselves busy by going
to the pool each day and by attending
weekly coffee meetings, biweekly dances
and other monthly events. Walking and
biking also make up part of their day,
with Bruce taking time to go fishing and
Beverly participating as a member of the
knitting/crocheting club. “The park is
very community-oriented,” says Beverly.
“We raise funds for various local charities
on an annual basis. It has a small-town
feel with friendly, helpful neighbours and
staff.”
Volunteering is an important and reward-
ing pastime. The first few years after re-
tirement, Beverly found it hard not to be
busy all of the time. She found a request
for help in a church bulletin and volun-
teered her time sorting and cataloguing
archived files for a non-profit association.
Last year with her craft group, Beverly
made preemie hats, chemo caps and
lap blankets to be donated to the local
hospital. Bruce and Beverly have also vol-
unteered extensively with the Canadian
Snowbird Association. “Helping the CSA
has given us the chance to see first-hand
behind the scenes,” says Beverly. “We see
all the work the staff has to do to make
each event possible. We enjoy helping
out to make each event successful and
enjoyable.”They plan to continue volun-
teering for as long as their good health
continues and their assistance is required.
“Volunteering is a rewarding experience
where a simple thank you makes it all
worthwhile,” explains Beverly. “There is no
excuse for being idle or bored. Volunteer
and help someone!”
Ten years ago, Bruce and Beverly decided
to simplify their lives and to embrace the
freedom to travel freely, to enjoy nature
and the outdoors and to follow their pas-
sion for adventure. Living in an RV 365
days per year is not for everyone, but
Bruce and Beverly have made it work,
together creating the dream of living life
on the road while, at the same time, ap-
preciating the snowbird lifestyle that we
so often see: being part of a community,
socializing with snowbirds like them-
selves and volunteering their
time to help others.
Snowbird
profile
Life onWheels!
“Have wheels, will travel” is their motto.
With a 35 foot Holiday Rambler RV as
their permanent home!
Profiling Bruce and Beverly Patacairk
Bruce and Beverly with the RVoyager, named for
the
U.S.S. Voyager
on
Star Trek!