J eneen Townsend, the inaugural president of Stella’s Sis, made it her task– actually– to get ready for catastrophe. So, when the pandemic shut down the world– simply one year after her partner died and 6 months after she retired– she didn’t sit with her uneasyness. She took the chance to see the nation.
Her Method and the Highway is our e-mail series commemorating the lively neighborhood of Airstreaming ladies. Including inspiring stories and professional recommendations from ladies who drawback up and strike the roadway, Her Method and the Highway comes directly to your inbox weekly. This season, we’re including stories from the inaugural officers of Stella’s Sisters, an Airstream Club International intra-club for ladies who tow or take a trip solo. Subscribe and do not miss out on an episode!
Jeneen Townsend invested much of her adult life taking care of others. She raised her kids, functioned as her mom’s nurse when she was detected with cancer and ended up being a granny to 6.
In addition to beginning a number of small companies, Jeneen likewise worked for almost 20 years in the business world, preparing catastrophe prepare for workers, centers, and operations in the monetary market.
In essence, if you needed to select a pal with whom to sustain a zombie armageddon, Jeneen was your very first call.
However a series of even more disastrous occasions triggered her choice to trigger solo in an Airstream.
” I retired 6 months after my partner died in 2019,” Jeneen states. “Then in early 2020, COVID struck. Among the catastrophes I had actually prepared for throughout my profession concerned fulfillment. Truly the one that numerous thought would never ever take place.”
Her household broke up into bubbles, thus numerous. Jeneen completed moving into a brand-new home in the suburban areas west of Chicago, however quickly discovered herself at loose ends.
” I had an extremely agitated spirit that would simply not be peaceful,” she stated. “I chose to ask my child Ashlee to take me purchasing Recreational vehicles given that she and her partner currently had a 30-foot Airstream Flying Cloud and liked it. She leapt at the possibility to take me, so we masked up and shopped.
” I was worried about cost point, naturally; nevertheless, when I began to compare other makes and designs of Class As, Bs and Cs to the Airstream, I simply might not disagree with what my child and her partner were informing me: Airstream was without a doubt the very best for the cash. The quality was remarkable. Whatever fit. I might get a 2020 Caravel 19FB that day, therefore I did!”
Yes, she purchased an Airstream then and there. She returned out later on to buy an SUV with which to tow it.
Her choice was the start of a journey of a thousand primary steps. Janeen didn’t have any specific experience– simply fond memories of camping tent outdoor camping with friends and family as a kid, delighting in campfires and s’mores.
So, she saw a lot of how-to YouTube videos and prepared for her very first journey, taking a trip with her child and son-in-law to Wisconsin in the fall of 2020.
” They taught me a few of the essentials,” Jeneen stated. “Nevertheless, I needed to do whatever myself. I wished to be independent. I wished to go out there all by myself! Depending on nobody. And yes, I dented the Airstream one or two times, however it was fixable. I simply wished to discover.”
Therefore she did, triggering with her 2 shih tzu puppies. In a locked-down world, Jeneen was enjoyed experience liberty. “Individuals kept asking me if I was hauling all by myself,” she states. “You betcha!”
Often she ‘d satisfy travel companions at camping sites. And when it was safe, she started to welcome family and friends to join her in her Airstream. However periodically, seclusion was a fellow traveler also– till 2021, that is, when she began to satisfy other ladies who likewise tow Airstreams alone.
” This was a video game changer!” Jeneen states. The very first was a widow in Florida; they invested 2 hours discussing coffee. As she satisfied others, they started preparing journeys to satisfy up and camp together. They signed up with some Facebook groups and after that Airstream Club International intra-clubs, till the ladies had actually strung together a network of buddies and neighborhoods. Yet they were still looking for the best fit.
” We desired a group concentrated on ladies hauling Airstreams alone with typical interests, various capabilities, backgrounds, occupations, experiences, skills, interests … all ready to share a variety of experiences and shared assistance. We desired something that fit us,” she states.
The band of smart solo travelers coalesced in 2022 to form a company to support one another and other ladies simply beginning. At the 2022 Airstream Club International Rally in Fryeburg, Maine, Stella’s Sisters was authorized as a main intra-club, and Jeneen was its very first president.
” These ladies who gathered to make this take place are really wonderful,” Jeneen states. “I think about belonging of this remarkable group among the primary highlights of my life and will value them permanently.”
While Jeneen still takes a trip alone, she likewise enjoys to bring along her friends and family, specifically the grandkids– which caused her purchasing a 27-foot International with a bunk. “A lot more area, and I can prepare without little munchkins under foot. And it is so light and intense!” she states.
The chances of a zombie armageddon might be relatively low. And nobody wishes to even discuss loss or another pandemic in our life time without knocking on all offered wood. However come what may, Jeneen is now both practiced and prepared to make it through and prosper on the roadway solo. And she has an entire brand-new group of buddies with whom she can share her how-tos, her agitated spirit, and even s’mores.
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