Editor’s note: Welcome to the ’20s
We aren’t roaring — we’re roaming. And ruminating. And reflecting.
Following the end of the 1918 influenza pandemic, many Americans could be found confabulating over cocktails, listening to jazz in clubs, indulging in luxuries and consuming goods during a time that would become known as the Roaring ’20s.
A century later, some are proclaiming 2021 the unofficial beginning of another decade of prosperity as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. But it seems clear to me that “roaring” isn’t the right word this time around. The “RV-ing ’20s” might be more like it.
Instead of sipping sidecars, many are buying motor vehicles. The clothes that shaked and shimmered in the 1920s have been swapped for loungewear in the 2020s. Loud bars and crowded parties are being traded for more outdoor adventures and moments of solitude.
This month’s cover story was one of the easiest stories to source. Without even trying, I found eight Madison-area folks with little to no RV-ing experience who decided to buy their own recreational vehicles amid COVID-19. And there was a common thread among them all: RV-ing was exactly what they needed.
RVs have allowed people to escape. The form of travel has given back something we can control. The surge in RV sales could be seen as a symbol of our adaptability. Instead of wallowing, we found a way to venture out the door in one of the safest ways we could find.
Our feature story about meditation also feels like another defining element of the modern ’20s. Even if you haven’t fallen into the RV lifestyle, I’m sure there have been moments throughout the last year or so that have been made better with some form of meditation.
One hundred years ago, the decade involved being surrounded by lavish things and sparkling people. Today it feels more like an exercise in shedding what no longer serves us. We’re letting go and finding peace and contentment within ourselves. Our awareness of the natural world has heightened, as has the role we play in it. In slow but promising ways, we’re trading excess for essentials. Living through a pandemic has made us see the bigger picture, which reminds us how little we have of our most valuable currency: time. We’re venturing out, in RVs and otherwise, to explore not only the wonders of the world around us, but learn more about ourselves along the way.
We aren’t roaring — we’re roaming. And ruminating. And reflecting. We are being reborn, more curious, more aware and more humble than we were before.
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