Recently, we acquired a book called “Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht” from friends of ours who were cleaning out their property of old books and papers for the club and Airstream. As we were reading it, we came across something that was called “The Four Freedoms.” I want to spend the next few months going through these freedoms as I think they are so important for this club.
The four freedoms are: (1) Freedom from arrangements; (2) Freedom from the problems of age; (3) Freedom to know and (4) Freedom for fun. In this article, I’m going to go through the first freedom.
Freedom from Arrangements
This means freedom from things like reservations, schedules, transportation, etc. There was a quote with this that says, “You don’t have to worry about reservations in the next town or where you are going to sleep that night. You have all your accommodations right there with you. Home is where you stop.” There is no author for this quote — I can only imagine that Wally himself said it — but how true of a statement. It is in our inherent nature to worry. We worry about anything and worry about everything.
But with camping, you can really let the weights of the world just melt away. Now, I’m not saying that there are not things to worry about with camping, but in the long run, everything you need is contained in your trailer. You can relax, eat, sleep and park just about anywhere. This allows you to explore our great country and have your home right there with you.
I remember when I was very young, maybe 5-6 years old, my entire family took a trip out west in nothing more than a pickup truck camper. This would’ve been in the early ‘90s and it was very tight with six of us in the camper. We stopped at places like Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower and even made impromptu stops at places like the Corn Museum. We had some schedule to our trip, but if we found something we wanted to see while on the road, all we had to do was stop. We didn’t book ahead for our campgrounds and only had a guess as to where we wanted to end our night. This freedom allowed us to see things we may have not stopped at before, just because we were on a tight agenda.
We have friends who are affiliates of the Al-Mon-O PA Airstream Club that took their 1967 17’ Caravel from Western Pennsylvania all the way to California, down through Texas and back home again a few years back. They would send photos to us of their trip, and I know on a few occasions, they would stop along the road and boondock. How amazing it is that we can do that!
One of the great things that our club offers that no one else does, is the Courtesy Parking program. For those who may not be familiar with it, Airstream Club members can offer parking at their place of residence for anyone who might need to stay overnight on their trip. All you have to do is reach out to that member and make sure they can accommodate you ahead of stopping. Matt and I offer Courtesy Parking. We’ve never had anyone use it, but I await the day that we can meet new friends in the club who need a place to stay. Also, we have never used Courtesy Parking, but I know people who have and expressed what a great experience it was.
While we explore these four freedoms over the next few months, I want you to remember that as a member of the Airstream Club, we have many programs to help you take advantage of this first freedom.
I would love to hear some stories from all of you about what “freedom from arrangements” you’ve had in your travel experience. Feel free to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post one or two of them in the next article.