Joie 31 years as a RV nomad

The title says it all and we met Joei, an RV nomad in Dawson Creek, British Columbia this year. We love our travels as part time nomads partly because you never know who you will meet next.

Charlotte at mile Zero in Dawson Creek where we met Joei.
Charlotte at Mile Zero in Dawson Creek where we met Joei.

Pulling into Mile Zero Campground in Dawson Creek in northern Brittish Columbia, located on the start of the Alaskan Highway, we ended up parking next to another truck camper. We noticed it right away as it was a Kodiak, one of the many truck campers we have owned. We were due for a laundry day so Charlotte headed straight there going to get that task over with. In between loads she told me she had met our neighbour in the truck camper, a young 80 year old lady who had been a nomad for 31 years on her own. I had to meet her figuring she would have some great travel experience and some stories to tell. Yep I was right, she has enough stories to tell, she has written numerous books on her experiences and travel as a solo female since her 50’s. She told us, with a grin, that we were allowed two days to set up next to her and then we would have to move on or she would have to do us in. The reason will be obvious as my tale unfolds, we spent two and a half days there and listened to more stories than could be written in this blog, it’s not much wonder she has published so many books. I think she kinda liked us as she said she was sorry to see us go despite her previous warning.

Joei Carlton Hossack, a true nomad. I purchased two of her many books and spent some great time listning to her many experiances. 80 and still going strong a true inspriation.
Joei Carlton Hossack, a true nomad. I purchased two of her many books and spent some great time listening to her many experiences. 80 and still going strong a true inspiration.

More about Joei, her business card reads Joei Carlton Hossack, Author/Entertaining Speaker/Photographer/Publisher/Jewelry Maker and Designer/Artist and Painter…and Woman of the World. You just won’t read all about that in this blog you will have to buy her books. I was interested in why she chose the lifestyle, the challenges and if she had any regrets.After getting permision to post to my blog she told me her husband Paul and her were stricken with a wonderlust and looked forward to travelling the world together. In 1992 they purchased a large condo in Florida where they would store their “stuff” while travelling. Shortly after they travelled to Great Britain where they had their Renault Traffic motorhome stored and continued to travel. Only 16 days into their planned four-month trip Paul had a heart attack and died in a campground in northern Germany. “That condo to store our stuff would become my milstone” she said adding Florida was never the place she wanted to end up. She felt trapped, but in the meantime had started writing about their 2.5 years of travel in Europe for newspapers and magazines as well as some speaking.
After constant complaining to her neighbours about how much she disliked where she was at they told her she should just get out. “So I did” she said proudly, she put the place up for sale and sold her “stuff”. After the condo sold she said she felt free, no tears, no joy, just relief, she was free. Selling it all she admitted was not easy and had hoped it was the wise choice and started looking at RVs. She said no matter the cost and all the fancy trim one still had to go outside to hook up the sewer. She settled on her first trailer a 22.5 foot Thor fifth wheel and her new Ford F250 Powerstroke Diesel to pull it. Well after many differnt rigs over the years some good and some not so good, she still has her trusty F250 diesel now with a 9.5 Kodiak truck camper. She really likes this set up as it is easier to drive, can park anywhere and she is home.

Joei lives here, a Kodiak truck camper on her trusty F250 powerstoke diesel.
Joei lives here, a Kodiak truck camper on her trusty F250 powerstoke diesel. A good diesel but I’m not sure it will keep up with Joei.

Those first years she admits were a steep learning curve starting with pulling a trailer and driving my “Big Diesel truck”. She travelled the USA speaking and ended up publishing her first book of several, took art classes and started making jewelery which she started selling along the way. “I was well set financially, her friends referred to her as trailer trash with a debit card,” she said. She has spent time in Walmarts and many different places and campgrounds enjoying every moment meeting new people along the way. RVers and especially nomads are always upbeat and have great experiences to share, she said. As we found out one never knows who you will meet down the road with interesting travels and stories, and the more time they have spent travelling the better the stories.
Despite not everything being all roses and some trying times, things breaking down, lousy weather, she would not trade her lifestyle for anything. “If I don’t like a place or the weather is bad I can just leave,” adding with a grin “or if I don’t like the neighbours.” Being a solo female traveller has never to her appeared to be an issue as she is usually surrounded by interesting like-minded people. Joei now spends most of her time in Canada, not retuning to the US during the winter as it is a hassle with health insurance as one gets older becomes very expensive. She now winters in BC when not on the road. Mile Zero campground where we met her now appears to be her summer place, as she has a monthly rate and an OK from the owners to sell her books and jewelery.
I would need books to share her stories, and I heard a lot of them, I found her stories and life an inspiration to follow ones dreams. She loves the freedom from being tied down with “stuff” and perhaps pushing ones self out of their comfort zone to obtain their freedom. At 80 she is fit and healthy and not ready to change her lifestyle any time soon. Mile Zero campground is the ideal place for her as there are many people heading up the Alaskan Highway and her RV neighbours are always changing usually never staying more then two days, more stories and more book sales along with her jewelry. I bought her book, “Kiss This Florida I’m Outta Here”, and one of her short story books, “North to Wherever”. She was told many people had the attention span of a “gnat” so she wrote and self published several short stores, (at the time we met her some 22 of them) for those with the attention of a “gnat” could enjoy them.
In her words to sum up her life,” I have been an RVer for 33 years – 30 years as a solo RVer. Thirteen years as a full time RVer and 10 years as a solo full time RVer. And yes my family and friends are a little worried about me, but this is my last kick at the can and I’m not ready to give it up soon”.
You will probably find her next summer between May and Sept in Dawson Creek at Mile Zero, ask for Joei and be prepared to listen and share. Did I mention she is also very outspoken, a shameless self promoter and sales person, but it fits her perfectly as she puts it “Woman of the World.”
Joei you made our brief stay at Mile Zero very interesting, informative and inspirational, we hope to meet again down the road.
I still have some catching up to do on the interesting people we meet, the great places and not so great places we have stayed at so stay tuned. We’re also pumped that we got tickets to the Quartzite Truck Camper Rally this year, it always sells out allowing only 450 truck campers to attend. If all works out it should be a good time meeting like-minded travellers, kinda sucks to be Canadian when the $50 ticket becomes $70 once you put the maple leaf on it. But hey, Joei would say …go for it!
Thanks for your comments and feed back on our travels always enjoy them, hope to see you down the road,
Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

83 thoughts on “Joie 31 years as a RV nomad”

  1. Many, many lessons to be learned.

    Life is NOT a rehearsal and there are no “do overs!”

    Hit the road and let the magic begin.

    Safe travels and God Bless.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this blog. Reading about Joie was very interesting as to the time this lady has been a nomad. Great blog-keep safe 🙂

  3. Great bit of reading here..we are going to look into downloading some of her books..We will also keep an eye on the horizon for her as well..we will be in the Q and might come across her.. thanks for another great read.

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