Traveling to Key West was quite the adventure. It was a two way highway after passing through Key Largo and several bridges. The view of the water was beautiful and exciting to see as we got closer to Key West. As a newbie who’s never been and lived there for three months – I want to share my first hand point of view on my stay and the four reasons I didn’t like it.
We stayed at Sisgbee Campground in our RV, which is a Navy Base right inside of Key West. It was a very safe Campground with a Commissary and Navy Exchange store. The prices at the stores were reasonable, but the quality just wasn’t there. When shopping off base at a Publix or another grocery store the prices were expensive. I honestly don’t know how people are able to afford living in Key West. A vacation is nice, but to live there, you would almost go broke, unless you’re rich.
Key West doesn’t have a Target, Walmart, or any other familiar store you’re used to. To go to a decent store you would need to travel to Miami which is two and a half to three hours away. It felt like we were in a foreign country inside of the United States. The most decent store in our reach was Kmart. The quality was very low and the store was a mess. Your best bet is the Navy base if you have access or ordering from Amazon. Again, this is only for folks who are interested in living there.
Hot as Hell.
It was extremely hot in the summer months. If you don’t like the heat, I would recommend coming in the winter and traveling some where else during the summer months more north. It was fun to go to the beach and swim in the ocean, but without the shade it was a bit miserable.
Snooty people gave us the stank eye and crooked smirk. It depended on the type of person we encountered, but there is definitely sprinkles of racism here especially on the Navy base. I would say folks felt entitled or that they were better than others because of their status. There were customers who I served at the Navy exchange who complained about feeling like they were turned down for a hotel room or looked over simply for the color of their skin. Although, this is a common complaint all over the world, it was annoying and frustrating, so keep that in mind when visiting.
For more information on our experiences traveling watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.
Traveling the world is an adventure within itself. Not only are you exposed to a variety of people and culture, but also language. We forget that outside of the U.S there are countries that primarily speak other languages outside of English. That in itself can be a major culture shock. Not being able to communicate can you leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Don’t do so just yet. Continue reading for how to triumphantly conquer a language barrier and explore a country while living your best life.
There are many resources available to get you by until you are able to practice the language more. Depending on how long of a stay you have in a country, it may not be worth it to invest financially in language classes. There are free resources available on the Internet that are easily accessible and at your fingertips. The first application to download is Duolingo. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t sponsored, this is just my honest advice as I’m speaking from experience. You can find it on Google Play or the iPhone app store for free. Familiarize yourself with how to speak basic words and greetings, such as hello, goodbye, may I, etc.
The next application to download is Google Translate. Google Translate can dig you out of a bind quickly if you get stuck and can’t communicate. However, be mindful of the inaccuracies of translation from the foreign language to English. It doesn’t take into account slang or improper words when translating so you will need to do your best at piecing together what is being conveyed. Another source is to find a translator, of course, this is more of a costly choice and requires you to communicate to find one.
For more information on how to navigate through language barriers with a limited amount of knowledge, watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.
Once you learn a few words, practice them with people you may come across while you’re touring the area. The best place to practice is in a taxi or at a restaurant because you usually have the other person’s undividend attention and they may be willing to help you. Please understand you will feel uncomfortable and at times embarrassed. It is just the nature of the game. Hopefully the reason you are traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and immerse as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.
I know a lot of people may be wondering how the upkeep must be on maintaining healthy hair in such a small space. I’m here to tell you it is definitely possible and it’s just like living in a house. My hair regiment is very simple and I make most of my own hair products. I find the hair products found in most stores are costly and have too many chemicals that dry out my hair and leave it feeling horrible. Not only am I able to maintain my hair, but also my daughter’s hair as well. I will share some really simple tips to keep your hair healthy and beautiful in a RV.
First, set how often you need to shampoo your hair. For me and my daughter’s hair it is every two weeks. I make my own shampoo that leaves our hair feeling soft and moisturized after the wash. The shampoo I use includes raw African black soap and essential oils. It also has a fresh scent which adds a great benefit after shampooing your hair. I use a recyclable glass container which is less harsh on the environment to store it. Also, consider where you wash your hair. We clean the kitchen sink and wash our hair in it. It is just easier to do and it keeps the soap out of our eyes. Everyone has their own preference and that is ok. The only thing to really consider is if the shower or kitchen sink works for you and your method of camping. Generally we use RV parks so we always have access to dump stations and water at all times. Another suggestion if you don’t want to use all your water is use the bath house at the campground. You can use all the water you want and don’t have to walk far from your RV.
Next, after shampooing I am most concerned about retaining moisture so I use a deep conditioner to stimulate my roots and leave my hair feeling soft and light. I use a plastic cap to seal my hair after twenty minutes and wrap it in a towel to trap in heat. I also have a portable steamer which you can find on Amazon. It works and the parts breaks down which makes it really easy to store in a tiny space. It leaves your hair feeling amazing after sitting under the steamer for at least twenty minutes. I also used this on my four year old who can’t get enough of it.
Finally, I twist my hair as a protective style. There are a few reasons why I twist my hair in between styles. It is a way to manipulate my hair less so that it can grow. It also keeps my hair moisturized in between washes which helps retain length. I make a twist butter that is creamy and easy to apply that keeps my hair smelling good and healthy in between washes. It is a multipurpose product so you can use it on your body as well for the same results. This product is made with organic raw shea butter, essential oils, plus a few more oils to keep you hair shining and growing. I hope this helps and good luck on your hair journey while traveling!
I also have a Youtube video on the shampooing process for more information. Link: “How to maintain your hair in a RV”