Home • Camden County News ‘I love the way I live, no regrets’’

‘I love the way I live, no regrets’’

Retired teacher lives out her nomad dream, van style

After 30 years as a teacher at Osage Elementary School, Christine Miller retired to a nomadic lifestyle in an airstream camper van with her dog and embraced a complete nomadic lifestyle. 

Miller says her new life has made her the happiest she’s ever been. 

“I love the way I live; [I have] no regrets,” she said, acknowledging that the last two years have been more isolated than ever before. “I take no offense to (people who) ask if I’m lonely …”

While Miller may be more on her own than she was in the past, her life is just as busy. In  a few months, she’s traveled through multiple states, from New Jersey to West Virginia to Pennsylvania, for the Hershey RV show. From there, she will head to campgrounds along the East Coast, trips she has already planned out.

“I’m pretty much (always) on the move,” Miller noted. “I have a camping membership called 1,000 trails. For the most part from May through October, I am pre-booked, about a year ahead back to back to back. 

“I choose from areas in the country and pick which campgrounds I want to go to,” she added. “It’s all free … but frankly, I am pretty new to this.”

Miller has only been retired from teaching for two years. When she’s not on the highway, she works at being an author. She recently completed “Josephine’s Wilderness Adventure,” a children’s book about a 9-year-old whose family is spending the summer  on a wilderness camping adventure. 

It’s safe to say Josephine shares her creator’s traits. 

“I actually had the idea for a book 10 years ago,” Miller recalled. “When I was working at Osage, we had an author visit, and he had written a family heirloom children’s picture book. And I got this story, this idea in my head, about something from my childhood that I really thought was something that I could share, and even motivate kids to explore nature.”

But the book, Miller said, “was on my back burner.” 

“I was creating this children’s picture book in my head, but over time, I realized, ‘Wait, you’re (writing) a chapter book,’” she recalled. “When I retired is when I really had this freedom and ability to allow my creative side to flourish. 

“Many times I would be sitting out in a beautiful location and I just had this flowing of ideas and then I ,,, spent a lot of time researching how to write for the appropriate age group,” she added.

Miller also used her time on the road to frequent local book stores and talk to their  owners about ways to approach writing a children’s story. It was important to her to understand what really worked in the publishing industry.

“Over the year and a half since I really worked on it (her book), I spent a little time each day writing it … then I pretty much hit a dead end last January,’ she acknowledged. “I thought I was finished the manuscript and didn’t know what to do. But then I lucked out:  Synchronicity in life took place and a friend introduced me to an editor … It was perfect”

Miller and that editor, Terry Gillespie, created a plan for an illustrator, and Miller was finally able to put together the missing pieces of the story. 

For now, Miller will stay local: She has a signing planned at Inkwood Books in Haddonfield on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. From there, she plans to head to Florida, but for once, she isn’t too worried about the next trip.

“From (Florida), it’s kind of open,” she said of her itinerary. “I don’t know what I’ll be doing once I’m there … I will figure it out. I’m not worried about that.”

Exit mobile version