Is The January Quartzsite Gathering Too Clicky To Attend?

Yes, I will be there. But I have something to say about it first.

You: “Oh, suddenly you’re going back to the Q gathering/RV show, after bashing it not once, but TWICE on your blog???”

Me: Ok, so I am sure that before I get to the high school bits, I need to address this good point you have, so I don’t look like a hypocrite.

So why am I returning?

I have two good reasons… none of which involve attending the actual RV tent/show.

1. To Reconnect With Old RV Friends And To Meet New Ones.

I Do want to see old friends who I haven’t been able to see, as well as meet some new faces. My Xscapers club group meets there, and I’ll be parked with them. So it’s a good time and place to socialize with those RVers who I have the most in common with (Xscapers), all in one place.

We are a ‘new generation’ of RVers. We have in common… well, it’s hard to pinpoint, but a certain zest for life I suppose? Many are still working, some aren’t but they are certainly still the fun, relaxed, festive kind, as I suppose most Xscapers are.

Boondocking as much as I do, it’s usually either meet new people through mutual friends, through Instagram, or AT Quartzsite.

2. To Network and Represent Camp AddictCA-Banner-300x250-share

I have a business to run, CampAddict.com. Just like in normal life, these types of events are the things I need to attend for business/networking purposes.

So What About This Click Thing?

This click thing was talked about last night. I am currently parked with a crew of Xscapers. I met ALL of them at Quartzsite last year. We barely got to know each other at that 2017 January gathering, but we kept up through social media. Some got together here and there, and boom, this group ended up together for New Years!

So last night, we ended up having an interesting conversation about our experiences at Quartzsite last year. Turned out we all felt pretty left out, at least in the first few days we did. I figured my case was not the norm. Turns out, it is pretty common. There were some pretty obvious and safeguarded ‘clicks’ out there with some strong shields up.

The Quartzsite Newbie Issue

I, among many, barely knew ANYONE when I arrived last year. We were the ‘newbies’, all looking forward to meeting other Xscapers.

The reality was that there were plenty of folks who DID know others from the year before, or elsewhere, and it was like a big reunion for them. Arriving as one who is NOT part of any reunion doesn’t feel so good. Interestingly enough, I have heard other stories of feeling like the ‘outsider’ at Q, trying to fit in… just like it can feel in high school. (super yuk)

My high school (and beyond) experience had a lot of this in it. I was left out. Not allowed in. Spoken over when I tried to talk. Ignored when I DID talk. I tried to hide a lot, to not be seen. However, I DO want to get to know people now.

And most of the Xscapers I have met have become great friends and acquaintances. I do love the organization. None of this is the organization’s fault.

My First Night’s Experience Of The Quartzsite RV Gathering in Jan 2017

I arrived at Quartzsite, thankfully knowing at least ONE other RVer. (Marshall didn’t arrive until a few days later.) I parked right across from them initially. (Safety!!)

I said hello, and set my rig up. There was one other RVer I had known from online, but never met. I was thrilled and excited to meet him/her/them (not naming ANYONE) and then we both proceeded to keep setting up.

About an hour later, my only friends who I parked across from weren’t around, and it was time for the evening campfire gathering which was already in full swing. (It was also after dark)

I was nervous. I felt major social anxiety.

I didn’t know anyone but the him/her/them and my only friends I parked across from. Still, I had to get out there, they weren’t going to come and seek me out, so off I went.

Safety! (Or Was It?)

Practically shaking in my boots, I started off towards the giant group of total strangers. Then I got LUCKY! I ran into the him/her/them I had already met on the way, and we talked and started walking to the campfire together. I felt SO much better. I had a wingman/woman/people!

So we got there, and it was a bunch of portable fire pits, maybe 8 of them, with people mulling around them, already in groups. I looked for any familiar faces. I saw a few familiar faces, but they were ‘popular’ RVers or whatnot, and I was WAY too shy to approach. Yeah, my own fault.

So, I stuck to the side of him/her/them for protection. We were still walking around. People had already gathered in ‘clicks’, which was quite obvious. Conversations were already in full swing.

So I would stand beside a ‘click’, hoping to figure out something to say or to be talked to, trying to look very interested in the conversation. Making eye contact with all in the group. (Hell, I have embarrassingly read and researched enough about all of this stuff to KNOW what one should do.)

Nope. I couldn’t cut in. It wasn’t happening. Nobody noticed me. Or invited me in.

The Big Diss

What happened next really struck me. I turned around and my him/her/them? GONE.

I had been ghosted. 

Wow. They didn’t say ‘I’m going over here’, ‘see ya later’, nothing.

It felt like a direct hit. I know they probably thought nothing of it, but to me, I had just lost my ‘lifeline’. At that point, I was over the whole thing and felt sorry for myself and pissed off at my lifelong lack of ability to blend in.

I kept trying… shuffling over from group to group, after not seeing ANY incling of any ‘in’ from anyone. Finally, the situation bothered me so much, I just decided to look for my friends and then go home if I didn’t see them.

I couldn’t find them. I didn’t feel like standing around with my thumb up my ass trying to fit in. So I left the party.

Not A TOTAL Loss Of A Night

But I did end up finding my friends at a campfire at their rig. Nicely enough, they had looked for me, but it was so dark, it was really hard to see anyone, and they got frustrated with it too and left. So we hung at the campfire and I met new people there. 😁

It Wasn’t ALL Like The First Night

The rest of the time was better. Except for the fact that I got the Q Crud. Sick the whole dang time. Still, when I did go out, I didn’t really get to know anybody very well. I have done so AFTER the convergence, which is easier for me. I do better in groups now than I EVER have but still feel much better one-on-one.

Turns out, I have heard this complaint about the clickiness of it from quite a few others. Some who are here with me now, some who are not here with me now. Same complaint:

“I didn’t feel welcomed, at least not at first.”

Why Am I Bringing This Up?

Good question. Certainly not trying to be negative. I am bringing it up to be POSITIVE. I think that this is a pretty universal thing- people feeling left out in scenarios like this. I mean, so many others have brought this up that it kind of proves the point.

(PS- This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with how Xscapers handles the show. Nothing. Don’t read me wrong. This isn’t their fault.)

What I realize is that in my current excitement about seeing old friends and catching up, that I MYSELF could cause newcomers to feel exactly what I felt when I arrived last year.

I don’t want that at ALL.

I do believe that I have always been very aware when I see someone being left out- I will talk to them and try to include them because I know what being on that other side feels like. I am not here to lecture anyone.

But I guess I just want to bring this to the attention of as many people as possible so we ‘alumni’ can make a difference to those who are coming this year that don’t know a soul.

This isn’t just MY interpretation. Others have expressed the same feelings as I have. I understand that we all are looking forward to seeing old friends and want to reconnect. It would simply be nice if we could also remember that there are new people coming in who might not feel welcomed into your ‘click’.

Xscapers is a community. We are here to invite others to the lifestyle and to, I hope, make them feel welcomed at the very least. 🙂

See You There?

So, I will be arriving a couple of days prior to the event, which starts on the 12th of January, 2018. We are looking at twice the rigs as last year, so there are sure to be plenty of newbies!

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

See you around!

Kelly

 


33 thoughts on “Is The January Quartzsite Gathering Too Clicky To Attend?

  1. Great “Friends” Gif…an appropriate “feel” for x-capers!! I hope you can help “newbies” with that dreaded “first day experience”. I’m glad you had the guts to tolerate it long enough to form some great friendships. That “new girl isolation” is so bad that I’m sure some people just don’t try it more than once. Great article, Kelly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, I can so relate to this. I’ve spent my whole life absolutely dreading walking into rooms full of people who knew each other when I didn’t know anyone. I love talking to people but am just terrified of the whole idea of walking up to people I don’t know. God, it’s the WORST. I give you credit for even going last year. That is some ballsy stuff. I would have hid in my rig with the lights off. Hahaha. Just kidding. (Not at all. That is totally what I would have done.)

    Anyway, I used to take it personally and wonder what I was doing wrong, but I eventually concluded the same thing you did – that people are just wrapped up in their own conversations with their friends and are not thinking about the newbies. It’s not personal and no one is trying to be mean (unless they are, in which case, screw them…). I think the best approach is exactly what you’re saying – the ‘veterans’ just need to be mindful and keep an eye out for the new kids. The older I’ve gotten, the more aware I’ve become of how I can make things better for other people when I am the one who knows everyone. I always try to keep an eye out when we’re in groups and I invite everyone everywhere. “The more the merrier” is my standard refrain when given the opportunity to invite more people along.

    I hope people read this and make an effort (at the convergence and everywhere else) to make everyone feel welcome. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks- I’m so glad you understand! Yeah I think we all have been in this position at least ONCE in life, and can relate. I had to overcome my social shyness because I am alone on the road otherwise. Still, doesn’t feel good to feel rejected. Even if one understands that no one is really TRYING to leave them out, it still bites. Thanks for you input- I hope you guys have met good people in the road! ❤️🙌🏼

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  3. Thanks so much for writing this, been anticipating this situation but I’m still going to do my darndest anyway to socialize and pretend like I’m a normal, well-adjusted human 🙂 We’ve clicked so well with the fellow nomads we’ve met in our travels thus far, but it’s the large group of lots of people that know each other that makes it that much more daunting. Really looking forward to meeting you! -Cait

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So you’re coming? That would be great! You will be fine, especially knowing that the clicks might happen at first. I’m sure it still will happen, just try not to take it personally. I think the first night is the hardest! But honest to God, you’re bound to meet some of the greatest people in this country. It’s a big group, and it’s rapidly growing. The whole movement of full-time RVing is growing. Better to do it now (go to a meet up) than later. Xscapers are a great group, too! Love them. ❤️ I don’t know if you are a member, but you’re supposed to be a member this year to attend. You can easily join at Xscapers.com. 🙌🏼

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      1. We will definitely do that! Maybe we’ll even see you on the road before 2019 if you’ll be heading NW. We move into our RV March 1st this year and start traveling in early July, heading south along the Pacific coast. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oops- I didn’t register the 2019 part lol! It could happen this year but I HOPE I end up in Colorado for most of the summer. Maybe Montana as well, we shall see! 🤷‍♀️ I tend not to plan too far ahead. Keep tabs, and good luck launching! 😍

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  4. Yah, pretty much happens all the time… even in the “Q” get-togethers someone might post (and not just at the “Q”) so it’s pretty much a common occurrence for Moi… Too old for Xscapers, but age group doesn’t really seem to be a qualifier..
    Your quote of:

    …I didn’t feel like standing around with my thumb up my ass trying to fit in. So I left the party.”

    is pretty much the normal action plan, so much so, that now I don’t even bother going…
    so, I hear ya…
    Happy Trails..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, that makes me sad to hear. 😞 It can’t feel good… it’s been a fairly constant in my life until I started meeting other RVers. Honestly, I don’t qualify the first night is being a huge deal, just being something I wish could be MORE friendly. So much so, that we introverts don’t get completely turned off. I hope you try again. And no, age is not a qualifier for Xscapers. Actually, they are still trying to figure out if there even is a qualifier. 🤷‍♀️ Hard to nail it down. Anyway, thanks for commenting, and I genuinely hope you are more warmly welcomed if you do try again. 🙂

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      1. Yah, it’s pretty much something you get used to, INTJs are not the ‘Social Butterflies’ they like to think they are, heheh.. I’m at the “Q” now, 3rd year and haven’t seen much difference in the social interactions you’re highlighting… Pretty much Party Clicks no matter where it is…
        Hope you have a better one coming than last year’s… Keep up the good work and Happy Trails…
        cheers..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for writing this enlightening article. It answered most of our questions that we’d imagined wouldn’t have been answered but just experienced and none too pleasantly at that. Thanks to you & Marshal, we now feel a little bit more comfortable about arriving a few days after the welcome bonfire though we’ll still feel like two fish out of water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good- I was a little worried that my message might turn people off from attending but that’s the LAST thing I wanted to do! No matter what the reception, I think (personally) that it’s a little nerve racking to come in as a newbie in any situation. I’m glad that you will be arriving despite the possible ingrained discomfort. 😁 Yeah, the welcome bonfire is great, but it was dark last year which, to me, made it harder to interact with strangers. Don’t recall the start time last year but this year it’s 5pm, might be a bit light out still, if y’all decide to go the first day. Don’t worry, you will connect with people… just be patient! So many great, laid back people are Xscapers! ❤️

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  6. I used to be very shy and would hold back from a crowd. I started working on self esteem some years back. I discovered something that a lot of people are misunderstood. I would think he or she is stuck up or thinks they are better, often it’s not true. Sometimes they are just shy or just feel more comfortable with people they already know. So I started just to say anything to people and ask about them and my whole world turned around. Now I don’t know a stranger, just a new friend i haven’t meet yet. Don’t get me wrong in the beginning it was really hard for me but as time went on it just got easier. I have been to the Xscapers in Quartzsite the last 2 years and there were people that group up because they had things in common (Like being single) but I always found someone to talk to and if I seen someone alone I tried to get to know them. Sometime my old self would come back and I would get that feeling of not belonging. The people I have met there are always trying to include everyone they can. So everyone look for the ones that are new or aren’t included and they may be your new best friend.
    Thanks, Tom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome that you’re able to conjure that up! And yes, I think most people they are generally friendly and if they do tend to lean towards their buddies they don’t intentionally leave others out. At least I hope not! I have definitely given some people a second chance, when I thought they were kind of snooty before. You’re right, usually it’s just because they’re shy. Just like I am. I probably come off that way sometimes myself! I am working on it though.❤️

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  7. Glad (not glad) I’m not the only one who feels awkward like this! (Not glad since it’s not a fun way to feel…) I’ve been wanting to go to Q, but it hasn’t worked out for me yet – and will be in Mexico this year so…maybe 2019? 😀

    I’ve had some mixed experiences. The group at the ABQ Balloon Fiesta in 2015 did a good job welcoming this solo RV’er that was new to Xscapers, but that was the first formal Xscapers event so maybe lots of people felt new? I struggled a bit more with mingling at campfires at a later Xscapers gathering, but I just chalked it up to my introversion-derived inability to mingle with crowds of unknown people. I agree it’s not the organization itself.

    Actually, after reading your post I wonder if it’s possible that the vast majority of people who would gravitate toward living on the road and in the boonies (and therefore attend these events) are introverts and thus we are all struggling with this and then hanging on tight to the people we get to know and don’t know how to bring others into the fold very well??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good point on the introversion! And it could be very true about your Albuquerque experience, easier on everyone because everyone was new? I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but that makes sense. Just know that you are not alone on the feeling awkward part. I suppose we all have and we all do at times.Still, I’ve met some of the coolest people at these convergences whether I got to know them there later on down the road. Therefore, I’m always glad I went! I hope you get to attend in 2019 and I hope to see you before then. Cheers!

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  8. This is a great article…Thank you for sharing!! I’m an introvert that is trying so hard to come out of my shell, so I truly agree with all that you’ve written here. I’ve always been so tied up with my family, that I have a hard time knowing how to be “social” with others, but yet I want to be. But I hold back because I don’t feel I have anything to contribute to those who have already established relationships, so then when I spot the “clicks”, I tend to shy away. I seem to look for the classes, seminars, etc that seem more geared to the newbies to hopefully find others who also are looking to make new friends on the road so we can start from point A together. Being shy and introverted is painful, to say the least…but yet I want to try to fit in… I really identified with when you mentioned about when the people you did connect with couldn’t be found and you felt as if your lifeline had been cut, or something like that 😉 When I find someone that I click with, I tend to attach myself to them as if they are my life preserver and somewhere I feel safe and so then I don’t have to worry about the feeling of being kinda left out of the loop from those who already have their circle of friends. Guess I’m always afraid of putting myself into situations where I have nothing to offer or getting in the way. I am still in awe of all you touched on in your article here and feel comforted to know that I am not alone. You and your words are awesome and I believe you will help so many others by what you shared…Thanks again! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my word, you are actually among MANY who feel like we do! Seems everyone I talk to who was read it says the same thing. They feel or felt this way when coming into a group. It can be completely terrifying to go in by yourself. And yes, I tend to always ‘glom’ on to one person, whether it’s a boyfriend, or a Bestie. I’m trying to stop that and “broaden my horizon’s” but it’s still hard to break the safety net and habit, isn’t it? The good news is, you’re not alone, probably a lot of others feel the same way, the trick is just not to show it. I was like to go in “imitating” someone I admire or think has their shit together when it comes to being confident. I will often use Oprah. I just channel her, imagine I was her, and boy, it could be helpful in certain situations. It’s the whole “fake it until you make it“ thought process. I find it really really works. Good luck with everything and keep on putting yourself out there. People don’t bite. Especially when we all have that one thing in common. RVing. 😁 We may not all become besties, but that can’t ever be expected. You are NOT alone in this! ❤️

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  9. If you end up in Colorado, there is a small former campground in Routt which is now considered “dispersed” camping. You can google “sawmill creek campground routt national forest” and you can see from the satellite view there is a nice pull off which can accommodate several RVs if you are in a boon docking caravan. My buddy and I camped there back in the day (1990) during deer season. Back then it had a pit toilet, but now I was told there are no facilities. It is off of road 27 northeast of Craig CO and also has a trail head near by, but I never hiked the trails.
    Here is a link to activities in the area: http://www.craig-chamber.com/Black-Mountain-Freeman-Reservoir.html

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! We haven’t been to any convergences yet since we’ve been on the wrong side of the Country, but I can still relate to this RVing in general. I have found that it has been very isolating and lonely. I’m kind of socially awkward until I know someone, so reaching out is hard. I have found that if I don’t make a HUGE effort to meet people… I’m talking borderline stalker… We are left alone. Even when we do reach out, people tend to get wrapped up in their own travel/life and cancel. That ends up being super discouraging. I work up all that courage to reach out and then get snuffed. If you’re not a major extrovert /stalker /right time and place…. RVing is super lonely 😦

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    1. Well, I think this issue applies in society in general. Starts in middle school. Keeps going. However, I have found that having he full time RVing in common with others creates a natural bond, much like people who both like the same sports team. I guess it’s all about meeting the right people in the right place at the right time, such as at a convergence. It’s not that I didn’t meet anyone new last year, I eventually definitely did. But yes, the people who you could tell already knew each other were very apparent. It’s just hard to get to know anyone well unless you have that one on one time. That’s how it is for me anyway. You should look into joining clubs where you have something big time in common with the other members. And go to the gatherings. And yes, definitely put yourself out there! I’m far less lonely then I was back in my old life. In fact, now a problem is finding enough energy to spread around all the people I know! Sometimes I have to go ‘dark’ to get away and recharge my batteries. 😊 Keep it up, girl! You will find your tribe. ❤️

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      1. I agree that the common bond is super helpful. When we do find “our people” we connect immediately and deeply. It really seems to be hit or miss and that’s OK. Some people we just don’t click with and sometimes it’s disappointing, but the ones we do click with totally make up for it. Our first 2 months on the road we made friends that we connected so strongly with that I cried when we left. I still miss them and can’t wait to see them again.

        Being socially awkward is such a hurdle being in an RV. I feel like I’ve become more awkward and more of a hermit since we went full-time. Totally a personal issue, but I’ve got to figure out how to get past it. I have to be the one to make an effort to meet people because they aren’t going to it. If I don’t get over it, I’m going to continue to be the crazy lady with dog treats in her pocket making furry friends.

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      2. LOL!!! Don’t be that lady! But hey, that’s the thing I love about being on wheels out here. You meet up with friends, you leave, you reconnect somewhere down the road. And you don’t have to fly there to get to see them! All it costs is your gas. You might have a job where you have to stay in one area, I don’t know. I have the luxury now of being anywhere I want to be as long as I have Internet connection. I think that might make it easier too. I tend to connect with other digital nomads, so we have full-time RVing im common as well as working on the Internet somehow. And yes, it’s always going to be an effort to be social. Correct, no one’s going to come knocking on your door. If they do, that’s weird. LOL keep at it girl!

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      3. It’s kind of a catch because no one is going to come knocking on my door, but if I don’t go knock on their door then I don’t meet anyone. It’s kind of that battle, of if they aren’t interested why should I be? It’s so awkward and weird! LOL Don’t get me wrong, we meet a lot of people and they are mostly really awesome! It’s just gotta be a major effort all the time. Maybe it gets easier, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe we are all just trapped in a socially awkward social driven lifestyle 😂😂😂 A perfect example is a couple in ME… I kept walking by them and didn’t say more than Hi and they kept walking by us not saying more than Hi because we were both kind of awkward. Later we connected on Instagram and laughed about how we were both too awkward to start up a conversation because we didn’t want to be weird. Like… How does that even make sense!?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL! That is funny about the neighbors. You never know!! Makes sense. You will figure it all out. Gatherings help. Go to some gatherings!! At gatherings people
        Expect to meet new peeps, so it’s easier.

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      5. I would love to go to some gatherings but we seem to be on the wrong side of the country. The timing so far hasn’t worked out. Hopefully we’ll be able to make some gatherings this spring on our way to Montana.

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