Friday, July 10, 2015

Carol Colborn Lives the American Dream of Driving an RV Cross Country

Carol Colborn talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her book, Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream, a Travel Book.

“Drive if you must, but cruise whenever you can.” ~Carol Colborn

Carol Colborn originally hails from the Philippines, where she had a very busy career. Her last job was being the president and CEO of Bayantrade, which is an e-procurement hub of the Philippines, and prior to that she was managing director of SAP in the Philippines. She was a Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue prior to that, where she handled the automation of revenue collection, and before that she was the general manager of the Megalink ATM consortium of Philippine banks. Given her career as a high-powered corporate and business woman, she admits that she left the care of her children to nannies (“yayas” in Tagalog, the Filipino language) and didn’t have a close relationship with them.

Carol had always been fascinated by the United States, and had wanted to retire there, particularly since her two children had grown up and made lives there. The impetus for her to emigrate to the United States occurred when she realized that the stresses associated with her career took a toll on her health, and at the same time, she needed to look after a sister who eventually died of cancer. Carol saw how lonely her sister was in the last days of her life and it was a wake up call. Being estranged from her husband then, she then decided it was time to emigrate.

Carol remarried shortly after she reached the United States to a man who had a business of his own, and after he retired and sold his business, they decided to go traveling, making the most of the money that they had accumulated to finance their trip (they had planned well for their retirement). They had originally intended to travel the world and teach English as a second language, but they eventually decided against working while they traveled, and since they had enough money on hand, they would travel via RV.

The five-year trip took Carol and her husband to strange new lands across forty-nine American states, nine Canadian provinces and six Mexican states. She notes that there are some eight million RVs in the United States and around thirty million Americans who live the lifestyle, several of whom stay in one place and take up a temporary job to make money before moving on. She also notes that there is a whole range of options to take so that a trip by RV would not be as expensive as one would usually think. The best thing about traveling by RV, according to her, is not needing to pack or unpack, as the RV carried everything they needed, and that one can go wherever he or she wants to go. During the trip, she learned about living minimally just off the essentials. The worst thing about traveling by RV, according to her, are concerns with health care (particularly since she and her husband are already senior citizens), being away from family, and not having the opportunity to develop long-term relationships along the road.

The trip was an internal one for Carol, for it was during this time, by her account, she became a wife, a wanderer and a writer. It was also during this trip that she came to an understanding of herself as a Filipino, then as an American, and then as a Filipino-American. Carol noted that she felt an affinity towards the United States - and even Canada and Mexico - and despite the fact that she felt some discrimination as an immigrant and a newly-minted citizen, this didn’t stop her from being fascinated by, and drawn into, the culture she had found herself in. For a time, she had wondered if she was losing touch with her Filipino roots, but the time eventually came when she realized that she had her own identity, which made her re-pledge allegiance to the Philippines and thus attain dual citizenship.

The one place that really stood out for her was their trip to the Arctic Circle. It was summer then, and the colors of the plants that they saw on the way there were vibrant, and despite feeling the heat of the sun blazing at their destination, it was also so cold that Carol and her husband didn’t stay outside their RV for too long - just enough to take a picture and admire the view.

The book came about from the blog posts she had written as well as all the pictures she used to document the trip. She realized she already had enough material for a book. There was also a story in there involving conflicts, issues with health and getting used to another culture. She said there was no room for disagreements in an RV.

Carol is excited by life in general and is cautious about overextending herself physically. She already has four more books in the works, and she and her husband are presently setting their sights on Europe and Asia, planning to use an RV wherever possible. She hopes to make an impact in the future by creating some sort of niche that acts as a bridge between Philippine-American relations.

Carol Colborn’s website is and her blog site is

Purchase from Amazon: Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream (Paperback)

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