August 5, 2003 - The Capital Times: RPCVs Andy and Joanne Zintel plan decade on the road in their new RV

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Panama: Peace Corps Panama : The Peace Corps in Panama: August 5, 2003 - The Capital Times: RPCVs Andy and Joanne Zintel plan decade on the road in their new RV

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RPCVs Andy and Joanne Zintel plan decade on the road in their new RV

Read and comment on this story from the Capital Times about RPCVs Andy and Joanne Zintel who plan a decade on the road in their new RV. The two met while they were in the Florida State University Marching Band (Andy played the trumpet, Joanne the flute) and went on separate Peace Corps assignments (Joanne in Uruguay, Andy in Panama) in 1965. Read the story at:

Retired teachers plan decade on the road in their new RV*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Retired teachers plan decade on the road in their new RV

By Lee Sensenbrenner
August 5, 2003

Retired teachers Joanne and Andy Zintel plan to make the 39-foot Teton RV in the background their home for the next 10 years. (Photo by David Sandell)

Andy and Joanne Zintel retired this spring from the Madison Metropolitan School District with 49 years of combined experience, but now they're really about to cut the tether.

As fall settles in and their absence from school takes on a different feel, the Zintels will prepare to leave their house for good and spend 10 years wandering the continent in their new RV.

Their whopping retirement purchase was recently parked at an RV camp outside DeForest for a trial run, and the two 60-year-old teachers talked about the bold plans they have for the next part of their lives.

Andy said that they want to lead RV caravans through Mexico and explore Canada before they reach Alaska.

"We'll be here, probably, during the good weather months," said Joanne, who taught English as a second language for 16 years at various schools.

Andy taught Spanish for 33 years at West High School, where he won a Kohl Teacher Fellowship Grant and was chosen as a Presidential Scholars most influential teacher.

The two met while they were in the Florida State University Marching Band (Andy played the trumpet, Joanne the flute) and went on separate Peace Corps assignments (Joanne in Uruguay, Andy in Panama) in 1965. They moved to Madison's Eagle Heights, they said, with $500 and everything they owned packed into a 4-foot by 6-foot U-Haul trailer.

"It's just like we're starting over again," Joanne said. "We get to use those traveling genes."

"The RV lifestyle, the RV culture - there's just so much to learn," he said. "Now we're the students. We've been teachers all our lives and now the roles are reversed."

The decision to travel in an RV at the outset of their retirement came after five years of research, and the choice they made has been challenged at times by their students, their two children and even several RV salesmen.

At the dealerships, they would ask the Zintels what RV they had used so far.

Joanne's answer: "We've had a tent and a real house."

But, they said, with a little persistence they found a dealership in Janesville that was helpful and trusted that they knew what they were doing when they picked out a top-of-the-line Teton, which comes right up against the classification of mobile home.

The 39-foot trailer, which is towed by separate truck, expands when it's parked and provides about 400 square feet of living space. It looks like a tidy condominium, with a comfortable eating nook on one end and a separate bedroom suite on the other.

"Everybody's curious," Andy said. "We're used to just about every reaction at this point."

When their son challenged how they could sell their house in Cross Plains and pare down their possessions sufficiently so that they'd fit in a few modest cabinets and closets, Joanne said that they would not lose their sense of home.

"When we leave we'll always be home. As long as I'm with your dad, I'll be home," she told her son.

Published: 10:35 AM 8/05/03

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Uruguay; COS - Panama; Recreational Vehicles; Retirement



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