By Gail West
Bill Osborne is a native Virginian and a man of many interests and talents. After graduating Chowan College and attending the University of Richmond, he joined the U.S. Army. He was an instructor in the Army finance school at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. After a year tour in Viet Nam, his last assignment was at Ft. Bragg. His first job after the Army was mortician, following in his father’s footsteps. Circumstances found him at Virginia Commonwealth University on a Real Estate and Urban Land Development scholarship where he graduated with a B.S.
He worked as an appraiser and long hours as a real estate salesman until his daughter was born. Bill also has a son. A career change led to middle management with Transamerica for 18 years, a small business ownership, and most recently as an optician for 14 years. With aviation as his favorite avocation, Bill was a flight instructor for 15 years and attended the EAA fly-in in Oshkosh from 1982 thru 1994.
Three years before retiring, he and his wife, Kris, purchased a 2008 Itasca Navion iQ so they could learn about the RVing lifestyle. They subscribed to RVing magazines, went to rallies, and that’s how they first met the Geeks on Tour.
Learning from Geeks on Tour
Bill and Kris’ blog is SeeingTheUSA.com. The following is an excerpt from From a March 2014 blog post….
“In March 2011, we went to the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) Rally in Perry, GA. My main agenda was to attend as many seminars as possible given by “Geeks on Tour”. I actually attended eight of their seminars. I sat through seminars on Picasa, Blogging, Facebook, Google Earth, Streets and Trips, Internet on the Road, Smart Phones and Microsoft Windows Basics. I left the rally with a working knowledge of these subjects, but I had to spend hours watching Chris’ tutorial videos to be competent. Any questions along the way I could ask on their forum. Either Chris or Jim would answer those questions. I think it would be accurate to say that I would not have my own website and blog if not for Chris Guld. That is special because my blog is a large part of my experience living full-time in our motorhome.”
Retired and Going RVing, 2013.
After retiring, Bill and Kris sold their house, bought a 2011 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40QXP, and set out to see the USA. While “living” in Florida in March 2014, they met up with the Geeks again. This time, it was on a more personal basis. Bill writes:
“After Kris and I arrived at Orlando Thousand Trails and had gotten all set up, I logged into RVillage to post that we were in this campground. I saw that eleven members of RVillage were here including Jim and Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour.
It was so much fun getting to know Jim and Chris personally. Chris’ personality and laughter truly enhances her effectiveness as a teacher. Jim with his knowledge is the perfect partner as they teach technology to travelers. They have been a large part of the fun we’ve had our first year on the road. They are the experts at what I do for fun. And they are always just a question and answer away on their forum. “
Photos from Bill L to R: Walking across the Mississippi; Bill, Kris with Lynn and David Cross at Grand Canyon; Bill w/Richard Bushong, Col. USAF age 92 flew B-17 in WWII; B1 Bomber simulator; Bill and Kris with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the Osborne motorhome.
The Boy is Back in Virginia
After Seeing The USA for 3 years, 5 months and 10 days and living in 39 states as full-time RVers, Bill and Kris decided to return to Virginia and move back into a “bricks and sticks” home near their children and grandchildren in Williamsburg. As Bill says: “I believe from MY experience….You can take the boy out of Virginia, but you can’t take Virginia out of the boy.”
As for what to learn now, Bill says: “You know, the more I watched the Geeks On Tour tutorial videos, the less questions I had. They are Geeks that teach which resulted in my learning to “figure it out” on my own. I do love their weekly show “What does this button do?” It is rare that I don’t learn something new I can use watching it.”
I chose Bill as our second member spotlight for a good reason! He has been a voracious learner of Geeks on Tour material. We’ve seen him (and his friend David – next month’s spotlight) in the front row of so many seminars at rallies that we miss him when he’s not there. We’ve met up with him personally all across the country, from Orlando FL, to Elkhart IN, to Quartzsite AZ. Seeing his blog, complete with pictures and videos, validates that our teaching works. We use his words (edited to fit) on much of our promotional material, “Thanks to Geeks on Tour videos, I can use my Smartphone, my pictures are organized and backed up, I have a Travel Blog, and my grandkids think I’m Facebook savvy!”
Thanks Bill for being a lifelong learner. We’ll miss you on the road.
A few photos of our meetups: L-R: Jim, David, Bill in the Guld motorhome; Bill, Chris, David outside the Osborne motorhome; Bill and David in the front row of a Geek seminar; Kris (Bill’s wife, providing the landing pad for Bill’s drone in Quartzsite.