Several of the travel blogs that I follow are written by people living full-time in their RV. I’m not talking about trailer park living. These are folks who, as part of a plan (not necessity), sold their house and most of their possessions and live a life of what seems like perpetual travel. Their RV is their home and many say Home is where they happened to be parked.
It’s fun following their adventures because many times they’re moving around, having new experiences, and seeing different parts of the country. Some of these bloggers have large followings. I guess lots of folks may like to follow people who are living a different or unique lifestyle – one that appears to be filled with constant adventure.
I’ve been a traveling RVer now for 4+ years. Along the way, I found my RV / travel lifestyle. I’m what I call a “sometime” RVer. I’m different from the full-timers. I still have a stick and bricks home, a permanent residence, and I’m not always on the move. But I’m away traveling in my RV for what equates to about 1/2 the year. Sometime RVing is more that just taking short RV vacations now and then. It involves being gone for weeks or months at a time. Its a way to live two different lives – the at-home life and the travel life. Same person, but changing my habitat when I want.
I like my sometime RV lifestyle. I get as much adventure and go to the same places that the full-timers go. I may not stay as long or travel as often, but I figure I’m having just as much fun. And I don’t aspire to change it or be a full-timer. I’m very happy doing just what I’m doing.
Many of the full-timers blog about their travels and lifestyle, but I don’t see as many sometimers doing the same. I think there are some advantages to my sometime RV lifestyle so, I figured I’d write a post about the joys of being a sometime RVer.
I Still Have a Place Called Home
As a kid, I moved a lot – about every 2-3 years. It was because of my Dads job working for the Federal government. When I got married and had kids, I didn’t want that for my family. I wanted to find a place and job where I could put down roots. I was lucky with the job, found the perfect small town, a nice chuck of land, and I built just the house I wanted. I hammered many of the nails and cut many of the boards. My wife and I planted several of the trees and bushes, did the landscaping, and made it our Home. Its become our Tara.
Owning a place can be a lot of work but having a Home is important to me. It’s mine, I built it, and its the place I’m most comfortable being at. Its a place where I can rest, recuperate, and recharge. I know I’ll have to trade it someday soon for a smaller place, but It’s not something I would ever give up for a 5th wheel trailer of a Class A bus.
I Get to Live Multiple Lives
As I mentioned above, I get to live different lives. Part of the year, I live in rural New England. Its bucolic. My neighbors are cows, corn, and trees. The nearest store is 3 miles away. There’s one yellow blinking light in my town. It’s life in the slow lane and I live as a country gentleman. When I travel, I get to leave it behind for a time and go live a different life.
When in Florida, I stay in a busy beach side town, where tee shits, shorts, and flip-flops are the normal daily attire. I can live the life of a beach bum where I’m constantly surrounded by people and all the convenience of eateries, shops, and night spots. It’s a nice change of pace.
When I take a road trip, I can be gone for a week of a couple of months. I can be a wanderer or explorer going from place to place and staying in places with beautiful scenery. When I’ve had enough or need a change, I don’t need to find a new place. I just go Home.
I Get to Go When I Want, Come Back When I Want
Full-timers get to do part of this. Vacationers, not so much. If I’m home and there’s a few days of good weather, if I feel like taking a road trip, or if I just get bored, I can easily take off and hit the road. My RV stays parked in my yard and is kept fueled up, packed, and ready to roll. It works the same in the other direction. If the weather turns bad, the RV is acting up, I get sick or bored, I can just head Home. I don’t have to worry about where to head or making a new reservation. Just select the Home choice on my RV’s GPS and drive.
I Have a Less to Worry About
I like to focus on the positives and try to tune out the negatives. Think about all the good that will happen and not worry about the bad. I am an old Boy Scout and follow the Be Prepared motto. When I’m RVing, I’m prudent and try to be prepared for the small stuff and don’t worry about the big things that are out of my control. Like what will happened if the RV had a catastrophic failure (engine, tranny) or what if it’s damaged by weather or an accident. As a sometimer, my RV is just another vehicle, something replaceable. It’s not my home and it doesn’t hold any treasured possessions. If something bad happens to it that can’t be fixed on the road, I’ll call for a flatbed and just head Home.
Its Easy to Take A Break from Traveling
When I was really sick in 2011, I didn’t go to Florida for the winter or travel at all. I was pretty ill and just didn’t feel like going anywhere. Going to doctor appointments was the only travel I did. Luckily, I got better and when I felt confident and good enough, I started traveling again. Bad shit can happen to anyone and at anytime. I’m not sure what I would have done that year if I was a full-timer. That’s one thing I like about being a sometimer. I don’t have to travel. I can park my ass at Home and take a break anytime and for as long as I want.
I Can Stay Married
My wife is also a sometime RVer, but she’s more in the once-and-awhile category (like a vacationers). She likes going to Florida for the winter and maybe will join me on a beach stay-put vacation. But that’s it. Her type of adventure is a girl’s game night or a day shopping at a new outlet mall. She needs to be rooted somewhere, have friends / family around, and doesn’t like wandering or always moving. And that’s ok. It’s no fun traveling with someone who’s not happy.
We’ve been married for 38 years and she’s fine with me going off and doing my traveling thing. I just have to keep coming back to her and keep checking in with her. Keep the bingo hall babes, pole dancers, and cougars out of the RV and leave her the check book. She’s happy, I’m happy.
I Have a Place to Go When It’s All Over
I see my RV lifestyle as temporary. Maybe it’s not a joy but it’s something I’m at peace with and comfortable knowing it will have an ending. RVing is something I’m doing now, I’m really enjoying it now, but it ain’t gonna last. Some may not agree or look that far out and that’s ok. I’m not a fatalist, just a realist. At some point, I know that I will either lose interest in traveling, lose my confidence, or just lose the physical ability. Some times I joke that we’re all one doctor’s appointment away from a calamity. One bad test result can change your life. I’m not at all focused on that and I’m taking each day as it comes. But when it does happen or if I get sick, I want to know I’ve got a place to go and deal with it. I’ve got doctors and specialists who know me and I know the good places to get care. And I can just park the RV and forget about it. I don’t have to worry about finding a place to park or a place to find care.
And for me, that is what’s good about being a sometime RVer. It’s not better than anyone else’s RV lifestyle. Just what I like about mine. I get to go when I want, come back when I want, stay put when I want, and I can easily give it up when I want. And I’ve still got a wonderful place called Home.