Mum’s the word!
We decided to take the plunge in September 2014, after a fateful visit from our friends Chloe and Brendan. They came to us after visiting the Hershey RV show, telling us of their plans to live in an RV, us secretly saying “Y’all are crazy” and then being secretly persuaded…little by little. We waved goodbye, said again “Y’all are crazy” and started thinking. And thinking. And talking. A lot. The next day, I wrote Chloe a note “Oh, nothing important to tell you. Great to see you. Oh, and we just decided to sell everything and live in a motorhome. In other news, we’re thinking of starting an herb garden. Mum’s the word!” Chloe wrote back, without skipping a beat, “So tell me more about this herb garden.” This is why we’re friends.
And so it began. What started in September 2014 became a reality in December 2015. Time flew. And once in a while the four of us get together, grill our grillables and talk about that crazy weekend. We may take in a cheesy tourist-trap event because, heck, we can.
People who we meet have three reactions:
1) “That takes some guts!”
2) “Wow, that’s…interesting.”
3) “But you’re so young!”
So let’s dissect these three reactions, shall we?
Guts. If you can buy a house, move or get married, you can do it. People do it every day, although buying the house, moving and planning the wedding are more “mainstream” human beings are capable of doing these things. Perhaps the reaction comes from the notion of getting rid of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. In 15+ years of a realationship, there was a lot. It is easier than you’d think. Just like home ownership or marriage, there are days where it’s difficult. Then there are other days, when you’re not even paying attention, where there’s a sense of contentment and ease. However, like owning a house or getting married, know yourself. It may or may not be for you.
Interesting. Insert the judgey tone here, along with the background music of dueling banjos. Some of this is due to ignorance as to what the choice means. Our nephew told his schoolfriends that we were buying a motorhome “and they’re not even poor!”. It means something else in many people’s minds. Others have their snobby hats on and don’t even realize that motorhomes can cost more than many people’s houses, although sometimes they don’t. In our case, our motorhome cost as much as that house we sold. Either way, the only thing to do in this situation is to try to educate to the ignorance or just plain shake your head and ignore it.
Young. This is a part of people’s ignorance as well. Even among those who RV, there is a thinking that you can only be retired if you full-time in a motorhome. For some fellow RVers, they can’t seem to get over this fact and we are sometimes treated in a less-than-a-polite manner than if we were 20 years older (perhaps they think we didn’t earn the right to do it?). Finding other youngins and finding other RVers who enjoy all types of people has been paramount to us enjoying our stays.
Despite everyone’s reaction, right or wrong, yes, it was a big leap of faith to live full-time in a motorhome. We prepared by moving into an apartment first (1300 square feet, one floor) and once we moved in, there were waves of “ohmygodohmygod we made a huge mistake”. Even the most prepared can have those waves. You hope that it comes in the form of waves versus all the time. We found that some blogs and Facebook groups romanticized the thought of living full time in an RV. Like everything else, it isn’t all sunshine, unicorns and puppies. There are ways you can prepare for it, but like marriage, there’s no way to know how it will be until you take the plunge.
The best piece of advice we have is don’t do it all alone. You don’t have to find people just like yourself but surround yourself with a village of RVers who are there for you. We had each other as a couple, sure, but we also had Chloe and Brendan who have been friends for 20+ years and are our age, also full-timing it, and they were there for our first five months of full-timing. We found neighbors who went out of their way to help us through the “oh crap!” moments without being asked. We re-found friends who are our age who also decided to full-time, without either of us knowing we both were doing it. We even bought the same RV make and model in the same year (oh, hai, Kidds!). In your travels, you’ll also get to see friends and family who you haven’t seen in a long time because now you happen to be on the road. When you happen to stay in a touristy destination (like we did in Orlando), they come to you. There were dinners, brunches, drinks and weight gain, all in the name of friendship. It’s what we must bear, I guess *dramatic sigh*.
So with young, interesting guts, move forward but go in with eyes wide open and a village who can help you.