FIVE BENEFITS OF ESCAPING IN OUR RV
My family suffers from one of society’s most common and prevalent afflictions: too much. Too much clutter, too much to do, too much general busy-ness. My husband and I are both self-employed Type-A personalities and there are many weeks when we work upwards of 50 to 60 hours. Our two daughters are both in competitive cheerleading that gobbles up eight hours each a week of their “spare” time. Add to the mix all the regular mundane chores like homework, laundry, and grocery shopping – and we have an active social life.
While there’s no doubt it’s a good life, every once in a while it can get, well, overwhelming. When it all gets too much for me to handle, I metaphorically throw out my hand and slam it hard on our escape hatch.
Our family’s “escape hatch” sits on six wheels and is 40 feet long. From the outside it looks like your typical motorhome, but don’t be deceived; it’s so much more than that. Our RV has become our shelter from the storm and our first go-to when we need a family reset. “But it’s just an RV,” some may scoff. Not so, I’d counter. It’s a family containment unit and when the outside world has us paying more attention to our screens than to each other, it’s time to hop inside for status updates that are spoken instead of texted.
Our regular home – while not huge – is big enough that we often scatter to far corners and not see each other. It’s easy to lose ourselves in bedrooms and offices. No such isolation exists in our family containment unit, so that if I’m reading a book, chances are I have a head resting on my lap and someone else playing in my hair. You literally cannot walk by someone without noticing them and passing someone in the hall is an automatic cause for a hug.
Tight space makes for a tight family.
Outside Becomes Necessary
I consider my family fairly outdoorsy when we’re at home, but put us in the RV and suddenly we could be contenders on The Amazing Race. While an RV’s size practically demands snuggle time and togetherness while inside, it also pushes you outside its borders. One can only be cooped up so long before “gently” suggesting “GET ON YOUR BIKE!” (Or so I’ve heard.)
My children sport bare feet, dirty fingernails and scruffy hair like badges of honor when we’re RVing and I think it’s wonderful.
I love cleaning my RV. Crazy, right? But crazy is as crazy does and I know I’m not the only woman who obsesses about a clean house. Yes, I’m looking at you.
When I’m home, it usually takes me one full day a week to clean the house. When we’re in the RV, my weekly cleaning ritual is under thirty minutes. There’s less “stuff” to contend with and less surface space to clean. Also, I do lower the bar a little in the RV, and I’ve been known to leave a glass in the sink all day without washing it. Don’t judge me.
One of my family’s biggest problems is that we run on a huge sleep deficit. I try so hard to keep us all on track but usually by December, life’s demands have gained enough momentum that we’re all burning the candle at both ends. When we’re in the RV, we’re typically so exhausted after a day outside that no one complains when lights are out at 8 PM.
And because we don’t have our big house responsibilities hanging over us — shoveling, mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, cleaning the kitchen — everyone sleeps soundly knowing that the only thing left unfinished was maybe a game of Jenga.
We always return home from an RV escape rested and ready to tackle the world again. I can’t always say that about other types of vacations where I’ve been known to return more frazzled than when I left.
The Big Things Become Small Things
It’s funny how a mountain suddenly becomes a molehill when we’re in our RV, and our problems are in the rear-view mirror, even if just for a brief reprieve. Maybe it’s the change of scenery or the Zen feeling I associate with our RV, but whatever the reason, I think more clearly when we’re travelling in it. I’ve had some of my best “a-ha” moments while watching the road unwind ahead of me.
For my kids, I know it allows them to leave behind the stresses of school and sports for a brief time, so they can return to them more centered and happy.
While we’ve just returned from our latest holiday to Fort Myers, Florida, I’ve already got my hand ready to hit “escape” in March. Two months of the daily grind should be just about right before we need to hit the family containment unit for another reset.
Does your family suffer from too much “busy”? How often do you like to recharge in your RV?