MY RV STORY
I’m 46, and a few years ago I had a midlife crisis; not the stereotypical buy a sports car, have an affair, get some plastic surgery to hold on to my youth kind. But a sense of restlessness, a deep gnawing at you – there has to be more to life, how do I really want to spend the time I have left kind. I was taught to succeed, go to college, get a good job, save for retirement only to climb the corporate ladder to find what at the top? I found I was disillusioned with the system. We are so filled with future worry, putting our adventures and dreams on hold; waiting for retirement or the next ‘thing’ to set us free.
I have wonderful family & friends, the Chiweenies (my dogs), a beautiful home, the opportunity to travel a few weeks a year, and am fortunate to have a well paying job. But I felt like something was missing. I was so tired of feeling stressed and burnt out and my health reflected it . As a business consultant, I felt I was always on alert, waiting for an emergency call or email to triage the next crisis. I wanted to trade the lifestyle of “more” for a lifestyle of freedom, creativity and adventure. What would I do if I wasn’t afraid, or worried about all the what ifs, especially money…?
So, I thought why not get an RV, take a road trip to explore America and have the freedom to pursue my creative passions and get a clearer view of the road ahead. Travel broadens your life perspective and challenges your thought patterns that may have become rigid or were formed on false assumptions. Travel offers a reframing of your views on life; taking you out of your normal day to day routines. At the time, I was in a ten-year relationship with my partner and we were going to buy the RV, take the dogs and travel for a year. When my relationship ended I thought my dream of RVing ended as I was uncertain I could do it alone. A year passed and my aunt came into town and wanted to look at pop-up campers, so I took her to the local RV dealer. There I saw a small motorhome and it reignited my wanderlust and dream of RVing. I went back for a test drive and thought “I can do this”!
My maiden trip was from North Carolina to Florida with a few friends. It was in Florida I was notified that my consulting contract would not be extended. I typically do not have a break between client engagements and took this as a sign that I needed to hit the road for a few months to really explore RVing. I put in a request for a sabbatical and decided to list my house on a vacation rental sitejust-in-case I liked it and wanted to stay on the road. That was the best decision I made. I’ve been fortunate the rental has covered my home operating expenses and even provided a little gas money. A few months in, a new consulting engagement came through where I could continue to work remotely so I was able to turn a “few months” on the road into over two years now.
You don’t have to quit your job and sell everything if you’re not ready or don’t know if the lifestyle is right for you. There are lots of options to jump start your dream. For me, I haven’t looked back and know this is something I want continue to do for the near future. I’ve been very fortunate in my travels; my road angels look out for me whenever I’ve needed assistance. There is a learning curve with RVing and working full-time while traveling, but the positives far outweigh the challenges.
Before my purchase I didn’t know what to expect. I knew a few people, none locally, that had an RV but I had never camped (since childhood) or been on a trip in an RV. I’ve been blown away by the kindness of strangers and the wonderful RV community. I do travel alone but seldom do I feel lonely. I can choose solitude, spending time in nature or often I’m invited for dinners, events, and social activities with others. Having a positive attitude, being open to meeting others and serendipity is key to having a positive travel experience.
About a year in, I downsized to a Winnebago Travato 59K Class B RV. I love the size, being nimble, the more modern design, and great features. Being in the Travato has removed an extra layer of stress for me traveling solo.
A surprise bonus was the instant community with RV related groups in person and on Facebook. I’ve formed several friendships, some like family, in these groups – I’m so thankful for the experiences and the RV community.
So, if like me you’ve been feeling restless and dreaming of hitting the road I encourage you to get out and Go RVing!