Since we couldn’t post “Things That Suck About Full-Time RVing” without a follow-up post on things that “don’t suck”, here’s our newest list of some of our favorite things (in no particular order) about our new full-time RVing lifestyle.
Goodbye Alarm Clock – With the exception of a few occasions, we haven’t set our alarm clock once. And WOW…. has it been nice! Having worked so many years in very demanding careers, we had forgotten what it’s like to get an adequate amount of sleep. It’s amazing how we seem to just wake up on our own when our bodies decide they’ve had enough, which we’ve found to be right around eight hours. It’s also amazing how much better we feel because of it! We wake up feeling refreshed, alive, and ready to participate in life. This is a stark contrast to the measly four or five hours of sleep we used to get, and then merely survive the rest of the day. I guess the recommended eight-hours isn’t a farce after all, at least not for us because we feel great! This is probably our favorite thing about our new lifestyle because it gives us the energy to enjoy everything else!
Morning Joe – Do you enjoy a morning cup of coffee like we do? Do you take pleasure in sipping away at the piping hot beverage while reading the newspaper or over casual conversation? We do…. and we especially love “doing it” in our pajamas. For so many years, though, we filled our thermoses and toted them along for the oh-so frustrating drive into work, and drank our coffee while staring at the tail-end of the vehicle in front us. For me, this is “consuming” coffee… not “enjoying” it. That’s not to say I would have ever, EVER, left home without it (you coffee addicts know what I’m talking about), but it’s not the same. I also, strangely, think coffee is much more satisfying when sipped from a mug, as opposed to a thermos. Quirks…we all have them. For the first time in a long time, we get to fill our mugs (yes, mugs) with the steaming hot, strong, black coffee we love so much, and enjoy it while sitting outside and taking in the views and fresh air of whatever new place we’re visiting… and in our pajamas, too. Let me tell ya… it’s never tasted so good!
Nothing to wear! – Living in a much smaller space means having much less of everything… and that includes clothing. At least it should. And while this may seem to some people like a topic that should have been included on the “Things that Suck About Full-Time RVing” list, it’s actually one of our favorites. Less clothes equal fewer options, which means less time spent on deciding or worrying about what to wear. This is a welcomed change from our old life, where it seemed like we were constantly washing, drying, folding and ironing clothes. Between our business attire, court attire, uniforms and casual clothing, we were doing laundry mid-week and on the weekends to stay ahead of it. We knew right away when we moved into our tiny home that our wardrobe would be limited to practical, functional, and comfortable attire. We didn’t embark on a lifestyle of “fashion”, we embarked on a lifestyle of freedom. As far as we’re concerned, clothing serves two purposes… to keep us warm and prevent us from being arrested for indecent exposure. We love not having to focus on what we’re going to wear, but rather what we’re going to do!
And believe it or not… even though we have less clothing, we do laundry a lot less, too. We wear everything a minimum of two times before washing it, but it’s usually more around three or four. If they don’t stink and they’re not dirty, there’s just no reason to wash them. As a result, five outfits could last us up to three weeks (minus the underwear). We also don’t iron anything, which we’re over-the-moon about! However, none of this means we only have five outfits or that we constantly look like we slept in our clothes. It just means that we make a conscious effort not to wash something that doesn’t need to be, and since all of our clothes are very casual, they don’t need to be ironed as long as they’re neatly folded and stored.
Besides clothing, we have much less of everything else, too. We have less towels, bedding, dishes and silverware, and even food. We no longer have a huge pantry to store all those dry goods and snacks, and our refrigerator is a third of the size of a residential one. Most importantly, though, we have less gadgets and forms of entertainment that tend to keep people bottled-up in their homes. Other than some DVD’s, a deck of cards, and a couple of board games for rainy days, we don’t have anything else… or want anything else! There’s a whole world of entertainment right outside our door.
Sunrises and Sunsets – I don’t think sunrises get enough credit. I see pictures of sunsets posted on the internet, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, hanging on walls and advertised on television to entice you to visit a new vacation destination, but I don’t see anything celebrating the sunrise, at least not nearly as much. If you’ve ever witnessed one, you know they can be just as, if not more, beautiful than a sunset. A sunset represents the conclusion of a day, while a sunrise represents the beginning of one… and I think we’re all lucky to be granted that. Don’t get me wrong, we still love a beautiful sunset like anyone else, we just also appreciate the message of a sunrise and the beautiful manner in which it’s depicted. The great thing about living in a RV is that we have access to some wonderful locations with awesome vantage points of both. We’ve already been privileged enough to witness many.
What to Do? –This is something we never asked ourselves when we were living a more conventional life, because we simply didn’t have the time to do anything but work. Now, however, we not only have more time, but we have access to a wider variety of activities. Our ever-changing location keeps the options unlimited, and things fresh and new for us. Even if we hiked at every location we visited… it would be a different hike, with different terrain, and different scenery each time. Along with a constantly changing location comes constantly changing scenery. And we love it! But it’s not always just about the hiking, sunsets, or long walks. For us, it’s also about checking out the surrounding towns and cities inner workings. We love architecture of all kinds, street art, and food vendors and dive diners. We love blue waters and white beaches the same as murky waters and the wildlife in them. We like bustling cities and towns just as much as we like deserted ones, and we like to smell the air of each. Most of all, we like to people watch, and some locations disappoint less than others. But… no matter how much we’re enjoying our current location, we always look forward to where our RV will take us next. “What to Do” is no longer a problem!
The RV Community and Making New Friends –Long before we embarked on this journey we always heard the RV community is a friendly and welcoming one, and so far we’ve found that to be nothing but true. We’ve already made two very good friends (Jack and Mickie), who we wrote about in one of our first posts. We feel very lucky to have met them and privileged they call us friends. We’ve also met many others who didn’t think twice about introducing themselves, inviting us over for a cook-out, or sharing their knowledge of, and experience with, full-time RVing. They are just a pleasure to get to know.
Full disclosure: Since we started our blog, we’ve gotten a few nasty comments from people who disagree with the way we “go about things” and feel we should be “full-timing it” the way they do. One of the more recent messages on our Facebook page came from a man who stated we shouldn’t be using the water, sewer or electrical hookups even when camping at a park that provides them, and because we do, we “don’t have a grip on life.” That was then followed by a few more disparaging remarks. Now, we haven’t been at this very long, but we’ve already seen literally thousands of RVers using the hookups at the many places we’ve camped. So, does that mean they “don’t have a grip on life” either? I posed this question to the man, followed by a few statements of my own, and he failed to respond. Instead, he deleted his comment. Interesting. My point is… you will always run into “those” people in any community or group, and in life in general. You know… the ones who think they’re smarter than everyone else, the ones who just like to argue, and the ones who are unwilling (or incapable) to accept the fact that you have the right to live however you choose as long as you’re not harming anyone. “Those” people penetrate every aspect of life, and the RVing community is no exception. So, if you’re thinking about hitting the road full-time, you should be prepared to run into some of “those” people, but your life up to that point should have prepared you for that already.
The only regret we have about taking on the full-time RVing lifestyle… is that we didn’t do it sooner. This lifestyle has allowed us to see new places, visit family, and meet some of the nicest, most genuine people we’ve ever known. And if all the kind and helpful people you’ll meet in person isn’t enough, there’s also a whole community online, too. There are too many to count RV forums online filled with people who are more than willing to help you out with any questions you might have. You might have to shop around a little to find the one that fits your needs best, but they are out there ready and willing to help, and waiting for you!
Overnighting It in Wal-Mart or Cracker Barrel Parking Lots –Strange? Maybe. But for some reason we enjoy the challenge of finding a place to “park it” for the night when we’re on the road in between destinations. We like waking up in a strange city, in a strange state, making our pour-over coffees and then getting back on the road… especially when the sun hasn’t completely risen and there’s a little mist in the air. But wait… If we spend the night in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel, we have an automatic free pass to buy ourselves breakfast. We love getting our orders to go and sitting right there in our tiny home, in their parking lot, eating our breakfast and sipping our coffee. Although we don’t say it aloud, I think we both secretly hope we come across a Cracker Barrel before a Wal-Mart when we’re searching for a place to park.
The Never-Ending Vacation – With the ability to choose any location to visit, the unlimited access to a countless variety of activities, and our comfortable tiny home on wheels, we really do feel like we’re on a never-ending vacation. And the best part is… we no longer have to ask employers for permission. Even on those rainy days or few other occasions when we’re stuck inside due to circumstances beyond our control… we love it, even cherish it. When we’re inside our RV, whether we’re parked on the banks of beautiful waters, deep inside a forest, or even the middle of a War-Mart parking lot, we can’t help but to feel the uniqueness of it all. We love our tiny home, so whether we’re cooped up inside or returning to it from a day of shenanigans or night out on the town, the feeling of being on vacation doesn’t end. We really should start referring to ourselves as full-time vacationers instead of full-time RVers.
The Disbelief– We are so proud of ourselves we can’t even stand it! It’s one thing to fantasize about something, or even discuss it, plan it, and take some steps toward it, but it’s another thing to actually “make it happen!” When we made the enormous decision to trade-in our old life for our new one, we knew it meant selling our home, letting go of our possessions, leaving our respectable careers, and being farther away from the friends and community we had known for so long. We also had to hear the thoughts and opinions of those that couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea. We remained steadfast, however, and tackled one terrifying step at a time until it was completed, and then moved on to the next with a little more confidence. And before we knew it, there were no steps left to conquer. At that point there was just one last thing to do… hookup the trailer, get in the truck, and start driving away from the only home we had known. And then we were scared all over again… for about five minutes! Did I mention how proud of ourselves we are?
The Transformation –We have a whole new perspective on life, now. The kind, for us, that was discovered through the little things like enjoying a unrushed cup of coffee, witnessing a sunrise or sunset, having fewer possessions, listening to the patter of rain on our tin roof, visiting loved ones and meeting new people, exploring and learning about new areas, and most importantly… getting to do it all together.
Living and traveling in a RV isn’t what makes it all possible, though… “time,” is. It’s “time” that allows us to enjoy life instead of just moving through it. But even though we now have more time, it’s the RVing lifestyle that gives us access to all the things we’ve ever wanted to do, which has led to our new-found happiness.
There are so many wonderful things about living and traveling full-time in a RV… these are just some of ours.
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