Full Time Traveling
by Charlotte Phillips
In 1990 we sold our home and all the "stuff", passed antiques on to the kids, to live and travel on our 36-ft sailboat. It was a wonderful life we had dreamed of, planned for, and read all the "how to" books about.
Nothing ever prepared us for the emotional challenges that we faced. This was a dream of ours, we were ready and exited about our new life. We weren't attached to things and had no problems leaving kids...they had already moved on with their lives and were happy for us. Today in 2012 we are doing it again, this time in a 40-ft RV.
Looking back, the first mistake we made was buying a used boat and taking off with it right away. We were experienced sailors, but fulltiming was a different environment. We had not yet built confidence in our boat, ourselves, or each other's abilities.
We've been back in a house for several years working to build our travel/retirement fund. A year and a half ago we purchased our first RV, a 35-ft Travel Trailer. Six months ago we traded for our 40-ft Class A that we will full time in.
I have always advised others who dream of full timing, be it on a boat or RV, to live with it for awhile, make it your own, get to know and trust it, yourself, and each other's abilities, before you jump in with both feet.
We found it important for each of us to have a space that is just ours for our "stuff", books, computers, treasures, whatever you need in your space.
We were also surprised we needed time alone. On a 36-ft sailboat that can be hard to find, but we learned how. Even if it was sitting on the bow of the boat reading, watching the waves while underway, or taking the dingy out for a ride by ourselves, it was important. In the RV it is the same, we each have our space and we find time alone to regroup and restore.
We are now beginning the process of sorting out, giving away stuff, selling the house, this time for a life on the road rather than the water. We are much more prepared emotionally this time than before. At least we know this is a lifestyle not a long term vacation and no matter how excited we are about our new adventure, there will be emotional challenges, but this time we're ready!