Not what I expected

by Cheri
(New Braunfels Tx)

I was so glad to find this site! I thought it was just me feeling all of these emotional challenges in our RV lifestyle! A year ago we sold our home, got rid of most of our belongings, and put the rest in storage to embark on a 2 year full time RV lifestyle. We had grandiose ideas about traveling all over the country and enjoying our newfound freedom.

We both retired early convinced we could live on an established budget. We left our careers, our home, our family and friends and our community. We found out 6 weeks after we began that our financial advisor and my husbands company pension department made grave errors that affected our budget severely. My husband took a temporary 4 month long consulting job which we were very fortunate to have. It took us away from everyone everything and placed us in an RV in a winter climate in a strange place.

Although we did get to take two trips in the last year, they were both stressful family related adventures. We have discovered we were naive and uneducated about a lot of things. I'm sure retiring together, moving, giving up family and friends are all challenges in themselves but, going from that to living in a small space 24/7 with your spouse does create many additional challenges.

I miss my children, grandchildren, and friend much more than I thought. I miss having a house with what we consider now as luxuries like, wifi, our own laundry room, comfortable furniture and beds, a solid floor, private space between residences, quiet, feeling safe and secure, decent shower, not worrying about plumbing and grey water, etc etc.

I thought I would be better at a new adventure every week to few weeks than I am. Sometimes it's tiring to learn a new town all over again so often. I miss my hairdresser. I think the thing I underestimated most is how much I miss being s part of a community, being near family and friends you can rely on when you need help or just want company.

We have met people but just as passing acquaintances not friends. The ideal situation for me I think is to keep a home base and take trips which is what I am praying for in the future.

Comments for Not what I expected

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Mar 30, 2016
by: Mike

Thank you for revealing your fears and thoughts about life without a home in which we can find our children, parentage and friends. Seeking for a full time rving this opened a different vision of what life might be like RV full time. We also liked the description of your trip to Costa Rica with a description of your budget, very different from what we see now traveling across America. We'll keep it on a partial base for now

Again, thank you so much!

Dec 27, 2015
Well now I am confused
by: Mac McGrath

So glad that I discovered your website. I am retiring in June 2016. We are going to sell our large home around that time (empty nesters, don't need the big home with all the maintenance cost). Thought about going the full time RV route or buying or renting a small house that we could keep the RV at when home, if we decided to do the home base thing. Still need to buy the used RV. Wow, so much to consider and very confused in the Tampa Florida area. Any advise will be welcomed!

Dec 25, 2015
Taking the plunge
by: Stan Furman

About 2 1/2 years ago we bought our 24 ft. RV-motorhome. Went cross-country twice, and have taken multiple 2-3 month trips. Our feelings are the reverse of the OP's.
We get home and feel overwhelmed. The to-do's seem to multiply like rabbits. Everywhere I look is another repair, another deteriorated something, another unfinished project. Both grown kids are across the country; one granddaughter, another enroute.
Fortunately, very, very fortunately, we're in very good health (so far). We've found GREAT people while traveling; new friends that we didn't know we had. Travelers share a sense of adventure, courage to leave a lot behind, and common interests in places to visit, repair hints etc.
I believe it all matters on who you are as a person. Some people are comfortable with the unknown, others plan out every last detail. The concept of giving it a try before burning any bridges makes excellent sense.

Sep 21, 2015
Having a sticks and bricks is done for me
by: Smokey Camping

I fully understand some not liking it, but for most of the folks who wrote in here (from what you wrote) did not do it right, First you need to do longer trips (not 2 weeks) but 4 months, or so this why you will live the lifestyle without giving up a rescue location (home) SOme folks are very tired of the rat race that is home and all that comes with that, it can hold you back (like me) and i am retired but have been waiting for over 15 yrs to get out and try the fulltime thing because i have been born and raised and lived in one spot FOREVER and i need to see this big great country on my terms.
SO i hope your futures all work out for you folks who got out of rving, will miss you when i have a chance to do it.

Sep 09, 2015
by: Kel and Julie Kohlhaas

We've been doing 4-5 months of the year for 18 years and still have no desire to full-time. We like having our home available because we have cchildren, grandchildren, friends, and a different life off the roof that continues to offer the contrast we enjoy. Also, we both have some health issues to deal with. I (Julie) had a stent placed this summer that included some dis├žomfort before, as well as recovery time after. Kel had arrhythmia issues to deal with. We are glad we were home when they happened. We don't foresee a time when full-timing would make sense for us.

Sep 09, 2015
Your so right
by: S & S

I just had to comment on your last post. My wife and I went into this delusion that full timing would be the best thing since sliced bread. 14 months ago we sold off everything and quit our jobs. My wife was 63 I was 61 Guess who got sick right away ? It was me. A old injury that I had 8 years ago flared up with a vegance.There was no other medical help that could be given except to go on heavy duty pain killers (oxyneon a 175 milligrams a day). Just to clarify I had surgery on a body part but it was called a failed operation.
Still living in our 35 foot motor home I think why did I not keep the house and keep working.
The pain specialist now tells me work kept my mind off the injury. (Great) With Doc and specialists appointments coming out of my jing jang we have no time to go anywhere. I have now been told I'm booked into a pain management course for 10 weeks so we will be living with my daughter son inlaw and 2 small children for these weeks. After that 10 weeks of trying to tell your brain that there is no pain or reroute your pain sensory to say you are fine they will stick me in another hospital to get me off the opiates. Oh I wish I could go back a 1 year and 1/2.
My wife and I are looking at selling the RV and start our own business back were we sold our house . If some one says fulltiming I will say yes fulltime work till Im 80 just like Dad
Don't hate what you have !! Only you can make the change . (Oh so humbly)
Signed should not have retired

Sep 08, 2015
I sympathize!
by: Susan & Peter

Your message encapsulates every thought we've had about becoming full-timers. We have traveled in our tiny Lance camper up to 3-1/2 months at a time, and every time we say, "We could just live like this!" It's hard to leave the road and come home again, but then the comforts (including our big, beautiful garden) envelop us, and all our loose ends reconnect, and here we are, enjoying our life but often longing for our next opportunity to pack up and be off. We hope to make a 6-month trip sometime soon, but that will involve renting out our house (during the cold NE winter!), which involves a lot of work in itself.

One of the reasons we haven't just chucked it all and hit the road is medical care. Peter can go to any VA and find his records awaiting him there, but for me it's different. Right now my medical needs are minimal, but one never knows when that could change. Good to have care providers who knew you when you were strong and healthy. And then there may come the day when living in a camper on the road is no longer viable, and what would we do then?

And so it goes: we want it all! Adventure and security, roughing-it and luxury, freedom and community, independence and family. Like Marianne says, it's all in finding the compromise that feels right for you.

I'm moved to close with a blessing that I learned long ago from the Incredible String Band, on their album "The 10,000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion" -
May the long-time Sun shine upon you,
All Love surround you,
And the Clear Light within you
Guide your way on.

Sep 08, 2015
Hope you can find your compromise soon.
by: Marianne

You are a good example of needing to try out the lifestyle before committing everything to it. I think you are right to look for a compromise. Many people find that a home base for part of the year works well for them. That's what we do. I always find myself looking forward to the next trip and then looking forward to coming home again.

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