RVing is Full of Wake-up Calls
My wife and I are new to RVing this year, and our longest trip was 10 weeks, mostly AZ and NM. Planning longer ones in 2011. Examples of wake-up calls we had:
1. RV life is like life anywhere else, but more so :). The highs tend to be higher than in routine bubbles of life at home, and the lows tend to be lower.
I got mugged, we had wind damage, we got lost, had serious anxieties about where to park on some nights, and had some hackle-raising arguments. We also saw breath-taking sights, met people who reminded us about how great life is, felt a lot of team pride, fell in love all over again, saw places we had only dreamed of before.
The best of times and the worst of times seem to come as a package deal, all in a small space, in one trip.
2. You're not alone, but you are on your own. We used your AZ and NM travel guides, and so were not left to figure out things completely alone. We had company whenever we wanted to seek it out. On the other hand, the flat tires, wind damage, and worrisome "traffic" around some remote parking site made us aware that we were very much on our own. After living on auto-pilot in the comfort of home, this required some emotional growth to handle the stresses productively.
3. Who am I, anyway? Some years ago I grew a beard, just for the heck of it, and people asked me for months, "What's that about?" as if they hadn't known me for years. Same with showing up in an RV - it seems to challenge peoples' ideas of who you "really" are, or confirm their prejudices about RV's. One distant relative said, "I didn't think you were the RV type; you seemed educated." It awakened me to the reality that my travel choices may change how I'm viewed and how some people relate to me. Of course we got reactions about that in the opposite direction, too: "Ahhh. You're living a dream the way most of us don't."
A homespun philosopher once said to me that "you can't make a road trip without taking an inner journey at the same time." Turned out to be true for us. So maybe some of the challenges of RV life are the challenges we need.