I had some interesting reactions from family and friends when I made my announcement in 2001 that I was going to become a fulltime RVer. They mostly fell into two groups: those who thought I was insane, and those who thought what I was doing was inspiring. I’ve often thought it was a good thing that the second group weighed in more than the first. Not that it would have changed my mind, but it may have changed the name of my motorhome. I named my rolling home “Inspiration.” I would have still started fulltiming even if its name had to be “Roving Lunatic.”
I’ve also had diverse reactions from others I’ve met along the way – some who find my lifestyle fascinating, others who couldn’t even imagine living this way. In any case, I’m extremely happy with my chosen lifestyle and the people I’ve met during it, and I hope they are with theirs.
I’m particularly touched by the people I hear from who say they’d love more than anything to live this way, but it’s just not possible for them. Sometimes that may be true for whatever reason, and maybe it’s just a matter of waiting, but to everyone else, here’s some applicable advice from a very wise man:
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
– St. Francis of Assisi
If you want to read more about my decision to go fulltime, see my personal journal at Inspiration’s Journey.
I got to thinking about these things as I read a thread on the RV.Net Forum about one guy’s reaction from an in-law that fulltiming is not “normal.” Here’s a link to the whole subject, “What Relatives Think,” but following is excerpt I found particularly interesting:
“The ‘RV Lifestyle’ you have evolved into is a symptom of underlying problems. Normal, productive, full time employed people seldom choose to live in RVs on a permanent camping trip.” Sure he’s entitled to his opinion, but he’s really ‘down’ on us because of it. Fulltimers are normal productive folks! Fulltimer Bill
Here are some of the neat comments I’ve read on other fulltimers’ blogs about this unique lifestyle and reactions they had from others:
I really liked this from fulltimers since 2005, John and Kathy Huggins of Living the RV Dream: “…we realized we were truly living a very wonderful and special lifestyle. But, that is the beauty of it. You have the freedom to do what you want to do and when you want to do it. It’s your choice. You can plan a trip down to the hour with all stops booked and attractions planned in advance; or you can have your plans set in Jell-O like we do.”
From Jim and Chris and Odie’s Wonderful Life: (On the road since April, 2004)
“That’s what I so love about full-time RVing. You get to keep on goin’. I’ve had lots of wonderful vacations in my life. But, they always ended. You always had to go back. Like having an invisible leash that would let you go far, but always reels you back in the end. I have this urge to keep on goin’. The total freedom is what appeals to me.” Chris’ motto: “Blessed be the Flexible for they shall not get bent out of shape.”
From my friend, Firedude: I wasn’t about to sit there the rest of my life worrying about what might happen down the road or even when for that matter. I have met so many people who sat and looked out that window at their dreams and never did anything about it because what if. Those folks passed on and never lived their dream. Not for me.”
From my adopted siblings met in Alaska, Chuck & Kalyn in their website “Galloping Geezers” – “We…threw caution to the wind…and headed out in search of adventure, the Fountain of Youth and the meaning of life. We believe we have discovered all three through our current lifestyle and heartily recommend it to those approaching their Golden Years. A spirit of adventure, a yearning to travel and, most importantly, a like-minded partner are truly the keys to living unencumbered successfully.”
I got a kick out of my online buddy Lloyd’s answer to the questions: “What’s it like not having a permanent home?” in his Wandrin US blog: “Well. I do have a permanent home. Whenever I unhitch, I remember where I left it and so I know where to find it. … or another answer to the same question … Not too bad considering that I am trailer trash and I live in a unit described as tornado bait.” And another of my personal favorites: “Do I miss work?” …”Ya’ gotta be kiddin’! … I don’t miss the work, but I do miss the opportunities to interact and talk with people. … but … If I really want people interaction, I can always go to the grocery store. At the checkout line, they always ask, “Paper or plastic?”
From the RV.Net Forum: “Why go Fulltime?”
Because we want to see the USA at our leisure. One of the best things that we have experienced is meeting all the great people from all over the USA. We now have friends wherever we roam. When we start a new trip we always say, “New territory”. It is also great not to have to pack for our new adventures. We love sleeping in our own bed every night.
For the first time in our lives we can do what we want and that’s freedom. We’ll settle down later on when we get really “old”, hold hands and rock on our front porch while we relive all those wonderful memories. I’d never trade our 4 months a year in La Pineta, Mexico, sitting at our site in the jungle looking out over the Pacific for a stick built house. I have it all and feel very blessed.
To put it into very simple terms, freedom! Most of us are people who are tired of having so many possessions that what we have owns us. Most of us have already had a career and raised our kids. Now we want to be able to do all of the things that we always dreamed of doing. We go where we want, when we want and live in the way that we want. We do so because we want to experience new and exciting things, rather than sit waiting for life to come to us. We seek adventure and new friends; change is our reason for living. We are no longer satisfied by watching others do things on TV when we can go out and do them ourselves! We are only limited by our own imaginations.
Let’s hear about the most unusual (or usual) reactions you’ve heard in Comments below!