Monday, September 01, 2008

One Year of Full Time RVing: Ten Things I Want to Pass Along

One year ago on September 7th, I left a consulting career to live and travel full time in our Prevost motorhome/bus conversion. I have endured the challenges of withdrawing from the conventional lifestyle to one my husband Ed calls “counter culture.” I have also enjoyed the joyful experiences that have unfolded simply because we dared to show up.

I have given deep consideration to this new lifestyle and reflected on the year past. Here are the 10 things I want to pass along to anyone with the courage to do what Ed and I have done:

1. Explore places beyond the popular destinations. New Orleans can be fun but places like the Louisiana towns like Breaux Bridge and Cut Off give you the true essence and authenticity of the people in Cajun Country.

2. Dare to show up. When the circus is in town, go! If we hadn’t shown up and engaged Pappa D the Clown in a conversation, we would have never experienced the circus in the way we did – riding on an elephant under the big top or Ed’s debut as a guest clown.

3. Some of the most welcoming places to stay are not campgrounds. From the community center in Clover Bend, Arkansas to the municipal park in Accord, New York, we have enjoyed the hospitality of folks who are proud of their hometowns and are willing to showcase bits of history, reveal their personal stories, and put effort into making our stay most enjoyable.

4. Ask questions over and over again. That’s how you find out where to go for the best beaches, fish & chips, and scenic routes.

5. Minimize your stuff. When you live in a space measuring 8’ by 40’, there’s not room for more than the essentials. Get rid of the extras but be sure you have the following: maps, crock pot, camera, cell phone, binoculars, collapsible laundry sack, and flashlights.

6. Slow down your pace. Dashing from place to place just burns fuel. When you slow down you truly experience a community and its people.

7. Recognize those who excel. Send thank you notes to people who made your visit or experience pleasant. Let their supervisor know too.

8. Stay on the “red roads” or at least the roads where conditions make it possible to maneuver a big rig. Sometimes you will end up in a place where the bridge is too low or a weight restriction prohibits passing through. Occasionally, you’ll need the help and patience of other motorists to get you out of a tight space. It’s best to try to avoid those situations but sometimes it just happens.

9. Build goodwill and better friendship. Stay active in a service club by helping with projects in communities you visit. The presence of Rotary and Habitat for Humanity in many towns makes it possible to lend a hand.

10. Don’t say “no” when you could have said “yes”. Opportunities can be missed when you say “no”. “Yes” opens a world of possibilities.

These ten points aren’t just for us fulltime RVers. They might just be worth consideration.


Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak said...

Great suggestions! While you didn't specifically mention "slow down," your suggestions imply that you'll enjoy your travels a lot more if you do. Many RVers have a difficult time slowing down in their first year - they want to see so many things!

Also, could you contact me regarding posting this elsewhere?

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Anonymous said...

Nice coach! Good Luck! Ed XO

Anonymous said...

We just finished our first year as well, and we agree with you 100%. We loved every minute, and are continueing on as long as we are physically able!